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Students living away from home warned not to double up on contents cover

Written by: Emma Lunn
Parents have been urged to check their home insurance policy before forking out on cover for their student offspring.

Despite complications caused by the coronavirus, just over half a million students are expected to start university over the next few weeks.

With universities charging up to £9,250 a year in tuition fees and average monthly living costs more than £807, according to UCAS, starting further education can be a hugely expensive time for students and their parents.

But insurer SunLife says contents insurance may be one expense parents of undergraduates may not need to cover, as many home insurance policies also include cover for children who are living away at university.

Simon Stanney, general insurance director at SunLife, said: “It can be very expensive to take out specialist student insurance, and in many cases, the student will not need separate cover because their belongings will be protected under their parent’s insurance, so it is really important to check your existing policy before paying out for another policy.”

However, students and their parents should check the policy for any exceptions and limits.

For example, with most contents cover the insurer will pay for loss or damage to the contents belonging to any member of the household whilst they are living away at university or college. But some policies will often only cover belongings whilst in the property the student is living in and may not cover extra items such as bikes.

“Also, most policies will have a single item limit – usually around £1,000 as standard – so if your child is away at university and has items worth more than this – for example, laptops, bikes, phones etc – they may exceed that limit,” warns Stanney, “If you find that you do not have personal possessions to cover your child’s contents away from home, you should be able to increase your cover to add it. You should also be able to name separate items of value to ensure they are covered.”

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