Students -
Secure and Insure Your Possessions

This article on Students' Security was kindly contributed by
Greg Gladwell,
Director of Claims at Aviva

The start of a brand new term as a fully-fledged student is suddenly looming large. Back-packing adventures and bargain summer holidays draw to a close and school sixth form becomes a distant memory.

Within weeks thousands of youngsters will once again be setting up temporary homes in often unfamiliar towns or cities and throwing themselves into all that Fresher’s week has to offer.

But while partying and, at least, the prospect of studying, are forefront of most minds, it’s also worth remembering that statistically they are one of the most likely groups to fall victim to crime – one in three will be targeted every year, with mugging, vehicle-related theft and burglary accounting for the majority of crimes.

So if the worst does happen how can you protect those precious away-from-the-home belongings?

Well it may come as a surprise to many parents that their home contents insurance can also provide cover for those essential student items, like games consoles, laptops and televisions. A standard contents policy with Aviva, for example, gives £5000 worth of cover for items “temporarily removed from the home” this includes possessions in a their room at the shared house or halls on campus. Cover is for all the usual things like fire, storm, flood or malicious damage and theft.

But remember when it comes to theft claims most insurers do look for physical signs of a break-in so don’t wedge your door open so that anyone can slip into your room and help themselves, be aware of open windows especially if you living in a ground floor flat and before heading out ensure your room is properly secured.

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So what about when you are out and about on campus or on the way to lectures? Most insurers offer Personal Belongings cover for outside the home which means that your mobile phone, ipod and the contents of your rucksack or handbag are covered anywhere in the world.

Again if parents have this cover as part of their policy, their son and daughter is also covered. If they don’t, it can be added from around £15 for £2000 worth of cover for each member of the family.

Bikes have always been the favourite mode of transport and are generally covered as standard when they are kept within your home or shed – both at a parent’s home or in the their accommodation, but again if you want them to be covered when they are out and about, bicycle cover for the whole family can be added to a home policy from around £10 a year.

Bikes, though, are also a favourite for opportunistic thieves so make sure you lock it to a secure immovable object like a bike rack or ground anchor, avoid leaving it in isolated places and think about recording and registering your bike with the police.

Clearly university if one of the biggest expenses a family can have, so it is worth protecting everything a teenager takes with them, but with a little bit of research you may find it is already taken care of and so one less thing to pay for!

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