STUDENT INSURANCE MADE SIMPLE

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1 STUDENT INSURANCE MADE SIMPLE Working with the profession to simplify the language of insurance

2 SWOT UP ON STUDENT INSURANCE Heading off to uni or college is an exciting time and for most it's likely to be the first time you've managed your own finances. While you're budgeting for the student union bar and chilli cook-ups, it's also essential to factor in the cost of some contents insurance in case your possessions are stolen or damaged. Here's what you need to know to take cover from uni crime! Your possessions are valuable, take cover from uni crime!

3 Why you need contents cover Students often own smartphones, ipads or tablets and MP3 players which mean their total belongings can easily add up to a sizeable amount of money. Unfortunately this makes students easy pickings for thieves. So unless you can easily afford to buy new stuff, insurance is a must. What sort of contents cover is available? University halls cover Many university halls of residence offer basic contents cover and you can check what yours includes using Endsleigh's website here (endsleigh.co.uk/personal/home-insurance/review-student-cover). However this may not provide all the protection you require particularly if you own things such as musical instruments and expensive electrical gadgets. So you may need to top it up with your own policy. Unless you can afford to buy new stuff, insurance is a must

4 You have two options of cover You can either buy a standalone home contents policy or some insurers will add a student to a parent or guardian's home contents policy: Standalone policies If you live in private rented accommodation, you may be able to buy a standard home contents policy but not all insurers offer this and you need to check the cover to make sure it matches your student lifestyle. Specialist standalone student insurance policies are offered by a number of insurers including the NUS's recommended provider, Endsleigh. The cover is tailored to the needs of students. Policy prices will depend on your age, your university's location and the level of cover you go for. You should buy insurance regardless of whether you're living in university halls or share a rented house. Work out how much you need by adding up how much your possessions including gadgets, jewellery, clothes, kitchen items, TV etc would cost to replace. Policies have a set limit on the value of a single item that the insurance company will cover as standard, so it's best to check it's sufficient. Insurers will want to know about single items that have a higher value, such as watches and jewellery so they can be specified on a policy, so keep receipts and take photographs too. Don t forget to look at gadget policies. There is now a good range available, which could help you top up basic hall cover, and protect your valuable electronic items. Beware of double insuring. If your mobile phone contract, for example, includes insurance, there is no point in paying for additional cover. You can only claim once. Some policies only provide automatic cover during term time, so check your policy and speak to your insurer if you need cover for holiday periods. Check whether you need to top up your policy to include accidental damage cover and whether your possessions are covered in common areas as well as in your room. Don t forget the excess. This is the amount of money which you must pay before the insurer will compensate. Tip: If you share accommodation, you will each need to buy your own contents insurance.

5 Parental assistance You may think your parents will come in handy for their washing machine service during the holidays. But, if you live at home in the holidays, they can also be useful in helping you out with contents cover! This is because you may find the items you head off to university with are already covered on your parents' home insurance policy (free to you!). So it's worth checking what you're already insured for instead of duplicating with a standalone policy. Not all insurers include this cover automatically your parents may have to ask for it and the level of cover varies depending on the policy, and may require an additional payment. For instance a standard home contents policy may cover up to 3,000 worth of belongings, while a Premium policy may cover up to 10,000 but many policies contain far lower limits. Before deciding to rely on your parent s policy, check that the insurance provided is sufficient for your needs, and will provide cover when your possessions are away from the family home. Read the small print carefully to make sure there are no exclusions that could leave you without protection. For example, you may only be covered for theft involving a break in not helpful if you live in shared accommodation. Warning: Any claims you make will impact on your parents' claims history and may result in increased premiums. You think your parents will come in handy for their washing machine, check their insurance cover

6 Personal Belongings Including Personal Belongings (sometimes known as Personal Possessions) cover will mean that your laptop or mobile phone is insured while you're out and about. This may already be included on your parent's policy or you can add it to an existing policy for an additional charge, so check with the provider. Bicycle insurance Many university students view their bicycles as get-around essentials. Typically, bikes worth less than 400 are covered as standard by contents insurance but this will depend on the insurer and you may need to buy a separate insurance policy for more valuable two wheelers. Most policies will pay out not only if your bike is stolen or damaged, but also include cover for any accessories. Remember to check your policy's small print, particularly the excess and limitations. It's likely the insurer will want your bicycle to be stored securely when not in use and for you to use security locks when you're out and about. Check with your existing home contents insurer to make sure your bicycle is insured. For more expensive wheels, you can find specialist bicycle insurance providers with a simple internet search. However, it's also worth checking out mainstream comparison websites, too. Tip: The police and some universities offer a free bike-marking service for students. For more expensive bikes you may need specialist cover

7 Musical instrument cover If you're planning on taking your cello or trumpet to college it's likely you won't be covered by a standard contents policy but will need a specific insurance policy. However it doesn't have to cost a fortune instrument cover for students can start from just 30p a week. But before taking out a separate policy, it's important to check what is and isn't already provided by your contents insurer just in case you're duplicating cover. Always read the policy wording and check for exclusions and the excess before you sign up. You can find specialist musical insurance providers with a simple internet search but it's also worth checking out mainstream comparison websites, too. Tip: Check if your policy covers 'walk-in theft' as some contents insurance will only cover items in your room with the doors and windows fully secured. M Che m usi ck ay ca yo no l in ur t b st co e rum ve co e r. ve nt re s d!

8 Top 10 tips to keep your belongings secure! Keep doors and windows locked when you go out so you don't welcome opportunistic thieves. Lock up belongings you don't need to carry around. Keep your bag zipped at all times. Don't leave valuables on view when you go out. Don't flash your belongings around. Mark your belongings with a UV pen and register them with free national property website immobolise.com. Police can then compare against items they have recovered. Consider investing in a specialist lock for your laptop. Add phone tracking app and security software to your smartphone. Don't leave cash lying about and never disclose your PIN. Wear your bag strapped across you when you're out to make it harder for someone to steal it. Lock up belongings you don t need to carry around

9 Learn how to keep costs down How to make a claim Get a range of quotes by shopping around using a broker or intermediary or comparison websites or search individual insurers yourself online. Contact your insurer as soon as you realise an item's been stolen, lost or damaged. Most insurers have 24-hour claims helplines. When your policy comes up for renewal, shop around for a better deal, haggle with your existing insurer and switch if necessary. Find an insurer that doesn't charge extra if you want to pay premiums monthly instead of in one lump sum. Ask for discounts. For instance you may be able to save 10-15% for insuring two gadgets or more. Check if a parent's home contents insurance policy already covers your needs. If you are willing to pay a higher excess the amount deducted for a payout if you claim premiums may be cheaper. You don't need to buy buildings insurance as it is your landlord s or university's responsibility to insure the building. However, your landlord won't cover your contents and uni will usually only provide basic contents cover. So don't skimp on it. It's worth checking if your student bank account provider can offer you a discounted deal. You'll need to provide full details including the date, the time, where it happened, any witnesses, etc and supply supporting evidence such as receipts and photos. Make sure you report anything that's stolen or vandalised to the police they will give you a crime reference number which your insurer will need. Your insurer will send you a claim form to complete and should agree to compensate you for your loss if you have followed your policy's terms and conditions. If you are unhappy with the insurer's decision, complain in writing. If the matter is still not resolved satisfactorily, complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (financial-ombudsman.org.uk/ consumer/complaints.htm). Tip: It won't be worth claiming for an item that's valued at 25 if you're policy excess is 50.

10 Student car and motorbike insurance Drive down the cost of your motor insurance Insuring your wheels at uni When you learn the average annual expenditure of a student is 22,189 (nus.org.uk) you realise it's essential that you shop around for the best ways to save cash, including for car or motorbike insurance if you plan to drive at university. A change of location may well push up premium costs, so do shop around to see if you've got the best price. However, it's unlikely to be a wise financial move to switch insurers mid policy term as there may be a cancellation fee, so wait for the renewal. It's imperative you tell your motor insurer your new hall of residence or rental address if you do decide to take your car or motor bike as this will be where you spend the majority of your time. This will be considered your main address and affects the premium you are charged. Tip: You can find more on new drivers insurance in our New Drivers Insurance Made Simple Guide. Consider telematics (black box) insurance as it rewards careful car drivers and is also worth a look if your mileage is low, which may be the case at university. Taking driving courses from the Institute of Advance Motorists and the British Motorcyclists Federation to learn to be a safer driver can also help drive down premiums. Consider an unmodified, lower range car or motorbike to put you into the lower and so cheaper insurance groups. Make sure your car or motorbike is secure before leaving it and if possible stored in a garage rather than on a street. Fit your bike with locks and your car with an alarm or immobiliser. Adding an experienced, safe driver to your policy may help reduce premiums. But you must be careful not to mislead insurers about how the car is used don't put them as the main driver as this is called 'fronting' and is illegal.

11 Gap year insurance Mind the gap! Taking a gap year before or after studies will undoubtedly broaden your horizons and enrich your CV. However as well as stocking up on mosquito nets and malaria tablets, it's also essential to get a good quality travel insurance policy that covers all the activities you want to do and unforeseen mishaps for the length of your overseas stay. Is it really necessary? Bear in mind that a medical emergency abroad is eye-wateringly expensive. The British Embassy or High Commission will not pay for this, so this is very good reason for buying insurance. It s essential to get good quality travel insurance that covers all your activities

12 Making your gap year insurance travel further If you're travelling to countries within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, always take an EHIC card with you. EHIC stands for European Health Insurance Card and gives you access to state-provided medical treatment provided in these countries. But this is unlikely to be as comprehensive as the NHS, and you may need to pay for some treatments or medicines. So an EHIC isn't an alternative to travel insurance. A standard contract may not protect you if you are hurt taking part in hazardous sports or activities, such as skiing or diving. Buy an adventurous activities contract if you are likely to be taking part in risky sports while away. Also be sure to tell the insurer about any health problems, as undisclosed prior medical conditions are excluded. Think carefully about the questions on the application form and answer them honestly. You can apply for your free EHIC here (nhs.uk/nhsegland/health careabroad/ehic/pages/about-the-ehic.aspx). Never pay for it! Check the policy provides continuous cover for the whole time you're away. Use the internet to search for companies which provide specialist Gap Year policies to see what's on offer. Check policies and prices against comparison website offerings. Bear in mind that most policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents. Cheaper may not necessarily mean better so make sure you've opted for the right product by reading the small print. Everyone s insurance needs are different and it is important you choose a contract that is right for you individually but in general terms you should look for a policy that includes medical cover, a 24-hour emergency helpline; personal liability cover in case you cause injury or damage property; lost or stolen possessions cover; cover for cancellation or curtailment (cutting short your trip). For your own safety, you should check Foreign Office travel advice before entering any countries which are politically unstable. Your insurance is unlikely to cover you in war zones or where you are at risk of terrorism or piracy. The foreign office issues regular travel warnings so always check before embarking. Travelling against Foreign Office advice will invalidate your cover. Watch out for policy restrictions such as age limits and whether you are allowed to return to the UK temporarily during your trip with some insurers this invalidates your cover.

13 Top gapper tips Take language lessons before you go so you'll fit in. Research customs and culture beforehand and respect them when you arrive. This applies particularly to countries requiring modest dress and behaviour. Choose a reputable gap year travel company that is a member of a trade association such as ABTA, so you have back up if something goes wrong. Check with the Foreign Office for visa information and dos and don'ts for the country or countries you're visiting. Leave enough time to get all the necessary vaccinations and if you're going to a country where malaria is prevalent, take anti-malaria medication ensuring you finish the course. Give your bank a schedule of your travel plans and the countries you intend to visit so it won't stop your cards and leave you stranded penniless. Keep copies of all your travel documents with you and leave copies with a relative or friend for back up. Keep emergency contacts in a safe place. Source: ABTA 63% of HR professionals believe a gap year spent volunteering and working oversees really made a CV stand out

14 Remember if you have any questions about student insurance, just ask me, Ciindy /AskCiindy

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