Check if you're covered by your parents' home insurance

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If you're lucky enough to be going off to university with a shiny new laptop or tablet to get down to some hardcore studying, you need to make sure you've got some contents insurance for worst case scenarios.

Before you fork out on cover, you could check your parents' home insurance policy, as you may automatically be covered against theft or loss under its 'temporarily removed from the home' section while you're a student.

The cover only applies while your contents are in your accommodation, and as long as your parents' home is your main permanent address. Many policies allow this, but you'll need to check they don't mind you using their policy, as they'd have to submit any future claims.

If you need cover for any mobiles or laptops, or items you normally wear or carry away from your home, you could ask your parents – if they haven't already – to pay for an 'add on' to their existing home contents policy (usually called all risks or 'unspecified personal possessions'). This covers your stuff while it's out of your rented home.

If you can’t use your parents' insurance, your next port of call is a specialist or local insurance broker. Make sure you let the insurer know if you’re taking a bike to uni when applying for cover. It may be covered as part of the policy, but if not, you'll need to find out how much extra it is to add.

Lock your doors

It's not a nice thought, but if you're in shared accommodation, your insurance won't cover you for theft unless there's been a violent or forced entry into your room. Always make sure you lock your door when you leave, even if you’re just popping out briefly.