Student insurance: keeping valuables safe on campus

Student insurance: keeping valuables safe on campus

It’s the time of year when many of your clients’ student children will be heading back to campus or starting their new lives at university or college. Since they will probably walk around with thousands of rands’ worth of property on them, it’s important to know the safety risks and how the right insurance cover can safeguard their belongings.

While institutions try to create awareness to eliminate potential security threats and risks, personal property theft is one the most common crimes on campuses. Here are some tips that you can share with clients on how students can play it safe when it comes to things like laptops, cell phones, bicycles and expensive textbooks:

  1. Triple check insurance coverage: Laptops, computers, cell phones and other equipment that are constantly ‘on the move’ and not in a private residence where the student lives temporarily, is typically not covered by the parent’s house contents insurance. One of the rating factors considered for house contents insurance is determined by the security measures at the house. Any item that is temporarily taken out of a private residence should be specifically insured on an all risks section. Typical items include cell phones, laptops, bicycles and jewellery.
  2. Leave the priciest items at home: Research has shown that the top five items that are most commonly stolen on campus are cash, cell phones (easily resalable), laptops and tablets. Even though a laptop is not as easy to steal and hide as a cell phone, it remains high on the list of favourites because of its value and because they are often left unattended in cafes and libraries. Vehicles and bicycles are often left outside of res or student centres, making them easily accessible to thieves, while jewellery is mostly stolen from students’ rooms. Students should always keep valuables close by even when they are in the library/student centre, they should keep their dorm rooms locked at all times and find a lock for their bicycles if they happen to leave them outside unattended.
  3. Get listed as the regular driver: It is also important to remember that if a student uses a vehicle on a regular basis they must be listed as a regular driver of that vehicle insured on the policy in order to be correctly insured.

It’s important to remind clients to reappraise items regularly as the value changes annually. Recommend Santam’s home contents calculator to help clients draw up an inventory of items to get the right student insurance.

If you would like more information about home contents insurance, speak to your relationship manager or contact Santam. For advice tailored to intermediaries and homeowners, visit our blog for more useful articles, such as how to ensure adequate cover against fire damage.

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