According to the research released today, the average value of a student’s belongings is now £3,259, representing a rise of 49 per cent in just two years.
Of course, tech and gadgets are the main items which are both the highest value and the most easily misplaced or stolen.
Laptops, phones, tablets and music equipment are all commonly found items in any young adults’ haul of treasured possessions.
But despite this, insurer Aviva suggests that 27 per cent of University students have no insurance cover whatsoever for their personal items, which equates to approximately 632,000 young people under 25.
Unsurprisingly, given the growing popularity of social media influencers who share their aspirational lifestyles, Aviva’s research also points to the fact that many students have a taste for the finer things in life, with almost a quarter counting designer clothes and cosmetics amongst their belongings.
However, there is heart-warming evidence that materialism hasn’t engulfed them entirely, as many students take ‘priceless’ personal items with them to University, with 53 per cent putting up framed photos of family or friends in their accommodation, and 24 per cent taking a favourite childhood teddy bear or toy.
Adam Beckett, Product Director for Aviva UK General Insurance observes, “Tech is very much part and parcel of student life, but this often means that thousands of pounds worth of belongings are packed into one room. If these items aren’t insured and the worst happens, this can be a huge ordeal, both emotionally and financially.”
Adam continues, “The good news is that many insurers provide student cover under the main family home insurance policy. In fact, our survey found that a quarter of students had cover under family home insurance, so they didn’t need to take out additional cover.”
That said, before you load up the car with all their worldly goods and head for the campus, it’s best to check your current contents insurance to find out what’s included and what isn’t.
Policies can vary significantly between insurers, so it’s advisable to spend a few minutes on the phone now, in order to avoid any issues further down the line.
After you’ve made sure you’ve got the right cover in place, there a few other things you can run through with your kids to help keep them, and their belongings safe; even if Fresher’s Week beckons.
Firstly, get them into the habit now of checking doors and windows are shut and locked before they leave the house.
That way, it will be second nature in a few weeks’ time when they are in a shared house or University halls.
Encourage them not to take belongings which aren’t absolutely essential, as these are likely to be safer at home with you.
Impress upon them to need to be careful when they’re out and about not to draw attention to their latest gadget; this may alert thieves who see students as easy potential targets.
Before they leave, it’s also a good idea register their belongings, particularly those of value, on the UK national property register Immobilise.
That way, if they are stolen and recovered, the police will be able to trace the items back to you and your family.
It’s a free service, and it only takes a few minutes to register online.
Immobilise is also the only ownership registration service supported by all UK Police forces, the Greater London Authority, and the mobile phone industry, so it’s well worth making the effort to sign up.
After all that, there’s only one thing left to do, which is wonder how you’re going to fill all that spare time you’ll have on your hands now that you’re not acting as a chauffeur service. Until they come back at half term, of course.
Follow Louisa on Twitter: @louisafletcher