Excited for University? What are you taking with you?

University survey car packed

Like thousands of university students across the UK, you may be starting to think about your next academic year as we emerge from the long haul of lockdown.  Perhaps you are feeling a bit nervous, or you may be super excited to start your next phase.  Either way, students up and down the country will no doubt soon be doing similar things to you – bundling their worldly possessions^ like their clothes, textbooks, musical instruments, gadgets and electronics into the boot of the car and heading off down the motorway to their new student accommodation. 

As an insurance provider, we wondered which items students tended to lose the most or had stolen^ from them whilst at university, so we commissioned an independent survey of students during the last academic year* asking them which items tended to go walkabouts whilst they were away at uni.  

Which items were lost^ or stolen^ the most?

University survey

Our survey results revealed this was not a mobile phone or laptop as you perhaps anticipated, but headphones and earphones.  The average value of students’ lost items was £157.87, increasing to £206.79 for stolen items.  Nearly 40% of students had lost possessions in their hall of residence.  Almost a third of the thefts had also happened here.

The survey revealed the following about the lost items:

  • Over a quarter (27%) had lost their headphones/earphones^ once during their time at university
  • A fifth (20%) had lost some jewellery once during their time at university
  • 1 in 6 (16%) had lost their mobile phone^ once during their time at university
  • 10% of those in South East had lost their mobile phone during their time at university, rising to 22% in North West universities
  • 1 in 12 (8%) had lost their laptop once during their time at university

For items which had been stolen:

  • Almost 1 in 7 (13%) said their headphones/earphones had been stolen once during their time at university
  • Almost 1 in 10 (9%) said their mobile phone had been stolen once during their time at university
  • Almost 1 in 10 (9%) said their jewellery was stolen once during their time at university
  • 5% said their laptop had been stolen once during their time at university

Impact of loss or theft on the students in the survey

University student working laptop
  • Almost a fifth (19%) said they’d argued with their flat mates as a result
  • Almost a fifth (19%) said they’d had to miss on nights out as well as limit spend on food
  • Almost 1 in 6 (15%) said it had negatively impacted their university work (eg where their laptop had contained their university work)
  • 1 in 7 (14%) said they’d had to get a part-time job to buy items again

Sadly, from losing items of sentimental value to finding it hard to contact their family when their mobile phone had disappeared, students reported effects such as becoming withdrawn, scared or annoyed after the loss or theft.

Coffee anyone? Some had to work part-time to replace lost and stolen items

University Survey Coffee Cup

The Insurance Emporium’s Chief Executive Officer, Francis Martin, said:

“When a young person heads off to university, the chances are that they will take personal possessions with them, like their mobile phone, laptop or perhaps a guitar or camera.  Losing possessions or having them stolen can be upsetting, inconvenient and costly, as this survey shows.  Should the unexpected happen, having insurance cover in place is one consideration that might help provide some welcome peace of mind.  Our student insurance is similar to home contents insurance but designed specifically for those studying in full time education away from home.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly and well-trained Customer Contact team on 03300 244 005 or see https://www.theinsuranceemporium.co.uk/products/student.” 

* The research was conducted by Censuswide, the respondents in the survey comprised 500 Undergraduate University Students, and ran from 29.04.2019 – 03.05.2019

^ Please note that Student Insurance from The Insurance Emporium excludes liability for payment of tuition fees, rent protection, exams, coursework, personal accident, assault or mugging occurring whilst the student is wholly or partly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Cover for Theft is subject to evidence of forcible and violent entry together with adherence to the security requirements set out fully in the Policy Document – see https://s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/tie-core/documents/student/policy-wording.pdf. Cover for headphones is only available under the Valuables or Musical Instruments Elective Benefits and cover for mobile phones is only available under the Gadgets & Mobile Phones elective Benefit

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