It’s a sad tale we’ve all lived to tell – the dreaded insurance calamity. You’ve been bouncing around happy as Larry for years, in and out of your house with the door locked shoddily behind you, all over the world on risk-taking adventure holidays, bling in tow. And then – bam. Someone nicks your laptop, your diamond-encrusted tooth brush gets stolen from your house, a mate throws your phone in the sea (okay, we’re not sure insurance strictly covers this) and you’re majorly out of pocket. All because you didn’t just listen to what your mum has been saying for years and invest in a dreaded ‘policy’. Even the word is enough to make you shudder. But fear not, we’ll try to kiss away those bad dreams with some long-awaited facts that will explain all. There are three main types of insurance that we recommended to cover your arse in case of a disaster – and remember, these do happen, and always when you really can’t afford it…
This is basically the biggie for break-ins– contents insurance covers anything in your house that might get nicked – even if you think you haven’t got anything worth nicking. (Seriously, there have been cases where robbers have stolen dirty hampers of clothes. Who knows what the end goal was here, but at least the victims were covered). Contents insurance also includes damage – let’s say a cigarette sends your stuff up in flames or water ruins your rug. Remember, contents insurance is not the same as building insurance – it only covers things that aren’t attached to your house (so,if say a giant tornado rips your roof off, you won’t be in the money). Landlords who rent out property are required to have building insurance so if you’re a tenant it might be worth checking that out. Your contents insurance, however, is up to you – so if you think you’ve got some stuff worth taking or you can’t bear the thought of your dirty laundry going missing, we recommend you take out a policy.
Cost: Prices vary depending on how much you want covered and also, we’re afraid to say, your postcode. To get a quote you have to describe your home contents and see what comes back. The price of a policy can be as low as £45 for the year but it really depends on how far you want it to stretch.
Where to buy: Websites like money.co.uk and comparethemarket.com compare insurance rates from the many (and there are many) companies that offer coverage. Endsleigh.co.uk comes recommended for students.
On an average day you’re probably ploughing down the street with your laptop in your backpack, your smartphone in your hand, your iPod in your pocket, and your camera in your bag – that’s more than £2,000 worth of gadgets you’re carrying and if that’s something you do every day, the margin for error is high. Gadget insurance covers your electronics against accidental damage (think cracked screen – that’s big business for them), theft, water damage (or,more likely, beer), unauthorised usage and sudden breakdown.
Cost: Gadget insurance can cost as little as £1.50 a month. That’s not half bad considering the chances of breaking your phone at some point. Remember, if you’re travelling abroad you won’t necessarily be covered by standard gadget insurance, so double check your policy and invest if that’s something you do often.
This is probably the one you know most about so we’ll keep it brief, but will also say again, it’s really worth it – ask any of your mates. They’ll all either have a story about the time their camera got pinched on a bus in Peru and they didn’t have it insured – which is why there’s no record of them having made it up the Inca trail (sure) – or they’ll tell you about the time an elephant sat on their sunnies and they got them replaced within weeks. So listen up, invest insome travel insurance due to the likelihood of mishaps abroad (which is all part of the fun). Policies generally cover everything from baggage loss, to property theft, to medical expenses. If you plan on doing any adventure activities (like paragliding or water skiing) you’ll need to pay for a higher grade of insurance. Aside from that, it’s important to consider the chances of injury or your stuff getting stolen wherever you’re travelling as this will determine the level of protection you’ll need.
Cost: Holiday coverage starts at £8 but this changes depending on location. A month’s backpacker’s insurance hovers at £25 and the rate goes down the longer you’re away.
Where to buy: STA Travel are the young traveller’s favourite as they’ll help you tailormake your policy. Outbackerinsurance.com also specialises in backpacking, while sites like gocompare.com will help you to shop around.