Contents of a UK student’s room worth more than £3,000 - up 49% in two years

  • More than a quarter of students have no contents insurance
  • Tech items have driven up the value of student belongings
  • 27% of UK students have no insurance for their possessions
  • This suggests UK student belongings worth more than £2 billion have no cover
  • AvivaPlus Home Insurance provides contents cover to students under main family policy.

A study by Aviva insurance reveals that a typical student room contains possessions worth £3,259(1), with tech equipment and gadgets alone adding up to more than £1,750 on average.

Image of a paper house with a "For rent" sign attached
A typical student room contains possessions worth £3,259

This represents an increase of 49% across student belongings over the past two years, with technology – laptop, phone, tablet, TV and music equipment – primarily accounting for this increase. A similar Aviva study carried out in 2017 found the contents of a typical student room were worth £2,184.

However, in spite of this increase, the survey discovered 27% of scholars had no cover for their belongings while studying, equivalent to around 632,000(2) UK students. Based on the value of a typical student room, this equates to uninsured items worth more than £2 billion across the UK.

The study reveals the average value of a UK student room contents as follows:

Item in student room

Typical value of item in 2017

Typical value of item in 2019

Percentage change over two years




+ 7%




+ 174%

Mobile phone



+ 34%




+ 106%

Music equipment e.g. speakers



+ 139%

Study books and equipment



+ 10%

Sports equipment



+ 165%

Specialist equipment eg hobbies / musical instrument



+ 189%

Clothes and accessories 



+ 4%

Other equipment



+ 37%




+ 49%

There’s evidence that many students have a taste for the finer things in life. Almost a quarter have designer clothes and cosmetics (both 23%) amongst their belongings.

Image of a paper house with a "For rent" sign attached
27% of scholars have no cover for their belongings while studying

In addition, the survey found that 18% of students own a car or vehicle - considerably more than the 13% who own a pedal bike.

Although there’s also proof that students are sentimental souls too, with ‘priceless’ items making their way to university. More than half of students (53%) furnish their rooms with photos of family and friends, while one in four (24%) take a childhood teddy bear or toy.

Adam Beckett, Product Director for Aviva UK General Insurance says: “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.

“The good news is that many insurers – including Aviva – 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. Going to university is a big move for both students and parents, so having insurance in place is one less thing to worry about.”

Protecting belongings at university – hints and tips:

  • Don’t forget to lock up. Most thieves are opportunistic, so remember to lock doors and windows every time you go out, even if you’re only going to be away a few minutes
  • Travel light. Don’t carry around belongings you don’t need, these are likely to be safer at home
  • Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t leave valuables in full view when you go out, hide them away somewhere safe. The same goes for things left in vehicles
  • Be discreet. When out and about, be careful not to draw attention to your latest gadget; this may alert potential thieves
  • Get to know your flatmates and keep an eye out for each other. This way, you’ll able to recognise intruders wandering around your halls or flat
  • Register your belongings, particularly those of value, on UK national property register Immobilise. If they’re stolen and recovered, the police will be able to trace them back to you
  • Lock up your bike. When you’re away from home remember to lock your bike securely to a concrete post, railing or bike stand.

Aviva home insurance cover for students:

With AvivaPlus, customers can choose the level of cover they require for items taken away from the home by any members of the family that normally reside at the main address. So if the family home policy includes cover for contents away from the home, this extends to immediate family members while temporarily living away at university or even while ‘out and about’, up to the policy limit selected.

Other Aviva contents insurance policies provide cover for immediate family members temporarily living away from home, providing they reside at the main address and don’t have a permanent fixed address elsewhere. This includes belongings in a student’s room, their shared house or halls on campus. Items are covered for fire, storm, flood or malicious damage and theft is also covered if someone breaks into the accommodation (limits apply). Customers can also decide the value of items they would like to insure whilst they’re out and about, including away from any temporary residence via the personal belongings option, which would extend to cover children's belongings in this situation.

- ENDS -

(1) Unless stated, all figures are taken from research carried out by Censuswide in July 2019. 2,000 UK parents who have children at university or who have been to university in the last 10 years were surveyed online. Figures relate to average cost per item and calculations are based on students having the following items in their room: laptop; mobile phone; tablet; TV; music equipment e.g. speakers; study books and equipment; sports equipment; specialist equipment e.g. musical instrument / hobbies; clothes; other items not covered in previous categories.
(2) Based on figures provided by Universities UK: In 2017-18 there were 2.34 million students studying at UK higher education institutions. The 632,000 estimate is based on 27% students with no cover.
(3) Information correct at 17 July 2017.

Media enquiries:

Sarah Poulter

UK External Communications

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