Average Undergraduate Has More Than £2,500 Of Belongings In Student Digs

23 September 2013

The average student has belongings worth more than £2,500 in their student accommodation, according to new research(1) from Sainsbury’s Bank home insurance. In addition to smartphones, now owned by 80% of the student population, 32% own an iPad or tablet, 65% have an MP3 player and 53% own a stereo or music system.

The supermarket bank estimates that there are therefore around £4.9 bn worth of possessions in UK student digs; between £1.5 bn and £2.1 bn of which are uninsured(3). Sainsbury’s Bank  insures  the   belongings of students living away from home, under their parents’ contents insurance as a standard part of its  cover(2), and is encouraging students and their parents to make sure their possessions are adequately protected while at university.


The research reveals that 91% of students keep a laptop in their student accommodation with an average replacement value of £571.  In addition, 51% own a television, 38% have a games console, 21% have an e-reader and 56% have other types of electronic devices(1).

The findings also reveal that the average student has clothes worth £431 in their student accommodation and books worth £164. The average student digs also has £105 worth of kitchen equipment and £173 worth of jewellery(1).

David Barrett of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance said: “With advances in technology, students are likely to have a much greater array of valuable items than their predecessors 10 or 20 years ago.  With this in mind, we’d encourage parents and students to ensure that their belongings are covered when students are living and studying away from home. There are some home insurance policies, like ours, that cover student belongings as standard when they are in student accommodation; we’d encourage parents to check with their provider and how much cover their policy will provide.”

Though 30% of students say their possessions are not covered by contents insurance, another 31% say their possessions are covered under separate contents insurance they have taken out and

14% say they are covered under their parents’ insurance, even though they live away from home whilst studying(1). Parents and students should check their home insurance policy for the family home as it may have this cover as standard, however not all providers offer this.

Sainsbury’s Bank has launched an interactive graphic to show how student costs have changed over the past few decades. To see the difference between the cost of living for undergraduates then and now, visit

Student possessions(1)


Percentage of students who keep this item in their student accommodation

Average replacement cost (for those who own this item)

Average cost per UK student (including those who don’t own this item)

















iPod or similar




Kitchen equipment








Electronic items – other




Stereo/music system & speakers








Mobile phone (other)




Games console




Sports equipment




iPad or other tablet












Desktop PC











Both Sainsbury’s Bank home insurance products (Sainsbury’s Home Insurance and Sainsbury’s Premier Cover Home Insurance) cover loss of, or damage to, contents insured while the items are temporarily away from the home and kept in lodgings whilst at university, college or boarding school as standard. Sainsbury’s Home Insurance covers student contents up to £5,000 and Sainsbury’s Premier Cover Home Insurance up to £10,000(2).

For information on Sainsbury’s Bank home insurance, call 0800 260 0717 or visit

You can also find some security tips for students in the home guides section of the Sainsbury’s Bank website

Sainsbury’s Bank home insurance is underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.




For further information, please contact:

Calum MacDougall, Citigate Dewe Rogerson: 020 7282 2874

Lorna Gilmour, Sainsbury’s Bank: 0131 338 2863



Notes to editors:

(1)   Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned YouthSight to research a representative sample of 1,000 university students. Quotas were set to reflect the university type (Russell Group, other Old universities, New universities, other HEIs), year group (1, 2, 3+) and gender. Targets for the quotas were acquired using data supplied by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Fieldwork was carried out between 13th – 16th August 2013.

(2)   For more information about Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance visit

(3)   There were 1,928,140 undergraduates in the UK in the 2011/12 academic year (latest available figures supplied by YouthSight). The YouthSight research (1) revealed the average student keeps £2,562.36 in their student accommodation. £2,562.36 x 1,928,140 = £4,940,592,667 worth of possessions. The research revealed that 30% of students didn’t have these contents covered by insurance, so 30% x £4,940,592,667 = £1,482,177,800 worth of uninsured items. A further 13% didn’t know if they were covered or not; if they weren’t then a total of 43% of students wouldn’t have cover, so 43% x £4,940,592,667 = £2,124,454,847 worth would be uninsured.


Sainsbury’s Bank:

To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury’s Bank online media centre at


Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times. Our products consistently top best buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

In 2013, the Bank has been awarded ‘Personal Loan Provider of the Year’ – Consumer Moneyfacts, ‘Best Loan Provider’ – Money Supermarket Supers and ‘Best Credit Card for Rewards’ – Moneynet.

Sainsbury’s Bank has its own banking licence, is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514), except for Credit Cards and Loans where it is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) license no. 421897. The Bank has an independent membership to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.


Direct Line Group plc

U K Insurance Limited is the underwriter of Sainsbury’s Bank home insurance and Sainsbury’s Bank car insurance and are part of the Direct Line Group PLC. Direct Line Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well-known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and Tracker stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.

UK Insurance is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

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