Full-time Students In Higher Education Have As Much As £4.3 Billion Of Belongings Away From The Home

25 September 2014


This press release is information for journalists only and is not intended to be an advert to be acted upon by consumers.

Analysis(2) by Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance indicates that the average student has belongings worth more than £2,500 in their accommodation. Around 80% of students own smartphones, nearly one in three (32%) own an iPad or tablet and some 65% have an MP3 player.  Collectively, the supermarket bank believes that the UK’s population of students in full-time higher education has around £4.3 billion of possessions in their accommodation  and that around £1.29bn could be uninsured(1).

Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance research(2) reveals that 30% of full-time students in higher education say their possessions aren’t covered  by home contents insurance and 13% don’t know if they are insured or not(2).  With student income falling by around 14% (5), the supermarket bank is concerned that as students look to cut costs, they may consider sacrificing contents insurance.

Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance provides cover for students’  belongings away from the family home, under their parents’ contents insurance as a standard part of its cover(3), something only around two thirds (69%)(6) of policies on the market provide. It is encouraging students and their parents to make sure their possessions are adequately protected while at university. Only 14% of students believe that their belongings are covered by their parents’ home insurance policies(2).

Tom Thomson of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance said: “For many students, juggling finances while away from the home is just one more life lesson, often made easier with lap tops, tablets and smart phones. However with around 30% of students’ possessions uninsured(2), we’d urge them to protect their belongings.”

“It is likely that students already own some of their higher value items before heading off to university; and while not everything needed for student life has a high monetary value, all the little things add up.”

According to Sainsbury’s, the most popular items bought by students ahead of their move to student accommodation in 2013 included: coat hangers; single bowl, mug and plate sets; clothes airers; extension leads; A4 paper ; towels; kettles and toasters followed by duvets, pillows and mattress protectors.

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(3).

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

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


 For further information, please contact:

Phil Anderson, Citigate Dewe Rogerson: 020 7282 1031

Lorna Gilmour, Sainsbury’s Bank: 0131 338 2863

 Notes to editors:

(1)   There were 1.68 million students in full-time higher education in the UK in the 2012/13 academic year (latest available figures supplied by HESA). The YouthSight research (2) revealed the average student keeps £2,562.36 in their student accommodation. £2,562.36 x 1.68 million = £4.3 billion worth of possessions. The research revealed that 30% of students didn’t have these contents covered by insurance, so 30% x £4.3 billion equals £1.29 billion worth of uninsured items.

(2)   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.



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











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

(4)   According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency there are 1.68 million full-time students in higher education in the UK.  The Home Office says that one in three students becomes the victim of a crime each year.  33% of 1.68 million students is 554,400 students.

(5)   Department for Business Innovation and Skills – Student Income and Expenditure Survey 2011/12 (published June 2013)

(6)   Source: Defaqto report commissioned for Sainsbury’s Bank, 13.02.14

Sainsbury’s Bank

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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.

Sainsbury’s Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514). Sainsbury’s Bank is a member of 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.

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

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