Students warned to check home insurance as thieves target shared houses

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By Scott Francis

STUDENTS HAVE warned that getting insurance is a must in the run up to Christmas after their house was burgled.

A house of four students on Ash View, Headingley, were left devastated when their house was burgled and they realised they did not have insurance.

Items including jewellery, laptops and games consoles totalling around £3,000 were stolen.

Bronagh Hood, a 20-year-old media and marketing student from London said: “We didn’t have any insurance so it was a nightmare getting all our stuff back.

“The police warned us that dates around Halloween and Christmas are the biggest target days as burglars know most people will be out, it’s definitely worth paying a bit extra to protect your valuables.

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The student house in Headingley after the burglary

“I think it was the excitement of moving into a new house that meant we didn’t get insurance.”

On average students will take £3,500 worth of possessions with them to university according to Endsleigh insurance making them a prime target for burglars.

Josh Bennett, a 20-year-old media student from Manchester, who also lives in the house said: “My message to other students is to make sure your house is completely secure especially with going home for Christmas.

“To come into the house after it had been burgled hit me strongly, as someone I didn’t know came in and took everything, went through everything and in a sense got to know me without actually knowing me, made me feel quite worthless.”

The latest figures from the National Union of Students show that one in five students will be a victim of theft during their time at university.

Sarah Cordey, a spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers said: “Figures show that students are more likely to be targeted, and a lot of students own valuable kit these days.

“With the excitement of going to university it is easy to overlook sensible measures to protect yourself, our concern is that a lot of students do not take out insurance.”

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at Moneysupermarket added: “The incidents of high theft suffered by students means they should take getting insurance more seriously.

“Thieves often target students because they know they tend to have a lot of high-tech equipment, such as tablets, laptops and phones, and they know security will be relatively lax.

“If you need to start from scratch, check out what insurance is available online, and also see if your student union has any advice. You need cover for your belongings in your hall or digs, and while you’re out and about if you are taking your laptop or mobile with you.”

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