Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Just over a quarter (28 per cent) of students either lose or have valuables stolen while in higher education with almost half (45 per cent) not knowing whether they have adequate insurance to cover their lose, according to research by home insurance provider,

Furthermore, one in six (17 per cent) students have been a victim of theft at some point during their years in higher education. Almost half (47 per cent) of student victims of theft lose more than £150 worth of items; however, a quarter (26%) exceed £500 in stolen items (e.g. having lost mobile phones and laptops) – averaging £378 per student whilst in higher education.

Thefts consist of many forms of technology and other personal belongings such as bikes and musical instruments, however the top five commonly stolen items are:

 Position  Valuables Percentage of items stolen whilst in higher education
1 Mobile Phone 48 per cent
2 Wallet 26 per cent
3 Laptop 21 per cent
4 Bike 13 per cent
5 TV 9 per cent

James Barclay, home insurance underwriting manager at, commented: “With the academic year beginning, these figures are a timely reminder that students are particularly vulnerable to theft.

“Not only is there a physical and emotional effect attached to such crimes, but significant amounts of money can be lost as well. Going to university is often a young person’s first step into the adult world so being aware of the threat in both private and public locations, and ensuring that you have sufficient insurance to protect against theft is vital.”

The most common location for students to experience thefts, perhaps unsurprisingly, is pubs and clubs (36 per cent of those who experienced theft) followed by private accommodation (24 per cent) and halls of residence (16 per cent), which make up the top three. Ten per cent of victims had items stolen on public transport and eight per cent in the library.

Not only frequent victims of theft, students are prone to losing valuables too, with one in six (17per cent)losing an average of £216 whilst in higher education. Two thirds (67 per cent) of items lost were mobile phones.

Despite the volume of theft and loss each year by students, almost half (45 per cent) of those who had items lost or stolen were not aware of whether they had a home insurance in place to cover their stolen/lost items whilst in higher education. One in ten (9 per cent) students assumed that their parents’ home insurance would cover them - even though this is almost never an automatic process – while only a third (36 per cent) were aware of whether they were adequately covered by home insurance.

James Barclay continued, “The findings should serve as a reminder to students about the threat of theft, whether they’re in their halls or studying in the library. It’s also important for parents to share this responsibility as, invariably, students can suffer financially and emotionally.

“In the excitement and commotion of sending a child to university, insurance can often be forgotten but it’s not a case of simply picking a policy as there are some important factors to consider. There are policies out there which are labelled exclusively as student cover, however, some insurers, such as, offer it as an add on to parents’ existing home insurance.”


Notes to Editors

Based on an online survey of 510 UK students/adults who have graduated within last 2 years (aged 18+) Carried out by Opinium Research.

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About swiftcover: was born out of a desire to revolutionise the general insurance market by making insurance quick and easy to use. offers car and home insurance. As an online only brand, they save on overheads which allows any cost savings to go straight back to customers through value for money insurance cover.'s revolutionary approach to the insurance market has resulted in some prestigious awards, including the award for 'Best Value for Money Car Insurer' which was won in 2012.

This powerful operating model combined with successful marketing and competitive pricing has proven to be a tremendous success. is a trading name of AXA Insurance UK Plc which forms part of the AXA Group.

About AXA

AXA UK is a part of the AXA Group. The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 163,000 employees serving 101 million clients in 57 countries. In 2011, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 86.1 billion and IFRS Underlying Earnings to Euro 3.9 billion. AXA had Euro 1,065 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2011.

In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth; AXA Commercial Lines, AXA Personal Lines, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 12,000 staff in the UK.

The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.

The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD, and is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance.

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