Home News Study tech pushes the cost of student bedroom contents to £1,733 in 2021
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Study tech pushes the cost of student bedroom contents to £1,733 in 2021

by jcp
  • Students now spend £457 on average on new tech for university
  • 83% of students bought new gadgets for the new 2021 term versus 48% of students in 1991
  • Whilst 45% have had items damaged, lost or stolen only 23% have adequate insurance

As universities and colleges across the UK welcome learners back this Autumn, new research from Halifax shows that the cost of contents in the average UK student bedroom is £1,733.

83% of students have splashed out an average of £457 on new technology for studying this term on top of gadgets that they already own. 30 years ago, the average tech spend for the new term was only £187.

A survey of learners from 1991 revealed that over half (51%) bought no technology whatsoever ahead of starting their university or college course that year.

The shopping list of ‘must have’ gadgets on campus for 2021 vs 1991 varies considerably:


2021 1991
  1. Mobile phone (86%)
1. TV (56%)
  1. Laptop (85%)
2. Home stereo system or Hi-Fi (34%)
  1. Earphones (75%)
3. Desktop computer (30%)


Despite the increased expense of being a student in 2021, whether choosing to stay at home or move to university accommodation, only 23% have insurance to adequately cover all their belongings.

Parents of those who choose to stay at home may believe that their child’s items are safer but it’s important to check that prized possessions are covered when students are commuting too.

On the move

From lecture halls and libraries to visiting friends and family at home, students are always on the move and estimate they’ll work from four different locations in an average week.

In addition to this, gadgets and gizmos will ride public transport on average 14 times a week with students frequently taking the bus (63%), the train (41%) and an underground (24%).

Accidents can and do happen

Nearly half of the current UK student population (45%) has had a laptop or mobile phone stolen, lost or damaged at some point – with 16% saying it happened at college/university, 15% on a night out and 14% on public transport.

And whilst 85% are planning to take a laptop to university or college, just 47% of this group are taking a case to protect it from accidental damage.

Tim Downes, Senior Claims Manager at Halifax Home Insurance said:

“Heading off to university or college is a fun and exciting time for students and in many cases, it can also be a first foray into ‘adult-life’ and the responsibilities that come with it.

“With most universities taking a hybrid approach to learning, students are more likely to have bought new tech, and be carrying it with them between campus buildings and when commuting. As such, it’s essential that the right cover is in place to protect these valuable items when on the move and in residential areas.”

Halifax Home Insurance ‘back to school’ checklist:  

  • What counts as contents? – Contents are considered as those items moved from the family home to your term-time accommodation and almost anything else that a student carries on their person between lectures or on the commute, including any tech. For those staying at home, it’s still important to check that items are covered under existing policies.
  • Quick maths – While you might think that your son or daughter has packed lightly, it’s important to have an awareness of the total value of items that they are taking to university or college that are to be covered on your insurance. This is particularly key for any new and costly possessions such as a laptop or those new wireless earphones.
  • The devil is in the detail – When completing checklists for insurance it really is worthwhile recording as much detail as you can and updating the list each time your child purchases something of value. To help with proof of ownership you need to remember to keep receipts, corresponding documents and potentially photographs and videos of items.
  • On the go – Research add-ons such as ‘Anywhere Cover’ to improve your levels of protection. This is useful if you wish to insure specific items when they are being used our and about or during your child’s commute.
  • Sharing is caring – Keeping items such as televisions and games consoles in communal spaces will definitely win your new housemates over but it does put them at greater risk of accidental damage. If you do decide to do this, make sure the relevant items are declared on your insurance. Alternatively, if you have chipped in with a few friends on new shared purchases for your flat, it’s worth agreeing who is covering what on their policy.

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