7th September 2016

Students Ignoring the Perils of ID Theft from Stolen Phones and Laptops

  • Nearly 1 in 5 students have been a victim of ID theft
  • Freshers will take £3,375 worth of possessions to university this year

6 SEPTEMBER, 2016. New findings from Endsleigh’s 2016 Student Survey - a study of over 4,300 students and parents - indicates that university students are more concerned about the cost of replacing lost phones or laptops than the risk of ID theft as a consequence of the loss. This is despite nearly a fifth (17%) of students stating they have been a victim of ID theft themselves.

If they lost their laptop, only one in ten (10%) students would be concerned about ID theft as a consequence - a third (33%) would be most concerned about the cost of replacing it. And when it comes to losing a mobile phone, only 15% of students worry about the risk of ID theft but almost a third (29%) said the cost of replacing it would be their main concern.

Two thirds (40%) of the students surveyed on behalf of Endsleigh admitted they have concerns about security whilst at university and theft is a reality for many. Of those who are victims of theft, two in five (43%) students had their phone stolen whilst they were out and about, and almost a quarter (23%) have had their laptops stolen on campus.

Many parents will know from experience that students take a healthy haul of gadgets to university nowadays. Endsleigh’s study indicates that the average university student today owns £3,375 worth of possessions; and the cost of a Fresher’s gadgets alone (phone, laptop, printer etc) are worth £903.40.

The majority (68%) of students surveyed by The NUS Insight Team said the possession they couldn’t live without during Fresher’s Week is their smartphone; while only 17% said laptop.

The student insurance provider, founded by NUS over 50 years ago, is urging students and parents to take steps to keep their possessions safe, and offers five practical tips to keep student possessions safe:

1. Lock your windows and doors - Make sure you lock your windows and doors when you’re not in your room. It may seem like common sense, but it can often be easy to forget, especially if you’re trying to make friends with an ‘open-door’ policy. Keeping your door unlocked whilst you were out, could also invalidate any claim you make.

2. Get insurance - In the event that your gadgets or possessions get stolen or lost, it can have a big impact on your time at uni. Make sure you have the right level of cover to protect your possessions and gadgets.

3. Keep valuables locked and out of sight - When you are away from your accommodation, always hide your valuable items away from view; and when it’s practical, lock devices. Laptops come equipped with a small hole with which you can affix a ‘Kensington Lock’, securing the device to a cable anchored in your room.

4. Bike safety - Invest in a good quality lock. Try and find one with either a ‘Solid Gold, Silver or Bronze’ rating as these will be the most secure. Securely lock your cycle to a fixed object, preferably a purpose built bicycle shed or stand, not a signpost or fence.

5. Back up your devices - You can replace your possessions, however it’s not so easy to replace irreplaceable photos and vital course work. It’s good practice to back up your laptop regularly.

Commenting on the findings, Sara Newell, Director of Student & Graduate Markets, Endsleigh, said:

“Deciding what to take from home to university can be daunting – favourite possessions along with the right kit can amount to a lot of stuff, worth a lot of money! It’s vital that students starting university feel safe in their accommodation, and secure in the knowledge that valuable items are protected. I encourage anyone who’s worried about security in their accommodation to speak to their university about their concerns.

“It’s important for students to take common-sense steps to protect their possessions, students relying on the family home policy may not have the right level of protection, and it’s worth considering standalone cover – tailored to meet their personal needs. Having peace of mind that possessions are covered leaves more space for studying and enjoying university life to the full.”

Other key findings

  • Almost one in five (18%) students said losing coursework was their biggest concern
  • When NUS asked students to reveal their most prized or sentimental possession, responses ranged from the traditional heirlooms, such as jewellery and toys, to the unusual including a 1940s architect standard pedestal desk, a tenor horn, a stuffed animal, a zodiac cross-stitch picture, grandfather's hunting whip, Harry Potter limited edition boxset, a coffee machine, vintage fender guitar, signed Aston Villa football
  • When asked about their biggest concern if they lost their phone, over a quarter (27%) of students surveyed by OnePoll said losing their photos; and almost a third (29%) said they relied on their insurance when their phone was stolen



These findings are the first wave of results from a study exploring students’ and parents’ expectations and motivations which Endsleigh will publish gradually during autumn 2016.

Endsleigh’s 2016 Student Survey comprises three separate quantitative surveys, totaling 4,372 parents and students. The study has been undertaken in collaboration with the NUS Insight Team and OnePoll:

From 10th June to 12th July 2016 the NUS Insight Team surveyed 1,872 students about their experiences, expectations and motivations.

From 1st to 20th July 2016 OnePoll surveyed 1,000 parents of undergraduate university students who lived away from home during their first year of university, about the students’ experiences, expectations and motivations.

From 20th June to 11th July OnePoll surveyed 1,500 undergraduate university students across the UK about a range of topics, including gadgets, possessions and security.

Source for £22,057 figure: Higher Education Statistics Agency 2015:


Students concerned about ID theft should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. For more information visit:  www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud_protection/identity_fraud  

About Endsleigh 

Founded in 1965, insurance provider Endsleigh specialises in the student, professional and education markets, with recent recognition from Moneywise as the winner of the Best Provider for Content Insurance Award. Endsleigh was created to serve the student market and is still the trusted brand for student insurance, and the only insurance provider recommended by NUS. Wholly owned by Zurich Insurance Group since 2007, today the company also offers a wide range of insurance products and solutions for both students, graduates and professionals, as well as being the preferred insurance supplier for a variety of trade unions and professional organisations. Products include motor, home and travel insurance as well as business insurance through Endsleigh’s Business team and financial advice through the Endsleigh Financial Advice team.  More information can be found: www.endsleigh.co.uk/personal/financial-advice/.

For further information, please contact:


James Deacon – FleishmanHillard Fishburn

0208 618 2978 | 07525-223-924 | james.deacon@fhflondon.co.uk


Nancy Baynes - FleishmanHillard Fishburn

0208 618 2846 | 07872 827 683 | nancy.baynes@fhflondon.co.uk


Rachel Veevers – Endsleigh Insurance  

01242 866 196 | 07841-781-917 | rachel.veevers@endsleigh.co.uk