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Burglars busiest during university o’week: State Insurance data

17 February 2022

Orientation week is the busiest week of the year for student related insurance claims, State Insurance can reveal.

New claims data shows a significant spike of 26.9%* in burglary and theft claims during orientation week/s.

The top target for burglars during orientation week/s is bikes, at 22.7% of claims, followed by phones (16%) and laptops (10.7%).

Auckland, with the University of Auckland and AUT, tops the list for the highest number of burglary/theft related claims in orientation week/s, closely followed by Christchurch’s University of Canterbury and Victoria University of Wellington. 

As we head into a new academic year, with students flocking back to campuses across the country, State’s Executive General Manager Claims, Wayne Tippet says the data shows the importance of being aware of personal possessions during the buzz and excitement of orientation.

“O’week is one of the best weeks of the year for university students, but unfortunately, there is a clear spike in theft related claims during those two weeks. We’re here to help support students if they need to make a claim, but we’d also encourage students to lock things up and be aware, so they can hopefully avoid the inconvenience and distress of losing a special item.”

With State Insurance, students are likely to be covered by their parents’ contents policy, whether they’re living at home, in a tertiary facility or a private residence. “Students may be covered already if their parents have contents insurance with State, but we’d recommend people check their policies to be sure, and if they have a particularly special item, to make sure that’s specified on the policy,” says Mr Tippet.

Busiest time for claims by university students:

  • Insurance claims rise by 26.9% in weeks 8-9 of the year (orientation weeks), in university areas.

Top claims made by university students during orientation week/s:

  • Theft and burglary claims are the top claims made during o’week/s.
  • For the past three years, the top theft and burglary claims during o’week relate to:
    • Bikes:22.7% of claims
    • Phones: 16% of claims
    • Laptops: 10.7% of claims  
  • Bicycle theft has been trending upwards for the last three years during o’week/s.
  • Lost/accidental damage is the second most common claim type within close proximity to a university.

Top universities for claims:

  • Auckland University & AUT – 26.5%
  • University of Canterbury – 24.3%
  • Victoria University of Wellington – 21%
  • University of Otago – 10.8%
  • University of Waikato – 10%
  • Massey University – 3.7%
  • Lincoln University – 3.6%

State Insurance’s top tips for keeping your possessions safe:

  • For bicycles, use a strong chain and lock or purpose-built bike security device.
  • If you store your bike in a shed or garage, make sure it’s locked.
  • Don’t leave your bike propped up on the front porch.
  • Keep a record of your bike’s frame number.
  • For all items, keep relevant receipts, warranties, valuations and serial numbers in a safe place.
  • Always lock things away, and don’t leave bags or other items unattended.
  • At home, keep doors, windows and side gates locked, and items out of sight.

*According to data analysed from contents claims across all IAG brands between 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2021.  “Bikes” includes all types of bicycles and scooters.

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