Want to avoid being bankrupt at 19? Insurance is important when you're flatting, especially a personal liability cover. That's the kind that will come in handy if your dodgy flatmate burns the house down then skips town - without personal liability insurance, you might have to pay the bill on your own. Got a spare $500,000 lying around? No?
Then read on...

Ring around to find out what the best deal will be for you, as it depends a lot on your individual needs. Most insurance companies have a default starting coverage of $20,000 worth of contents. Chances are, you don't own twenty grand worth of stuff, so be sure to ask whether they have a lower package available. Some do $10,000 if you ask or even less these days, which is more realistic and will cost you less in premiums.

When getting quotes, they'll need to know:
- How much all your stuff is worth (approx)
- Details about your flat like:
- Where it is
- Who you'll be living with
- What it's made of (seriously, they ask! Wood, brick, concrete...)
- Security - is there an alarm? Locks on bedroom doors?

Here are some key questions to ask them:
- I own $XXXX worth of stuff. Do you have a package that would suit me?
- How much personal liability is included?
- Am I covered if one of my flatmates steals my stuff? (Often the answer is NO).
- How much are the premiums and excess? Is there extra excess for theft or burglary? (Sometimes this is hundreds more).
- Is my stuff covered when it's not at the flat? Like when I take my laptop to uni or home for the holidays? (Often it's not!)
- What kind of replacement policy do they have? If the worst happens, will you get stuck with second hand stuff or will you get to buy new things?
- Your bicycle or your glasses might be covered, ask if it is, it might not cost more.

This table is a very rough (early 2012) guide showing prices and conditions of a few key providers. Your quotes will depend on your circumstances and insurance companies may have changed their policies since the time of printing. These amounts were for a student in a 4 person flat in North Dunedin with $10,000 worth of stuff.

Please note we are updating this data as it is a little bit old (over the next few weeks, it will be up to date by the time Ori starts)

  Personal Liability Annual Premium Excess Burglary and Theft Excess What will they pay?
AMI 1 Million 240 200 $350 Market Value only
State 1 Million 304 250 No extra Market Value only
Tower 1 Million 183 200 No extra Market Value for most things
AA 1 Million 175 200 No extra 'New for Old' on everything
BNZ 1 Million 321 250 No extra Varies
Westpac 2 Million 270 250 No extra Market Value only
National Bank 1 Million 390 250 No extra Market Value only

Our favourite quote was from AA Insurance (same as last year) because their premiums are pretty awesome, they don't charge extra if you get robbed and they'll hook you up with new stuff for pretty much everything. They also cover some things that are with you when you're not at the flat.