New research shows life for a student's electronic device is short and likely to come to a grisly end.

Insurer AMP commissioned the student-targeted research in response to knowing smart phones are notoriously likely to be dropped, lost or stolen, and the results made for stark reading.

More than 200 students aged between 18 and 21 were asked about their laptops and smartphones and found many had lost or damaged their devices — at times in ignominious circumstances.

One in three had accidentally dropped their phone in the toilet and one in six had lost their phones at concerts. One in seven reported having had their phone stolen while on a night out.

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Laptops fared no better, with one in three students reporting they had spilled a drink on the machine.

And the fallout was more serious than missing the latest Snapchat or Instagram post — three out of five students surveyed said they had damaged, broken or lost a device that was critical to their studies.

AMP product and marketing general manager Jeff Ruscoe said they wanted to find out how much students' devices were at risk.

"We found three significant things. First, their devices are critical to their study. Second, their devices are often the most valuable things they own. And third, the risk of losing them is shockingly high."

Half of those surveyed said it was a necessity to insure their devices, but price was an issue, Ruscoe said.

"Eight out of ten students would consider insuring their device, but only if it was affordable."

Expensive items with high risk factors usually meant high premiums, so the company had launched Student Everyday Insure in response to the findings, he said.

The survey was done by Buzz Channel, AMP's online survey platform provider.

Buzz Channel has its own panel of New Zealanders who have agreed to be contacted for surveys.