Are your possessions insured when you’re away from home?

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Many people mistakenly assume when they take out home cover their possessions are covered both when they’re at home and away.Jewellery

They also make the assumption that no matter what the item, and its value, it will also be covered indoors and out while at the property.

Don’t get caught out

However, this isn’t necessarily the case. While many policies include ‘away from home’ protection, not all do, and certainly not all the things you take with you, such as bicycles and laptops, will definitely be covered.

From hi-tech gear such as tablets and laptops, to jewellery, watches and cameras, the valuables you take with you when you leave your house can be worth thousands of pounds.

Are you covered?

‘Away from home’ cover is, of course, designed to protect you from the financial loss that would occur if such items were stolen, lost or potentially damaged.

But not all policies offer it as standard. So if you want such cover included, always check the small print and/or double check with your insurer directly.

You may have to request it as an ‘add-on’, which could mean your premiums increase a little.

What’s not included

With such cover, it’s likely that a number of common items will be listed as ‘exclusions’ (i.e. you can’t claim for them), unless you pay extra.

Some items are considered so easily stolen, lost or damaged, or are of such high value that you will either have to indicate that you own them so an insurer can adjust your premiums accordingly, or have them insured completely separately.

Additionally, there will be circumstances which may also mean you’re excluded from claiming, such as if you leave items unattended in an open car.

Item exclusions might include:

  • Bicycles
  • Camping equipment
  • Expensive jewellery
  • Any possessions exceeding a certain value (your maximum claim limit per item)
  • Pets and other animals
  • DIY tools
  • Anything related to a business
  • Items that have been left in an unlocked car or on plain view within a car
  • Items left unattended in a public place

Key away from home cover tips:

  • Ask the insurer what your claim limit per item is (not just the total claim limit)
  • If you’re a cyclist, check if there’s a separate claim limit for bicycles
  • Some standard policies will only cover items worth a minimum amount (such as £250); smaller value items can be considered too insignificant for the owner to look after them with enough care.
  • Find out if you’re policy covers you when you’re abroad.

Do you need away from home cover?

This very much depends on the individual. If you’re the sort of person who carries around a lot of valuable items, you might certainly want to consider it.

Others might have away from home cover through a specific type of credit card they use, or bank account, and therefore don’t need to have it included in their home cover policy.

Whatever your circumstances, it’s always best to double check with your insurer to see if you’re possessions are protected while you’re out and about, and to read the small print carefully for exclusions and claim limits.

Policy Expert

We’re dedicated to helping customers find the insurance policy that’s right for them. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them, at the right price. For more information speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email ask@policyexpert.co.uk

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.