Festival time: Fun without the insurance pitfalls

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The start of summer means the start of festival season. The promise of big name bands, flowing beer, leaky tents and the customary wellies will draw thousands of us to music festivals every year. Unfortunately, festivals can also make a perfect operating ground for thieves, as personal security is often lax.iStock_000002053633XSmall

If you’re heading off to a festival, here are a few simple considerations to bear in mind.

● Try to limit the amount of expensive items you take with you. If you can manage without your iPad, for example, don’t take it. If you must, try to keep valuables hidden out of site.

● If you do have valuables, some festivals provide secure lockers where you can store your possessions while you enjoy the festival. There will often be a fee to use them.

● Limit the amount of cash you carry around with you. Don’t take a big wad of notes with you on the first day. Many of the large festivals provide cash points – although some may have a charge to use them

● If you do find that items have been stolen, report it to the police as soon as possible. They will give you a crime reference number which you must keep safe. You will need this if you claim on your insurance.

● Check your home insurance policy (or your parents’). A regular policy will probably not cover items when they are taken outside the home. However, it’s usually possible to add personal belongings cover (this could include camping gear, but you must check).

● Most insurance providers will also let you cover single items separately (up to a maximum value).

● One valuable item that you’ll probably want to take with you is your mobile phone. How else will you find everyone in that sea of people? If you are taking a mobile, particularly if it’s an expensive model, make sure it’s insured. It may work out cheaper to add this cover onto your home contents insurance, rather than take out a specific mobile phone insurance policy.

● If you’re going to a festival abroad, make sure you have adequate travel cover in place. This can help cover you financially if you get ill or injured abroad, if you lose your possessions, have items stolen or even suffer cancelled flights. Always check your policy details carefully so you know what you’re covered for.

● Lastly, have a great time – but remember to be vigilant. Keep a close eye on your possessions as pick-pocketing can be rife in large crowds.

Policy Expert

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