Home contents insurance covers your personal belongings from damage, loss and theft inside your home but what if something happens to those items when you take them outside of your home? Personal possessions insurance is a policy that can protect your personal belongings when you leave the house with them.
In this guide:
- What is possessions insurance?
- What is covered?
- What is not covered?
- Things to consider
- Making a claim
Personal possessions insurance (also called gadget insurance) is a policy that protects your belongings from loss, theft or accidental damage when they are out of your home. When you buy home insurance, possessions insurance is usually an optional extra that is not included as standard.
We carry a lot of important things with us when we leave the house, such as mobile phones, wallets, laptops and keys, and a personal possessions insurance policy can ensure that you are financially covered for the loss, theft or damage of these items if it occurs outside of your home.
The items covered by possessions insurance will vary depending on the policy you choose. It’s also important to note that some policies will require you to individually list any particularly expensive items (usually items over £1000) such as bicycles and laptops. Personal possessions policies usually include cover for:
- Mobile phones
- Laptops and tablets
- Wallets, purses, handbags and backpacks
- Cash (up to a set limit)
- Sports equipment
- Musical instruments
If you regularly have expensive items on your person when you leave the house it may be worth considering possessions insurance as it can give you better value for money and more flexibility than contents insurance.
Exclusions to personal possessions insurance policies include:
- Valuable items – often if items are worth more than £1000, they will need to be listed separately.
- Business-related items – for example, a company laptop or mobile, or builder’s tools.
- Unattended possessions – if you leave anything unattended in a public place. This also includes camping and sports equipment.
- Items on public display – if you leave possessions in an unlocked vehicle, or in plain view in a locked vehicle.
- Pets or other animals.
- Wear and tear – damage to items through general use, weather, or pests.
- Items in someone else’s possession – if your items are with a friend or family member.
It’s always best to check your policy documents or ask your home insurance provider to give you the details of your policy so you know how well you are covered.
Certain possessions may already be covered through your bank, travel insurance or retailer’s warranty so make sure you check beforehand in order to avoid being over-insured. If you double up on insurance, it can cause difficulty when making a claim and you’ll be paying more than you should be.
If you, or a member of your family covered by your policy, are living in student accommodation then make sure you check your possessions insurance policy covers you. Contents insurance for students may be included, but often it’s an optional extra required an additional cost.
When claiming on your possessions insurance, make sure you call your insurance provider as soon as you can. Give them as many details about what has happened as possible and gather plenty of evidence. For example, it helps to have receipts for items and photos of the damage caused. If possessions are stolen, you’ll need a crime reference number from the police.