Andy’s laptop (Mc)Nabbed

A laptop thief may have made the biggest blunder of his career recently when he stole the computer of SAS hero Andy McNab.

The foolhardy criminal smashed the window of McNab’s Audi Q7 to reach the laptop but might have had second thoughts if he’d known its owner was renowned for tracking the most elusive and dangerous enemies across the world.

No doubt if the two were to meet face to face Andy would be well covered, and, given his 10 years in the elite SAS, getting the thief to cough up wouldn’t tale long.

Unfortunately his military credentials might not carry so much weight with his insurance company, who could put up tougher resistance. Home contents insurance deals are made up of so many different parts that assuming you’re covered under every circumstance can be a costly error.

MoneyExpert stresses that with so many different deals available it’s important to know exactly what’s covered, and when it’s covered, under your home contents insurance policy.

Home and away?

Pretty much all home contents insurance policies will cover possessions left in the car when the car is parked at home. But that doesn’t always extend to times when you’re at the shops or at work. Andy McNab had popped to the newsagent so might struggle to cover the loss of his laptop.

Most products offered by AXA insurance, and a handful of others, will pay out on a single item to the value of the total sum of contents insured. Other insurers’ standard policies can be more miserly. UIA insurance will only pay out up to £500 as standard.

Cash back?

Another area where policies differ a great deal is on paying out for cash lost or stolen in the home.

Quite a few policies, including the Lifestyle package from Heath Lambert, and Taylor Made from Saga pay out up to £2500, but many more will only cover cash in the home up to £300.

Homes alone

One little known condition tagged onto many home insurance policies is that you won’t be covered if your house is uninhabited for a considerable period. Figures from show that this condition applies to almost 95% of policies on the market.

The average amount of time your house can be left empty for is 60 days, but there are many policies which allow only 45 days, and some such as Countrywide who set the limit at 30 days – cutting things tight if you’re on an extended holiday.

Think twice

After purchasing your insurance you will be sent a document detailing the terms and conditions of your cover. It’s important then to spend time checking that everything you want covered (such as glassware), is on the policy.

If things aren’t up to scratch you’ll have a cooling off period in which you can cancel the policy. This period will normally last around 14 to 21 days, so you’ll need to act fairly swiftly. If you’re slightly unsure, steer clear of AUA Insurance, as they don’t have a cooling off period at all.

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