Handbag insurance

If you have an expensive handbag, it’s worth making sure it’s covered. Find out how home insurance or specialist handbag insurance can help to protect your bag and its contents.

Eve Powell
Eve Powell
Updated 30 January 2023  | 5 mins read
Reviewed by Jasmine Hembury

Key points

  • Check your contents insurance to see whether your bag and contents are covered away from the home
  • If it’s not included as standard, you can usually buy cover for outside the home as an optional extra
  • Make sure the single item and maximum claim limits are enough to cover the value of your handbag
  • Specialist handbag insurance has a higher claim limit, but costs more than adding extra cover to your home insurance

Do I need handbag insurance?

If you’ve got expensive handbags or designer luggage, the right insurance can protect you financially if they were to get lost, stolen or damaged.

The items you carry around in your bag - like your purse, sunglasses, make-up, and smartphone - could also cost a lot if you had to replace them.

So getting cover for your personal possessions, or taking out standalone handbag insurance, can give you extra peace of mind when you’re out and about.

Does home insurance cover handbags?

Your handbag may be covered by your contents insurance policy, but it will depend on where it’s lost or stolen.

Most home insurance policies will cover your belongings while they’re inside the boundaries of your home.

But if you want protection for your bag when you take it out and about, or if you own a particularly valuable handbag, you may need to get extra cover.

What type of insurance do I need for my handbag?

This depends on the value of your handbag and its contents, and whether you plan to take it outside of your home.

Cover inside your home

If your handbag is stolen while it’s in your home or inside your property boundary, it’s likely to be covered by your contents insurance.

Out of 337 contents insurance policies on Defaqto, 87% cover your belongings in the open (outside but within your property’s boundaries) worth £500 or more and 75% would cover you if your bag and the contents were worth £1,000 or more.[1]

However, there’ll be a maximum limit on how much you can claim for a single item.

So, if your bag or any of its contents are particularly valuable, you may need to list these high-risk items separately on your policy. This allows you to claim their full value up to a limit of usually £20,000, but you’ll usually pay a higher premium for this.

If you don’t list your expensive items, they won’t be adequately covered and you won’t get their full value back if you make a claim.

Cover outside your home

Contents insurance doesn’t usually cover your items outside the home. But most insurers will let you buy personal possessions cover as an optional add-on to your policy.

This will protect the things you regularly carry with you for theft, loss and damage.

Items like your handbag, purse, wallet, mobile phone, tablet, sunglasses and jewellery can all be covered, but always check your policy to be sure.

Most policies will also cover your keys and money away from home as standard.

But cash and credit cards are sometimes specified separately under the 'personal money, credit and debits cards' section of your policy. 

Just like contents insurance, personal possessions cover will insure your items up to a certain limit - just make sure this is enough to cover the cost of your bag and its contents.

Standalone handbag cover

If your designer bag is very valuable, or you carry very expensive items around with you, another option to consider is standalone handbag insurance.

This specialist type of insurance will cover your handbag, or your entire collection of bags, and will also provide cover for taking them abroad.

What is the single article limit for insurance policies?

For most contents insurance policies, the single item limit is usually between £1,500 and £2,500 - this is the total amount you’re able to claim for one item.

However, this limit can vary between insurers so it’s worth checking.

If your handbag is worth more than the single item limit, you’ll need to list it separately on your policy for its full value to be covered.

How much will handbag insurance cost?

This can vary and depends on a number of factors, including how much your handbag is insured for and the type of cover you take out.

Listing your handbag separately on your contents insurance policy means you can claim for its full value up to a limit, but doing this usually increases your premiums.

If you add personal possessions cover to your policy, this will also increase what you pay.

Specialist handbag insurance can provide a much higher claim limit, but this is usually more expensive than listing your items separately on your contents insurance.

Is my handbag covered for accidental damage?

This depends on the cover you’ve taken out. Standard contents insurance is unlikely to include accidental damage cover as you’ll usually need to pay extra for this.

But if you take out standalone handbag insurance, or you extend your contents policy to include accidental damage, your bag will be covered for damage like torn leather, stains, or a broken strap or zipper.

Will my handbag be covered for wear and tear?

Unfortunately, even if your handbag is covered by your insurance, it won’t usually include cover for wear and tear.

Insurance policies are designed to provide protection for unexpected events, like theft, loss, or damage, not for the gradual ageing process that happens as you use your bag over time.

What should I consider before getting handbag insurance?

Before you take out cover for your handbag, consider and check:

  • The amount of cover you need - Check the value of your handbag, and the contents it usually contains, to work out how much cover you’re likely to require
  • If you’ve got existing personal possessions cover - Some contents insurance policies include this as standard, so your handbag may already be covered when it’s outside the home
  • The single item limit - Check whether this would cover the cost of your handbag and its contents if you had to replace them. You may need to list your bag separately
  • Accidental damage cover - You may want to protect your designer bags in case they get damaged. You’ll need to pay extra to add this cover to your policy
  • If cover applies abroad - Personal possessions insurance normally only provides cover for the UK. If you want to take your bag overseas, you’ll need worldwide cover
  • The policy exclusions - Check the small print on your policy to make sure you understand what will and won’t be covered
  • Proof of purchase - Be sure to keep all receipts and paperwork for your handbags and personal possessions, you might need this evidence to make a claim

Am I covered if my handbag is stolen from my car?

This depends. If you’ve taken out personal possessions cover as part of your contents insurance policy, your bag could be covered if it’s stolen from your car.

But you’ll need to be able to prove that you took appropriate security precautions. For example, you won’t be covered if you didn’t lock the car, or if you left your handbag clearly on display.

And if your home insurance doesn’t cover belongings in your car, check the details of your car insurance – certain policies will cover possessions up to a certain value if they’re stolen from your vehicle.

How can I keep my handbag safe when I take it out?

To avoid your bag being stolen when you’re out and about, make sure you don’t leave it unattended or out of sight.

Don’t hang it on the back of a chair, tuck it under a seat, or place it in a supermarket trolley while you shop.

Keep expensive items, like your purse and phone, zipped in internal pockets. And leave anything you’re unlikely to need at home.

In busy areas, it’s best to carry your bag across your body or in front. You could also consider attaching purse bells which alert you if someone is trying to take your purse from your bag.

What should you do if your handbag is stolen?

There are several steps you should take to report a handbag theft and make a claim:

  1. Report it to the police

    Your insurer and bank may ask for a crime reference number

  2. Contact your bank

    You’ll need to freeze or cancel any debit and credit cards

  3. List your bag’s contents

    Work out what items you’ll need to replace and claim for

  4. Report lost passports and driving licences

    You’ll need to contact gov.uk and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

  5. Change your locks

    If your house keys were in your bag, change your locks to reduce the risk of a burglary

  6. Tell your insurer

    Once you’ve listed everything you need to claim for from the handbag theft, contact your insurer

  7. Find receipts

    Paperwork that can prove your ownership and the items’ value will help with your claim

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[1]Last checked 9 December 2022