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Personal possessions cover outside the home

Personal possessions cover on your home insurance protects your gadgets, jewellery, bicycles, clothing, cash, keys and more when you're away from home.

alice morgan
Alice Morgan
Updated 24 September 2020  | 4 min read

What's personal possessions insurance?

Personal possessions cover protects your belongings against theft, loss and accidental damage when you take them outside the home. You'll sometimes hear it called away from home cover.

It includes cover for things like:

  • Phones
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Cameras
  • Jewellery
  • Bicycles
  • Keys
  • Wallets and purses

It's sometimes included as standard on your house insurance policy, but more often it has to be added as an optional extra at additional cost.

Any items over £1,000 should be listed separately on your policy.

Key points

  • When you buy home insurance, you can choose whether you want cover for possessions away from home
  • Bicycles, laptops and any items worth over £1,000 need to be individually listed
  • It's usually an optional extra and not included as standard on policies

Do I need away from home cover?

It’s up to you. But it’s not uncommon to lose an item or to have it stolen while you’re out and about.

ONS figures suggest there were 367,000 attempted or successful thefts from a person between April 2019 and March 2020.

If you’re mainly worried about high value items, remember you’ll need to list these separately if they’re worth more than £1,000.

Are my possessions covered abroad?

Some insurers will cover your personal possessions abroad. But there’s usually a limit on how many days’ worth of cover you’ll have. Between 30 and 60 days is common.

It’s worth looking into travel insurance, or specific cover like jewellery or gadget insurance, if you’re travelling for longer periods of time.

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Typical cover exclusions to watch out for

Bicycles

With bikes, you usually need to declare these separately if you want them to be covered away from home.

If you just want cover at home for your bike, and it’s worth less than the £1,000, you can add it’s value to your standard bit of contents cover.

Even with cover away from home, you’ll need to be careful with your bike. Most insurers will expect you to protect your bike from loss or theft. For example, requiring you to lock your bike to an immovable object. Or within a locked building if unattended.

If you don’t, it’s unlikely your insurer will pay out if it gets stolen.

Cash

Most policies will offer some cover for cash. But there’s always a limit to the sum. And it can be pretty low, usually around £500.

Items over a certain value

For personal possessions cover, anything worth more than £1,000 needs to be specified. Otherwise it won’t be covered. You can still ask for cover away from home for items worth more than £1,000. But if they aren’t listed separately on your policy, they won’t be covered.

Wear and tear

If something you own is just showing signs of age, don’t expect to have it refreshed by your home insurance. Some items won’t be covered because they tend to wear quickly too, like sports equipment.

Other common exclusions from personal possessions insurance include:

  • Possessions that are left unattended
  • Pets or other animals
  • Tools
  • Any business-related possessions
  • Camping equipment
  • Goods left in an unlocked car, or left in plain view in a locked vehicle
  • Items that you’ve lent to a friend or family member
You might already have personal possessions cover through your bank account, credit card or travel insurance

Are my possessions covered if they’re with someone else?

So long as someone lives in your household, if they take an item out the house, it’s covered.

If something you own isn’t with a family member, say it’s out for repair or being stored securely in a workplace, sometimes insurers will cover you.

You’ll need to check policy documents, but you often have cover for personal possessions if they’re being temporarily moved – if you move house, for example.

Are there any other options for cover away from home?

You might already have personal possessions cover through your bank account, credit card or travel insurance.

Check the terms carefully to see whether they offer the right amount of cover for you.

A dedicated gadget insurance policy might also suit you better for things like your phone, tablet or laptop.

Avoid doubling up on insurance as this can complicate claims.


Making a claim

To claim on your personal possessions cover, give your insurer a call and let them know what has happened.

Give them as much information as possible and gather as much evidence as you can - that’s receipts for items and photos of any damage caused.

You’ll need to have your policy number to hand and be prepared to pay your excess too.

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How do I get away from home cover?

We’ll ask you if you want personal possessions cover when you’re getting quotes with us. We’ll also ask you if you have any items worth more than £1,000 that you want cover for. And whether you want to cover those items away from home or not.

If you already have home insurance, you can ask your insurer to add it for you. Expect to pay for the cover and for making changes to your policy.

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