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With Christmas coming, presents might be wrapped, but are they covered?

09 December 2013

With shoppers expected to pay out a collective £40bn on retail shopping throughout December*, Gocompare.com is urging people to check that they’re covered for their extra valuables this Christmas.

Out of the 315 contents insurance policies reviewed by Gocompare.com, nine out of 10 (86%)** offer additional cover over the Christmas period, with some insurers increasing the value of their cover by 10%.  However, not all policies add this cover automatically, making it important for people to check with their insurer that they’re not missing out on protection they may be entitled to.

Many of us will be expecting visits from family and friends this winter, so with more people around the home, and the potential of a few drinks involved, accidental damage cover might come in handy.

Gocompare.com found that while 98% of contents insurance policies have the option of accidental damage cover, only 15% offer it as standard, so it’s worth checking that you’re covered. Adding cover for accidental damage can cost as little as 9p*** a day for a contents only policy and could help to make sure any holiday mishaps won’t completely ruin your Christmas spirit.

It’s not just gifts that we’re splashing out on. The UK is also ready to fork out an estimated £19bn on food during the festive period****. For those looking to really indulge this Christmas, it might be worth checking whether their insurance policy provides freezer cover, which can help foot the bill for replacing food that has be ruined by a freezer malfunction.

In a comparison of 315 contents insurance policies, Gocompare.com found that 97% of policies offered freezer cover, with the vast majority (88%) providing this as standard. More than half (65%) of insurance policies offer more than £1,000 of cover the contents of your freezer, with one in four (24%) willing to pay between £300-£999 for food that is ruined.

Ben Wilson, home insurance expert at Gocompare.com said: “The value of our contents usually goes up over Christmas as we store presents or buy extra food and drink for the holidays.  Most policies will factor this in and provide some sort of increased cover over the Christmas period and, in many cases, this cover is added automatically. However, policies do vary, and some will require you to contact your insurer to inform them that you would like this additional cover, so it’s always worth checking the terms of your policy first and not assuming that your gifts will be protected.

“Although some policies will offer a temporary increase on your contents insurance for gifts, remember that your single item limit may still apply. A single item limit is the maximum that your insurer will pay out for an individual item, so if you’re planning on really treating somebody this Christmas or are lucky enough to receive something particularly expensive, such as jewellery or electrical equipment, then you might want to give your insurer a call to make sure that it’s covered.

“Even if you’re not celebrating Christmas, most insurers will offer a temporary increase in cover for a set amount of religious holidays and other special occasions per year, so it’s worth checking that you’re not missing out. Likewise, cover for accidental damage and for food in your freezer will ensure you are protected all year round, not just for Christmas.”


Notes to editors:

*Source; PatelMiller retail forecast as featured in the Financial Times, available online at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/df916e06-329e-11e3-b3a7-00144feab7de.html#axzz2lec3R4sQ

**Source: Defaqto Matrix of 315 contents insurance policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial research company Defaqto. Correct as of 26th November 2013

***Based on an example profile of a 4 bedroom detached house in Cardiff. The average of the top ten cheapest quotes returned for an annual contents insurance policy without accidental damage cover was £65.06. With cover for accidental damaged the average of the top ten cheapest quotes retuned was £96.87, a £31.81 difference. £31.81 divided by 365 (days in a year) equals 9p.

**** Source; The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) available at; http://www.igd.com/Media/IGD-news-and-press-releases/Food-and-drink-Christmas-spending-to-hit-19bn/