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Christmas shopping all wrapped up? Time to check if it’s insured

11 December 2017

Make sure your festive gifts are covered this Christmas and beyond

GoCompare is urging Christmas shoppers – particularly those planning to buy pricey tech items or pieces of jewellery - to spare a thought for insurance.  While most home contents policies automatically increase to cover the additional cost of festive gifts and food – this is only a temporary boost and items are only insured while they are in the home. 

Out of 458 home contents policies* reviewed by GoCompare, most (90%) automatically provide additional cover over Christmas for gifts and food and drink bought for the festivities.  Cover limits vary between insurers, with some increasing the value of cover by 10%.

However, this top-up cover is temporary - some policies only offer cover during December, while others provide protection one month before and one month after Christmas** - so people need to make sure that costly gifts are covered once the holidays are over.

Popular Christmas presents include tech, jewellery and bicycles, all items which, depending on your insurance, may be subject to restrictions, for example, limits on the value of a single item.  A single item limit is the maximum that your insurer will pay out for an individual item.   This is especially relevant for valuable items such as jewellery and watches where the single item limit can be as low as £750.  Cover for portable technology including mobile phones and laptops may also be restricted and, these may only be covered while in the home.

If you want to cover for portable items while out and about, you may need to buy additional ‘personal possessions away from home’ cover.  Few home contents policies (14%) automatically provide this, most (84%) only offer cover as an add-on, for which an additional fee is payable. 

Policy exclusions are another important consideration, certain items may only be insured as an optional extra – bicycles are a good example of this.  Only 61% of policies reviewed provide cover as standard for pedal cycles; 36% require you to buy additional cover while 2% exclude cover.  Again, you’ll need to make sure your policy includes personal possession away from home – otherwise your bike will only be insured while it is at your home.

Ben Wilson, from GoCompare Home Insurance commented: “It is great that most policies provide additional cover at Christmas, but it is only temporary and it’s important to remember that your single item limit may still apply.  So, if you’re planning on really treating somebody this Christmas or are lucky enough to receive something particularly expensive, such as jewellery, a prestigious watch or a great bit of tech, then it’s a good idea to dig out your insurance policy to make sure that it’s covered over Christmas and beyond.”

For more information on insurance cover for Christmas presents see our guide page.

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Notes to editors:

*Source: Defaqto Matrix of 458 home contents policies (20 November 2017) – instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.

**So long as the timeframe for Christmas cover is within the period of insurance shown on a customer’s policy schedule.