How you could be unintentionally advertising your belongings to thieves
We all lead busy lives and insurance companies don’t expect you to carry your prized possessions around in cotton wool.
But you should take reasonable care with your cherished belongings to make sure you can be reimbursed, should something go wrong.
We’ve rounded up five situations in which you could potentially put your valuables at risk.
1. Are your possessions covered in the pub?
There’s nothing wrong with popping into your local bar for the odd tipple after work or at the weekend, but at what point does a bit of fun jeopardise your personal possessions insurance cover?
Having a few drinks really doesn’t affect your cover – the question is the way you behave in this situation.
If, for example, you left your phone unattended on the table as you went to the bar and some light-fingered drinker swiped it, it might make it difficult for you to make a claim on your insurance. Find out more about Admiral's Personal Possessions Cover.
The same logic would apply if you stayed in a hostel for the evening and went out to socialise with other travellers in the games room without locking the bedroom door.
2. Can I loan my car to a friend?
While it’s a common belief anyone with a comprehensive policy will automatically be covered to drive your car, this may well not be the case.
In fact, believing this misconception could leave your car uninsured if you decide to let a trusted friend, family member or colleague behind the wheel of your vehicle.
If this person is over 25 and has the Driving Other Cars extension of their policy it will be listed on their insurance schedule.
The Driving Other Cars extension is only supposed to be used in an emergency. You can find out more about it in our guide.
Alternatively, you could consider Admiral Car Sharing Insurance, which is a short-term standalone product that sits alongside your annual policy.
Having this means you can lend your car to a trusted driver and he or she will have the same level of cover as with any other comprehensive policy.
3. Leaving your valuables on display
While you can never protect yourself completely against opportunist thieves, there are a number of steps you can take to maximise your security.
One of these is to make sure your most expensive items are packed away as discreetly as possible.
Have you ever left your laptop sitting in front of a window or proudly displayed all the presents under your Christmas tree during the festive season? Well, these seemingly harmless actions could present an invitation to a thief passing by your property.
Also, be shrewd during special occasions. If you’ve received a new TV or tablet as a gift, consider how you dispose of the boxes your new goodies came in. Leaving these on display outside your property could advertise the fact you have newly purchased items in your home – an invitation to thieves passing by.
To keep your valuables safe if you own a vehicle:
- Remove portable goods from your car such as a stereo or satnav equipment
- Don’t leave any documents containing personal details in your car
- Always park your car in well-lit areas.
4. Being careless on social media
Since the arrival of Facebook, Twitter and the other social media sites many of us use every day, there’s been much debate about what these platforms mean for the insurance industry.
Posting a picture of a new engagement ring or expensive TV could certainly make you a target for potential thieves. Also, remember most social media sites give you the option to share your location with your followers and subscribers, which could advertise the fact you’re away from home and your items are unattended.
While every insurance policy is different, some providers may decide sharing too much on social media could mean you haven’t taken reasonable care with your property.
5. Leaving doors and windows open
During hot weather it may be tempting to leave windows or even doors open in unoccupied rooms, but this can be another temptation for burglars.
When it comes to locks and security devices on your doors and windows, it’s essential you provide accurate information about the types of locks you have on your doors and windows. Having this information is essential in helping your insurance company assess your risk levels.