Lifestyle Guides

What does personal possessions cover?

Admiral explains exactly what your possessions are and aren't covered for when you take them outside of your home.

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When you take out contents insurance you can safely assume your belongings will be covered while in your home, but can you be so sure they'll be covered if you take them outside the house?

Our handy guide answers any questions you may have about personal possessions insurance cover away from home.

What does Personal Possessions cover?

Usually an add-on to your Home Insurance Contents cover, personal possessions cover can protect your much-loved items against loss or damage when they are outside of your home. The policy extra is usually split into two sections - Unspecified Personal Possessions and High Risk Items.

1. Unspecified Personal Possessions provides cover for portable items, worth £1,000 or less, that you normally wear, use, or carry with you when you leave the home

When choosing this you are asked how much cover you need. You should choose an amount to cover the total cost of all the items you would take with you at any one time.

For example, if the most you ever take outside the home at any one time is a camera worth £500 and a watch worth £500, then you should select a sum insured of £1,000. 

2. You will also be asked to specify any 'high risk' individual items that cost over £1,000 and state if you want them covered outside of the home. These are known as Specified Items. Any items you specify here do not need to be included in the Unspecified Personal Possessions sum insured.

What is a 'high risk' item?

  • Any collectible articles which are rare or unusual
  • Audio visual, photographic or sporting equipment
  • Computers, laptops, tablets and notebooks
  • Jewellery, watches or pearls
  • Pictures, prints or works of art
  • Precious metals or stones
  • Stamp, coin or other collections
  • Musical instruments
  • Furs

Be sure to read your policy documents and make a note of any excesses which may apply if you did need to make a claim.

8 of the most commonly claimed for items

Some of the top items that people claim away from home are:

  • Jewellery
  • Phones
  • Bicycles
  • Cameras
  • Cash
  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • MP3 Players

Will there be times when coverage away from home does not apply?

Yes, there are times when your items won't be covered. You can read the full list of exclusions in the policy booklet but here are three notable circumstances:

  1. Bicycles must be stored in a locked building or locked to a fixed object. If they aren'’t, unfortunately they will not be covered for theft. For expensive bikes, we also require you to use a Sold Secure-approved lock
  2. Sporting equipment is not covered outside of the home when it’s damaged while you're using it
  3. Items aren't covered when you use them for business or professional purposes (i.e. a camera is not covered if you're a photographer, and tools are not covered if you're a plumber)

How can I make sure my possessions will be covered away from home?

Here are a few helpful tips to make sure your possessions will be covered away from home:

  • Keep valuables in your possession - for an item to be covered, it must be in the personal care or control of you, or someone who lives with you. Unfortunately, items are not covered when in the care of friends or neighbours
  • Don't take valuables with you on holiday - if you do need to take valuables with you, it's a good idea to lock them in a hotel room safe if possible and invest in travel insurance. Personal possessions stolen from a hotel room are not covered (the exception to this is if there was forced or violent entry into your hotel room)
  • Take care to protect items left in an unattended motor vehicle - always lock your doors, roll up your windows, and hide possessions in either the glove compartment or boot. Items can only be claimed for if you take these steps
  • Buy insurance with your storage facility - personal possessions cover does not cover personal possessions in a storage unit. If you keep valuable items in a storage unit, look into whether or not your storage facility has insurance you can buy
  • Keep liquids away from your mobile - your mobile will not be covered in the case of liquid damage, so it’s always a good idea to set drinks far away from your phone and keep the phone out of the back pocket when using the toilet!

Keep an eye on your items as much as possible, and always make sure they are in the best care. The top five items Admiral customers claim for 'away from home' are jewellery, phones, bicycles, cameras and money, so be extra careful with these.

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