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Staycation warning: Campers urged to check their insurance before pitching-up

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Most Brits will be swapping trips abroad for a staycation this summer – some of whom will spend their holiday under canvas. 

To help ensure they remain happy campers – GoCompare Home Insurance is urging people to think about insurance for the belongings they plan to take away with them.    

According to new research, one in ten Brits will pitch-up for a UK camping holiday this year, 5% hope to go glamping, while 6% hope to soak-up some culture by staying at an arts or music festival.  

The research asked people about valuable items they usually take with them when they go camping:

  • 49% carry a smartphone.
  • 41% carry bank cards.
  • Just under a third (32%) take a power bank charger.
  • 30% take their camera.
  • A fifth take their iPad or similar tablet computer.
  • 15% wear a smart watch or expensive watch.
  • 15% take a Bluetooth speaker.
  • 15% take a kindle or other e-reading device.
  • 11% take a laptop.  
  • 4% wear expensive jewellery.

Home contents insurance can cover you for the loss of and damage to things in your home.  However, many people mistakenly believe their personal belongings – including mobile phones, jewellery, wallets, clothing, gadgets, bags, and bicycles – are also covered while they are out and about. A few insurance policies (16%) automatically provide cover away from home, most (82%) only provide ‘personal possessions’ cover as a paid-for extra. 

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The amount you can claim for the belongings you carry around varies between insurance policies.  Limits are applied to single items (these can be as low as £250) and to the total amount you can claim for your personal belongings. Typically, items worth over £1,000 need to be specified, otherwise they won’t be covered.  Specific cover limits, restrictions and exclusions usually apply to valuables (e.g. jewellery and watches), cash and cards, mobile phones, sports and camping equipment, and spectacles.  

Pedal cycles are only generally covered away from home if you have opted for personal possessions cover.  Again, bikes typically attract specific policy limits, terms, and conditions.  For example, cycles may only be insured against theft if they are in a locked building and/or securely locked to an immovable object.

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young couple relaxing near tent during romantic trip in forest
It’s not a good idea to leave valuable items in your tent. They are better off in the boot of your car or in the campsite safe. (Image: Pexels.com)

Insurers expect you to take care of your belongings while they are away from home.  Theft claims are likely to be declined if the items we left unattended, for example if you left your iPad in your tent while you went out for the day.  Again, before heading off to the campsite, it is sensible to check your insurance policy limits and conditions.  Theft of items left in a car, for example, are usually only covered if they were out of sight in a locked boot, concealed luggage compartment or glove box.  

Ryan Fulthorpe, spokesperson for GoCompare Home Insurance commented: “With continuing uncertainty and restrictions surrounding foreign travel, Brits are readying themselves for a summer of staycations.  After being cooped-up at home for most of the winter, many people are looking forward to getting back in touch with nature by spending a few nights under canvas. 

“At home, we’re so used to being surrounded by an array of technology and gadgets and, probably don’t give much thought to the cost of replacing them if they are stolen or lost.  Obviously, these items are highly desirable to thieves, and will be much more vulnerable left in a tent than in your home. So, before setting-off, consider whether you really need to take all your gadgets and valuables with you.  If possible, keep electrical items to a minimum, and make the most of your car for safe storage.” 


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