Home insurance Updated:
Your home contents insurance will cover your most treasured possessions, but what if you carry a few extras around on a regular basis? Research from Saga Home Insurance has found that people are carrying as much as £1,567 with them while out and about, and they're potentially leaving these items unprotected in the process.
Smartphones, tablets, designer sunglasses and watches… whether you're a gadget fiend or more of a follower of fashion, you may find that some of your most valuable items aren't covered by standard home insurance when taken out of the home. This could lead to a huge financial loss, particularly when you consider how often things can go wrong.
In fact, the figures show that one in 10 of those aged 50+ has lost or broken a smartphone, 26% have lost a purse or wallet, 14% have lost a watch and 19% have lost a wedding ring or another piece of jewellery. It could be a growing problem for the older generations, too, with the number of over-50s using smartphones and tablets on the rise – in fact, 88% now own at least one digital gadget.
Unfortunately, while loss and damage are the most common risks to be aware of, the possibility of theft is also likely to increase as the value of personal items you carry with you rises. Official figures show that 49,000 people were victims of incidents involving the theft of a mobile phone in 2013/14 – would you be covered?
If you're not sure, it's time to check. It's often assumed that portable devices, mobiles and other valuables are protected by basic contents insurance policies, but this isn't always the case. Your level of cover may be restricted to items kept within the home, and you may need to build a higher level of cover in order to ensure that those possessions are covered when you're on the move.
Many providers will offer this kind of cover, so it's important to do your research and check the small print, because if your items aren't covered when they're in your pocket as well as your home, you could lose out. Remember that this doesn't only apply to the older age groups – anyone could need to make a claim because of loss, theft or damage of an item away from home, so it's always worth being covered.
Sue Green, head of Home Insurance at Saga, says: "Smartphones and tablets have become so common in recent years that sometimes we don't stop to appreciate the true value of what's in our bags or pockets, and what the costs would be if they were to get stolen or broken. The cost of replacing a top-of-the-range smartphone can cost around a third of the average monthly salary, which is why it's so important for people to review their policy, and to increase cover accordingly.
"This is as true for the over-50s as it is for younger generations as they also now rarely leave home without a smartphone in their pocket. This is a widespread issue and care needs to be taken across all age groups to ensure that people are sufficiently protected when out and about."
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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