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Possessions cover with car insurance

Possessions cover with car insurance

We spend a lot of time in our cars – whether it’s for work or leisure – so naturally, they can become a second home to our belongings. But with car thefts rising by 30% in 2017, is the cost of your personal possessions covered by your car insurance if something happens to them?

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
posted 31 OCTOBER 2019

Is cover for personal possessions included in my car insurance?

It depends on your level of cover. Comprehensive car insurance policies will typically include some level of personal possessions cover but it doesn’t usually come as standard on other policies, such as third party only and third party, fire and theft.

How much could I claim for personal possessions on my car insurance?

The amount of cover you have depends on the policy you’ve taken out – it could vary from £100 to £1,000.

It’s worth bearing in mind that your possessions may be covered under your home insurance (personal possessions cover). So if you need to make a claim, check your home insurance policy too.

What’s excluded from personal possessions cover?

All policies vary but some insurance providers exclude certain items such as cash, credit or debit cards. Plus, if you use your car for business purposes and it contains stock, samples or tools, then these items might not be covered either.

As always, it’s important to read your policy document to check what you’re covered for, especially if you’re driving around with expensive kit.

What can invalidate my personal possessions cover?

Many policies will stipulate that your belongings need to be ‘in a locked or concealed compartment’, so in the glovebox or, ideally, locked in the boot of your car. If your possessions are in full view – say, you’ve left your purse or wallet on a seat – chances are, your insurance provider won’t pay out.

Also, be careful to lock your car – leaving your keys in the car or leaving your car unlocked will almost certainly invalidate any claim.

How much does personal possessions cover cost?

Some level of personal possessions cover usually comes as standard on most comprehensive car insurance policies. If insuring your personal possessions in your vehicle is important to you, then it definitely pays to compare car insurance as this is a great way of finding the right cover for your circumstances at a price you can afford.

Do I need personal possessions cover?

If you play golf at the weekend but leave your clubs in the boot all week, or you leave your laptop in the car while you nip into a service station then, yes, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you’re covered.

And think about any technology or gadgets in your car that aren’t part of the original vehicle. If you’ve upgraded your stereo or put in a sat nav, check your policy or call your insurance provider to make sure you’re covered for them. While factory-fitted technology is usually covered as standard, anything fitted retrospectively might not be included in your insurance.

What should I do if my car contents are stolen?

There are two options, depending on when you discover the theft:

  • If you’ve caught someone trying to steal your car or its contents, dial 999 and speak to the police. They’ll give you a crime number, which you’ll need when you contact your insurance provider.
  • If there’s no immediate emergency but your car’s been damaged and the contents stolen, contact the police on the non-emergency number 101.

How can I protect my possessions when they’re in my car?

According to the police, it can take as little as 10 seconds to break into a car. Obviously, the best way to protect your belongings is to lock your car whenever you leave it, but think about taking a few other simple precautions:

  • Keep your car keys out of sight.
  • If you have a keyless fob, make sure it’s out of range of your car when not in use.
  • Add a secondary security device to your car, like an immobiliser.
  • Don’t leave valuables, such as cash, your phone, purse or wallet, in sight.
  • Secure your belongings in the boot or glove box, and don’t forget to lock them.
  • If you have to leave valuables, such as a laptop or tablet, in your car, mark them with your home number and postcode.
  • Keep your garage secure.

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