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 113,000 car thefts in England and Wales in 2019-20, you need to know if the cost of your personal possessions would be covered by your car insurance if something happens to them.

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 113,000 car thefts in England and Wales in 2019-20, you need to know if the cost of your personal possessions would be covered by your car insurance if something happens to them.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
4
minute read
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Posted 28 JUNE 2021

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, like third party only and third party, fire and theft.

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

There’s usually a cap on personal possessions cover. The amount of cover you have depends on the policy you’ve taken out – it could vary from £100 to £1,000. It might be possible to increase the amount you’re covered for, but of course, this will cost more.

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.

Are there any other restrictions on cover for my personal possessions?

Your insurance provider might set a cover limit based on the value of your car. Known as the percentage value clause, it could lower the limit for a claim.

For example, if personal possessions cover was capped at £2,000 and your possessions were covered up to 10% of the value of your car, you could only claim for £1,000 worth of possessions in a vehicle worth £10,000.

What’s excluded from personal possessions cover?

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

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 state 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. Your insurance is unlikely to pay out if there’s no signs of a forced entry.

Will I need to provide receipts when I’m making a claim?

Insurance companies usually ask for proof of purchase to check that you owned the items that you’re claiming for.

To make the process as smooth as possible, you should keep receipts and take photos of any possessions that you regularly keep in the car.

You may also need to provide a crime reference number which you can get from the police if you’re reporting a theft.

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, for example, 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 reference 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?

It can take seconds for a thief to break into a car. Of course, 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 and take them with you when you lock the car.
  • 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 including cash, your phone, purse or wallet, in sight.
  • Secure your belongings in the boot or glove box, and don’t forget to lock them.
  • Keep your garage secure.

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