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Insurance cover at festivals

If you’re packing expensive gear for a music festival, don’t forget about insurance cover in all the excitement. Make sure valuables like your smartphone, speakers and GPS devices are properly protected while you’re out having fun.

If you’re packing expensive gear for a music festival, don’t forget about insurance cover in all the excitement. Make sure valuables like your smartphone, speakers and GPS devices are properly protected while you’re out having fun.

Written by
Helen Phipps
Insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Rachel Lacey
Insurance and money expert
Last Updated
23 JUNE 2023
4 min read
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Are my belongings covered at a festival?

Most home insurance policies don’t automatically cover your belongings outside of the home, particularly valuables like smartphones and bikes. So if you want to protect your belongings while you’re at a festival, you’ll need to have additional cover in place.

Given that tents and yurts are easier to break into than a hotel room, and gadgets could easily get broken in crowded spaces, having insurance for your belongings could be extremely useful if they get stolen or damaged at a festival.

How can I insure my valuables at a festival?

There’s no such thing as ‘music festival insurance’. You’ll need personal possessions insurance. This covers you for items you take with you while you’re out and about.

Personal possessions insurance is normally sold as an add-on to contents insurance, so check to see if you already have this with your home insurance. If not, you could always add it to your policy for an extra cost. You could also buy standalone gadget insurance separately, specifically to cover electronic equipment.

What does personal possessions insurance cover me for?

Personal possessions insurance covers you for items you often carry with you when you leave the house and typically includes:

  • Laptops, smartphones and tablets
  • Watches and jewellery
  • Glasses
  • Portable speakers
  • Bikes
  • Clothing
  • Handbags, wallets and purses
  • Musical instruments.

It’s worth bearing in mind that you may need to specify high-risk items, such as laptops and jewellery, when you ask for an insurance quote. That’s so a provider can list them separately on your policy.

What am I not covered for at a festival?

While personal possessions insurance can provide comprehensive protection for your belongings, it won’t cover everything. Common exclusions include:

  • Damage to camping equipment while it’s being used outdoors
  • Items left in an unlocked car or left in plain sight in a locked vehicle
  • Possessions left unattended in public places – for example, your mobile phone at a bar
  • Bicycles not kept securely locked
  • Damage caused by general wear and tear
  • Items which exceed your single-item limit.

 

Will my home insurance cover me at a festival abroad?

Possibly, but not all policies will cover your personal possessions abroad. So, if you’re heading to one of the big international festivals, like Benicàssim, Coachella or Tomorrowland, you need to check your cover.

You may find that your level of cover changes when you’re abroad. Check your policy wording carefully to find out if you’re covered, and for how much.

If you don’t have the cover you need, you should consider finding a travel insurance policy that does. The right travel insurance policy could also cover you for things like medical treatment, cancellation and flight delays.

What should I look for in personal possessions cover?

There are a couple of details you might want to look out for if you’re considering personal possessions insurance:

  • Check the excess – that’s how much you’ll have to contribute before your insurance provider will pay out on any claim.
  • Check the single-item limit – that’s how much your insurance provider will pay out for any one item. If you have items worth more than your single-item limit, you’ll need to list them specifically on your policy.

And always read your policy carefully, so you know exactly what is and isn’t covered.

How do I keep my belongings safe at a festival?

Festivals can be an easy target for opportunist thieves. Here are a few tips for keeping your possessions safe while you’re letting your hair down at a festival:

  • Don’t carry a big wad of cash. Many festivals are now cashless, so avoid taking large sums of money with you or use the on-site cashpoints.
  • Don’t leave valuables visible while in crowds. Instead, put them in a bumbag or money belt rather than a bag someone might snatch.
  • Look out for a locker area. Many festivals have these now – they’re often free and available round the clock to store everything from car keys to bikes.
  • Hide any valuables at the bottom of your sleeping bag while you’re getting some shut-eye.
  • Avoid taking expensive designer items that may attract the attention of thieves.
  • Take a waterproof phone cover in case you fall into a puddle or someone spills beer on you.

If I lose something at a festival, how do I claim on my insurance?

If you’re unlucky enough to lose your belongings at a festival or they’re stolen, here’s a full guide on how to make a home insurance claim.

However, here are the most important things you need to know and do first:

  • Take your phone provider and bank details with you. That way, if your phone or credit cards are stolen you could lock and cancel them ASAP.
  • If you need to, call the police and get a crime report number. The non-emergency number is 101. You might be asked for a report number by your insurance provider if you make a claim for theft.
  • Call your insurance provider as soon as possible to start the claim process.

If you’re at an international festival, you can find details on how to make a travel insurance claim.

Frequently asked questions

Will there be a single-item limit on my insurance?

Most insurance providers impose a single-item limit – that’s the most they’ll pay out for any one item unless it’s listed separately on the policy.

This limit is usually around £1,500 but could be more or less. So if you’re wearing an expensive watch or engagement ring, be sure to tell your insurance provider how much it’s worth so you can be confident you’re covered for the full amount.

Should I insure my phone if I’m going to a festival?

Mobile phone insurance could cover you if you lose, damage or have your mobile phone stolen, but doesn’t usually cover preventable theft (if you leave your phone unattended in public, for example).

If you’re thinking about adding mobile phone insurance to your home insurance policy, it’s worth considering any exclusions and how much excess you’ll have to pay if you make a claim.

Will my travel insurance cover me at a festival?

If you have an annual travel insurance policy, you may be covered for festival travel.

Most policies will cover you for UK trips if they last longer than two nights. Some policies won’t cover stays in tents, though, so it’s worth double-checking.

You might also need to pay extra to ensure that your smartphone and other valuables are covered. And if you want to insure your festival tickets, you’ll probably need specialist insurance.

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Helen Phipps - insurance expert

Having worked in both sides of the industry, Helen’s a real insurance expert. She’s worked directly with several insurance providers and now Compare the Market. She’s always searching for the cheapest prices for customers and is passionate about saving people money. Being married with two kids, Helen knows all about the cost of living and the benefits of having the right products and insurance for the whole family.

Learn more about Helen

Rachel Lacey - Insurance and money expert

Rachel’s a self-confessed money nerd who’s been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She spent 17 years writing for Moneywise, including a few years as Editor, and likes making complicated subjects like insurance, pensions, investing and tax, easy for people to understand.

Learn more about Rachel

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