Do I need handbag insurance?

If you carry a designer bag, backpack or briefcase, insurance might be worth thinking about. It’s not unusual for a designer handbag, or even a designer rucksack, to cost well over £1,000.

But even if your bag isn't by a designer, it's still worth thinking about cover. If you carry around an inexpensive high-street favourite, when you factor in the value of the contents – whether that’s your glasses, make-up, smartphone or tablet – the cost of replacing your bag and its contents quickly adds up.

What type of insurance do I need for my handbag?

Your handbag should be covered by your home insurance while it’s in your home, although if you have an expensive bag you may need to list it individually on the policy. Typically, if your bag, or any of the items you keep inside it, is worth more than £1,500, you need to tell your insurance provider to ensure it’s covered.

However, home contents insurance probably won’t cover your handbag when you carry it out and about. So you may need personal possessions insurance. This covers items you take with you when you’re outside your home against loss or damage - up to a certain limit.

Some home contents insurance policies include personal possessions cover as standard, while others don’t. Check your policy documents or contact your insurance provider to check if your bag or handbag is covered outside your home. If personal possessions insurance isn’t included as standard with your policy, you can usually add it for an additional cost.

Standalone handbag insurance is also an option. These policies are specifically designed to cover typical use of your bag, including outside the home.

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Frequently asked questions

If my handbag’s stolen, are my gadgets covered?

If your bag is lost or stolen, you’ll need to look at your home contents policy to check if your gadgets are covered. Some policies automatically include cover for gadgets, but it might be that you need to add them to your contents insurance.

What’s a single item limit?

A single item limit – sometimes called a single article limit – is the maximum your insurance provider will pay out for any one item, unless you list that item separately on your policy (along with how much it’s worth).

The limit will depend on your policy – it’s typically in the region of £1,500. If your handbag, or anything you keep inside it, is worth more than that, you’ll need to add it to your policy as an individual (listed) item.

Is my handbag covered for accidental damage?

It’s unlikely that your contents insurance will cover your handbag for accidental damage as standard.

Is my handbag covered for wear and tear?

Generally speaking, an insurance policy won’t cover a handbag for wear and tear.

What do I need to know when considering handbag insurance?

If you’re adding cover for your handbag to your home contents insurance, here’s what to be aware of:

  • Check the excess – if you make a claim, this is the amount you’ll need to contribute before your insurance provider pays out. If it’s high, compared with the cost of the bag, it might not be worth claiming.
  • Read the policy conditions – and check for exclusions within the cover. For example, items stolen while on public display (such as on the front seat of a locked car) are usually excluded from personal possessions insurance.
  •  Keep proof of purchase – it’s worth keeping a receipt or credit card statement of all high-value purchases. You might need them to make a claim on your insurance.

How do I make sure my handbag is insured?

Read your home insurance policy documents or contact your home insurance provider to check if your handbag is covered when its inside your home and while you’re out and about. If it’s not, consider personal possessions cover for outside your home or look for dedicated handbag insurance.

How can I keep my handbag safe?

To minimise the chances of having your bag stolen:

  • avoid leaving your bag unattended
  • avoid leaving your purse and phone in the outer pockets of your bag
  • carry your bag across your chest with the fastening facing you.

What should I do if my handbag is stolen?

The first thing you should do is report the theft to the police. What you do next depends on the contents of your bag:

Bank and credit cards – contactless payment technology makes using someone else’s card easier than ever, so cancelling these cards should be a priority.

Mobile phones – call your service provider as soon as possible to block your account and handset. This will stop thieves accessing confidential information and personal photos stored on your phone.

ID cards and passports – you’ll have to contact the appropriate authority if important documents were taken; use the website for passports and the DVLA website for driving licences. If an access card for your workplace is also stolen, it’s a good idea to let your employers know.

Keys – if your house keys have been stolen, consider changing the locks to your home, especially if your address can be found in your handbag. If car keys were stolen, you’ll need to contact your car insurance provider – you may have to change the locks too.

You’ll need to let your insurance provider know about the theft but, before you do, make a note of everything of value in the bag. Once you’ve started your claim, you can search for receipts for missing items to help with the process.

How do I get handbag insurance?

Comparing home contents insurance that could cover your handbag is easy. Simply give us a few details about yourself and your belongings, and we’ll do the rest.

What do I need to get a quote?

When you start a contents insurance quote with us, it’s a good idea to have some basic information about your property, including:

  • your current home or contents insurance policy documents
  • the value of your contents
  • details about any high-value items over £1,500
  • if you want to insure a bicycle worth £350 or more
  • the level of cover you need and any additional cover
  • how long it is since you’ve made a contents claim
  • what type of locks your property is fitted with and other property security details

We’ll ask you questions to make sure we have all the information we need to provide you with a list of suitable quotes. This list will also show optional extras available, such as accidental damage insurance.

Author image Chris King

What our expert says...

“Handbags are among some of our most prized possessions, so it pays to check if they’re covered by your insurance, especially when you go out. If you’ve been given an expensive quote, you could save money by shopping around.”

- Chris King, Head of Home Insurance