Handbag insurance

When you think of all the items you carry around in your handbag – phone, cash, make-up, etc.

It’s fair to say that it could be worth a lot of money, especially if the bag itself is also valuable. Handbag insurance is an easy way to protect your treasured possessions. 

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. 

Even if your bag is an inexpensive high-street favourite rather than a luxury or designer brand, it still could be a good idea to get cover. When you add up the value of your possessions – glasses, make-up, smartphone or tablet, for example – the cost of replacing your bag and its contents if they’re stolen or damaged could soon mount up.

What type of insurance do I need for my handbag?

Your handbag will normally be covered by your home contents insurance while it’s inside your home, although if you have an expensive bag you may need to list it individually on the policy.  

But contents insurance probably won’t cover your handbag when you carry it out and about. So, you might 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 see 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 extra cost. 

Standalone handbag insurance is also an option, although this is typically designed for very expensive individual handbags or collections of bags.

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What is the single-item limit for insurance policies?

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 can vary between providers and policies. When you get a quote with us, we’ll ask you for details of any valuables worth more than £1,500. So, if your handbag, or anything you keep inside it, is worth more than that, you’ll need to tell us about it and it will be added to your policy as an individual item. 

Frequently asked questions

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

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

Is my handbag covered for accidental damage?

It’s unlikely that your contents insurance will cover your handbag for accidental damage as standard. You’ll usually need to pay a bit extra to add accidental damage cover to your policy before you can claim for this.

Is my handbag covered for wear and tear?

Most insurance policies won’t cover a handbag for wear and tear. Bags will age naturally over time and deteriorate the more you use them. Insurance is designed to offer protection if your bag is stolen, lost or damaged, but that doesn’t extend to the natural ageing process.  

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 may 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 this 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 it’s 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.

What if my handbag is stolen from my car?

If you have personal possessions cover added to your contents insurance, you'll be insured for a handbag stolen from your car. That’s as long as you can prove your car was locked and the bag wasn’t left on view at the time of the incident.  

If your home insurance policy doesn’t include that level of cover, check if you have possessions cover with your car insurance. Some policies will include cover for belongings up to a stated value that are damaged or taken from a car. 

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 could 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 GOV.UK 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?

Although we don’t compare specialist bag insurance, we do compare home contents insurance that could cover your handbag. 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: 

  • Details about any high-value items over £1,500 
  • If you want to insure a bicycle worth £350 or more 
  • How much personal possessions cover you’d like 
  • Whether you’ve made a contents claim in the last five years 
  • 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, including personal possessions cover and accidental damage insurance. 

Author image Helen Phipps

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.”

- Helen Phipps, Insurance expert

Page last reviewed on 13/06/2022
by Helen Phipps