Christmas shoppers urged to check their insurance before stashing gifts in the boot
- Only 13% of car insurance policies cover personal possessions over £400 or more.
- Many home insurers are explicit in their policy documents that they will only cover “everyday items”.
Car boots can be the perfect hiding place for Christmas gifts, but GoCompare is recommending drivers read their home and car insurance policies carefully before leaving too many valuable gifts in the car.
Many parents will know the difficulty of having nosey children scurrying around the house on a present-seeking mission, and so resort to leaving the Christmas shopping in the back of the car before the time comes to wrap – but if your car is broken into or stolen, would your gifts be covered?
GoCompare has done some digging and has found that for most people luckily, they would, but with cover limits and obvious restrictions.
If you were to claim on your car insurance*, GoCompare found that out of 327 standard comprehensive car insurance products, 306 cover personal possessions as standard – but with varying degrees of financial cover. 43 will cover possessions worth £400 or more (where there is a monetary limit), 98 policies offer cover of between £250 and £399, while 109 offer cover of between £150 and £250, and 56 policies less than £150 if the personal possessions are stolen.
And if your car windscreen or windows are broken in the process, there is again a difference in cover. 306 standard car insurance policies cover windscreens as standard, with an additional 13 policies covering for side windows if they are smashed during the theft.
If your Christmas shopping is worth more than £400 then it might be worth seeing if your home contents insurance would cover the stolen gifts. When examining the insurance data, GoCompare found that out of 356 home contents policies, 41% (146) cover personal possessions in a car up to the contents or personal possessions sum insured on the policy, which is the maximum the insurance company will pay out by the section or terms of your policy. But some insurance companies are explicit in their policy documents that they will only cover “everyday items”, and so you might find that they will not cover gifts hidden in a car.
Home contents insurance certainly offers higher financial cover for personal possessions stolen from cars, with 90 policies offering cover of £1500 or more (where there is a monetary limit) if your effects are stolen from your car – but again, checking the exact wording of your policy is important as they may not deem Christmas shopping as personal possessions, and may want proof that they were hidden away from view in a locked boot.
Ryan Fulthorpe, of GoCompare Car insurance, said: “We’ve all been there. You’ve done some shopping and the person you have bought for is in the house – so you leave the gifts in the boot ready to get them out when the coast is clear.
“So, it is reassuring to know that both car and home contents insurance offers some kind of protection for you should the worst happen and the Grinch comes to steal Christmas.”
Ryan added: “Of course, we always recommend that you do not leave expensive gifts in the back of the car – even if you are hiding them from your nearest and dearest – as there are many caveats in both car and home insurance policies which means that you might not always be covered.”
For more information about car and home contents insurance visit: https://www.gocompare.com/
*Source: Defaqto Matrix of 327 standard car insurance policies – instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto (23rd November 2021). Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
** Source: Defaqto Matrix of 356 home contents insurance policies – instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto (23rd November 2021). Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
Notes to editors
For further information please contact:
GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.
It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.
When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.
GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.
GoCompare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). More information can be found here www.gocompare.com or here https://www.futureplc.com/brands/.