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Given the high number of thefts from vehicles, with more than 200,000 incidents reported to the police in England and Wales, it’s crucial to understand whether your personal possessions are covered by your car insurance in case your car is broken into.

What is Possessions Cover?

Overview of Possessions Cover

Possessions cover is a type of insurance cover that offers protection for your personal belongings. It’s particularly relevant when these items are lost, damaged, or stolen under certain circumstances.

Possessions Cover in Car Insurance

When it comes to car insurance, possessions cover specifically refers to the protection of personal belongings that are kept inside a car. It’s designed to cover these items in the event they are lost, damaged, or stolen due to incidents such as theft, vandalism, or accidents.

What Is Possessions Cover

Inclusion in Insurance Policies

Typically, this kind of cover is a part of comprehensive car insurance policies. However, it’s important to note that it’s not usually included in more basic policies, such as third-party or third-party, fire and theft insurance.

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Is Cover for Personal Possessions Included in My Car Insurance?

Understanding the Level of Cover

The inclusion of personal possessions cover in your car insurance largely depends on the type and level of your policy.

Comprehensive Car Insurance Policies

With comprehensive car insurance policies, you will generally find that there is some level of cover for personal possessions. This means if your belongings are lost, damaged, or stolen from your car, you may be eligible for compensation under this policy.

Is Cover For Personal Possessions Included In My Car Insurance

Third-Party Policies

However, this type of cover isn’t usually a standard feature in more basic insurance policies, such as third-party and third-party, fire and theft policies. These policies tend to focus more on liability and damage to others, rather than covering personal items in your vehicle.

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How Much Could I Claim for Personal Possessions on My Car Insurance?

Caps on Personal Possessions Cover

When considering personal possessions cover in car insurance, it’s important to note that there is typically a cap or maximum limit on the amount you can claim. This limit varies depending on the policy you have chosen.

Possibility of Increasing Cover Limits

You might have the option to increase the cover amount for your personal possessions, which can be particularly useful if you often carry expensive items like laptops, phones, or sports equipment such as golf clubs. However, increasing the cover limit usually means paying a higher premium.

How Much Could I Claim For Personal Possessions On My Car Insurance

Single Item Claim Limit

There’s often a separate cap on the amount you can claim for a single item. If you frequently travel with costly items, ensure that their full value is covered under this limit.

Home Insurance Personal Possessions Cover

It’s also worth considering that your home insurance might offer personal possessions cover, which could extend to belongings outside your home.

This cover can sometimes have higher limits. Before comparing car insurance quotes, check your home insurance to avoid overlapping or unnecessary cover.

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Are There Any Other Restrictions on Cover for My Personal Possessions?

Understanding Cover Limits Based on Car Value

Your insurance provider may impose certain restrictions on the cover for personal possessions, which can affect the maximum amount you can claim. One key factor is the value of your car.

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Percentage Value Clause

This restriction is often referred to as the percentage value clause. Essentially, it means that the limit for your personal possessions claim might be tied to a certain percentage of your car’s value.

Are There Any Other Restrictions On Cover For My Personal Possessions

Example of Claim Limitation

For instance, if the personal possessions cover is capped at £2,000 and your policy states that you can only claim up to 10% of the value of your car, the actual amount you can claim changes based on your car’s value.

So, in a car valued at £10,000, you would be able to claim only up to £1,000 for your personal possessions under this clause.

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What’s Excluded from Personal Possessions Cover?

Common Exclusions in Policies

While policies can differ, there are often certain items that insurance providers typically exclude from personal possessions cover. These exclusions can vary significantly between different insurers.

Typical Excluded Items

Common items that might be excluded include cash, credit or debit cards. Furthermore, if you use your car for business purposes, items like stock, samples, or tools related to your business might not be covered under personal possessions cover.

What’s Excluded From Personal Possessions Cover

Importance of Reviewing Your Policy

To ensure you fully understand your cover, it’s crucial to read your policy document carefully. This is particularly important if you frequently carry expensive equipment in your car, as you’ll want to know exactly what is and isn’t covered in the event of a claim.

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What Can Invalidate My Personal Possessions Cover?

Requirements for Secure Storage

To maintain the validity of your personal possessions cover, many policies stipulate that your belongings must be kept in a locked or concealed compartment. This means items should be in the glovebox or, ideally, locked in the boot of your car.

Risks of Visible Possessions

If your possessions are in full view, such as a purse or wallet left on a seat, this can significantly reduce the likelihood of your insurance provider paying out in the event of a theft. Visibility of valuables can be a key factor in determining the validity of a claim.

What Can Invalidate My Personal Possessions Cover

Importance of Locking Your Car

Ensuring your car is locked is crucial. Between April 2019 and March 2020, nearly half of the thefts from vehicles in England and Wales occurred through an unlocked door. Leaving your car unlocked, or worse, leaving the keys in the car, will almost certainly invalidate any claim.

Forced Entry and Insurance Claims

Most insurance providers require evidence of forced entry to approve a claim. If there are no signs of forced entry, it’s unlikely that your insurance will pay out for stolen possessions.

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Will I Need to Provide Receipts When I’m Making a Claim?

Requirement for Proof of Purchase

When making a claim, insurance providers typically require proof of purchase. This is to verify that you indeed owned the items you are claiming for.

Preparing for a Claim

To ensure the claims process goes smoothly, it’s advisable to keep receipts for any items you frequently carry in your car. Additionally, taking photos of these possessions can serve as additional proof of ownership.

Will I Need To Provide Receipts When I’m Making A Claim

Reporting Theft and Crime Reference Number

In cases of theft, you will likely need to provide a crime reference number. This number can be obtained from the police when you report the theft, and it serves as crucial documentation for your insurance claim.

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How Much Does Personal Possessions Cover Cost?

Personal Possessions Cover in Comprehensive Policies

Typically, a certain level of personal possessions cover is included as standard in most comprehensive car insurance policies. This means you usually won’t have to pay extra for basic cover for items in your vehicle.

How Much Does Personal Possessions Cover Cost

Comparing Insurance for Best Value

If ensuring your personal possessions in your vehicle is a priority, it’s wise to compare car insurance policies. This comparison allows you to find the right cover that fits your specific needs and budget.

Finding a policy that offers the protection you need at a price that is affordable can be key in selecting the best insurance plan.

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Do I Need Personal Possessions Cover?

Considering Your Lifestyle and Habits

The need for personal possessions cover can depend significantly on your lifestyle and how you use your car.

For instance, if you’re a golfer who leaves clubs in the boot throughout the week, or if you tend to leave your laptop in the car even for short periods, like when you nip into a service station, then having this cover is advisable.

Do I Need Personal Possessions Cover

Cover for Technology and Gadgets

It’s also important to consider any technology or gadgets in your car that weren’t part of the original vehicle.

If you’ve installed an upgraded stereo system or added a sat nav, you should check your policy or contact your insurance provider to confirm if these items are covered.

While factory-fitted technology is usually covered as standard, items fitted after purchase might not be automatically included in your policy.

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What Should I Do If My Car Contents Are Stolen?

Immediate Action in Case of Theft

If you discover someone attempting to steal your car or its contents, the first course of action is to dial 999 and report the incident to the police.

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Remember, your personal safety is paramount, so it’s crucial not to put yourself in danger. The police will provide you with a crime reference number, which is essential when making an insurance claim.

What Should I Do If My Car Contents Are Stolen

Reporting Non-Emergency Thefts

In situations where there’s no immediate danger, but you find that your car has been damaged and contents stolen, use the non-emergency number 101 to report to the police. This step is important for documentation and may be required by your insurance provider.

Contacting Your Insurance Provider

After reporting to the police, the next step is to inform your insurance provider about the theft. Make sure to do this within the time limit stated in your policy if you intend to make a claim. Prompt reporting can be crucial in ensuring that your claim is processed efficiently.

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How Can I Protect My Possessions When They’re in My Car?

Basic Security Measures

The most fundamental step to protect your belongings in your car is to always lock your car whenever you leave it, even if it’s just for a short time. However, there are additional precautions you can take to further secure your possessions.

How Can I Protect My Possessions When They’re In My Car

Key Security

Always keep your car keys out of sight. For those with keyless fobs, ensure they are stored out of range of your car when not in use to prevent signal interception by thieves.

Additional Security Devices

Consider installing a secondary security device in your car, such as an immobiliser. This can significantly deter thieves and protect your car and its contents.

Visibility of Valuables

Never leave valuables like cash, phones, purses, or wallets in plain sight. Visible items can attract potential thieves.

Nighttime Precautions

Empty your car of any belongings at night to make it less appealing to thieves. An empty car is often a less tempting target.

Secure Storage Inside the Car

When you do need to leave items in your car, secure them in the boot or glove box and ensure these compartments are locked.

Garage Security

If you have a garage, keeping it secure is also an important step in protecting your car and the possessions inside it. A secure garage adds an extra layer of defence against theft.

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Frequently asked questions

Based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) between April 2019 to March 2020, the highest likelihood of car break-ins in England and Wales occurred during the week, with almost 80% happening during the evening or at night.

This highlights the significance of securing a safe parking spot for your car overnight, not only reducing the chances of it getting broken into but also potentially decreasing your car insurance rates.

Based on ONS data covering police-reported incidents between April 2009 to March 2020, the highest likelihood of car theft in England and Wales is in the vicinity of our homes.

This includes street parking near our homes, as well as garages or car parks located nearby but not directly connected to our homes.

In England and Wales, the most commonly stolen items from vehicles are valuable personal belongings such as jewellery, handbags, wallets, and purses that may contain cash and credit cards.

Additionally, briefcases with important documents, shopping bags, and clothing are frequently targeted. Along with these, exterior fittings like hub caps, wheel trims, and number plates, electronic gadgets like computers, sat navs, and tools are also among the commonly stolen items from vehicles.

Possessions cover included in your car insurance policy generally covers theft from the vehicle, as long as there is evidence of forced entry, and damage caused by fire.

In certain cases, possessions cover may also extend to belongings damaged due to a car accident, flooding, or vandalism.

To ensure you understand what is covered and excluded in your policy, it is advisable to review the terms before purchasing.

In car insurance, personal belongings cover refers to the protection offered by a comprehensive policy, which covers the loss or damage of personal belongings that occur due to fire, theft, or accidental means while the items are located inside or on your vehicle.

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