Are your Christmas presents covered by your home insurance?
Almost half (44%) of Brits admit they don’t know whether their home insurance covers gifts, despite the average household expecting to spend £493 on Christmas presents, according to MoneySuperMarket.
However, the price comparison site found that almost 90% assume they are covered and don’t bother phoning their insurer to check. This leaves people potentially vulnerable over the festive period, with no guarantee they’ll receive a payout should their Christmas gifts be stolen if they are victims of a burglary.
Many people also avoid taking basic protection steps, such as hiding gifts in cupboards so they’re away from prying eyes.
Top tips for home security
In order to keep your home as safe as possible, MoneySuperMarket has published its top tips for keeping out intruders over the festive season:
1. Make sure you lock your windows and doors before leaving the house. Even if you’re inside the house, be aware that thieves could sneak in through an open window or unlocked door, which could void your insurance in some cases.
2. Make sure you set your burglar alarm if you have one, and make sure your insurer knows you have one – it can bring down your premiums.
3. Ensure keys can’t be seen through the letterbox, as thieves may attempt to fish them out using a wire and hook.
4. If your Christmas presents came in boxes advertising what was inside, don’t leave them on display by your bins, as they could serve as an inventory of what’s in your home for burglars.
5. If you are going away, don’t publicise it on social media – it simply lets people know there’s nobody home.
6. If you have outdoor Christmas lights, instead of feeding the cable through your window, use battery or solar powered lights to avoid having your windows pried open.
Tom Flack, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket, said: “It may be the season of goodwill, but one person’s generosity can be another’s burglary opportunity. Your Christmas tree can act as a beacon for burglars – showing them exactly where to head for high value items. Perhaps the only thing worse than being burgled over the festive period is the realisation that your insurance won’t pay out for the loss.
“While some insurers do offer an automatic increase on the level of contents cover in December, it’s not a given and may not be included in your policy. As well as securing your home, we’d urge people to check the small print to make sure they are covered this Christmas.”