From laptops and phones to bicycles and cars, there are many commonly owned possessions that people use on a daily basis worth thousands, but which they give little thought to when it comes to looking after.
However, if you’re ever to make a successful claim on your home cover for one or more, insurers expect you to have shown a reasonable level of care.
Here are six ways in which you could put the things you own and your ability to claim for them in jeopardy if you don’t follow your insurer’s guidelines.
Watch your bike, and get it fixed
Bicycle cover often comes with fairly exacting restrictions when you take your bike out and about and often include:
The lock must be of a certain standard (‘British standard’ in most cases).
The bike must be locked in a private car park or bike area, such as one you might have where you work.
The bicycle can’t be left locked on the street overnight or possibly in the day either.
You must have your bike serviced annually.
Leaving valuables ‘on display’ in your car
Don’t leave anything ‘on show’ in your car, insurers might see this as an ‘invitation’ to thieves.
Wallets, handbags, gadgets and other items should be locked in the boot, glove compartment or other area which can’t be viewed from outside the car.
Portable items which are ‘part’ of the car might also be expected to be removed, such as removable stereos or sat nav equipment.
Don’t give too much away on social media
Showing you’re away on social media, or soon-to-be away even, has led to some claims for burglary being denied in recent years.
Don’t post on social media while you’re away, such as photos of you round a pool in Spain, or yomping up a mountain in Wales.
Don’t rave about how you “can’t wait to be away for a week from Sunday”.
Never put your address or contact details on public display on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or the like.
Letting friends drive your car
It’s a common misconception, perhaps among less experienced drivers, that it’s totally fine to let friends ‘borrow’ your car if you have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy.
However, the opposite is true.
Never let anyone drive your car, where family or friends, unless they are an existing named driver on your policy.
Short-term stand-alone insurance does exist for one-off drivers, but needs to be arranged and agreed with an insurer in advance.
Looking after your valuables when out and about
Nipping to the loo in a café only to find your laptop gone on returning to your table would make claiming on your cover quite tricky.
No matter what you have on you, the basic rule to follow is: keep your items with you at all times in any public space.
Taking care on holiday
Likewise, if you’re on holiday in a seemingly extremely crime-free environment, and leave your B&B room door unlocked – if it has a lock fitted – could also seriously affect your ability to claim if something is taken from your room.
No matter what the item – from jewellery and sunglasses, to cash and travel documents – whether you’re out and about in your normal daily life, or on holiday abroad, insurers expect the same personal duty of care for your possessions.
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us
Published 16th May 2019