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30 Apr 2021
Jamie Gibbs Jamie Gibbs

Personal possessions insurance: cover for outside the home


A pickpocket attempting to steal a wallet from someone in broad daylight

Ensure you cover your belongings no matter where you are


What is personal possessions cover? 

Personal possessions insurance covers items worth less than £1,000 against theft or damage when they're away from home. 

It could come in handy if you have a valuable item like a mobile phone or a camera that you take outside with you often. 

You can add this as a feature of a standard home insurance policy. The details could vary between insurance companies, so check the policy details before you commit. 


What counts as a ‘personal possession’? 

As a broad definition, a personal possession is an item that you’d normally take with you outside your home. 

This includes:  

  • Cameras 

  • Mobile phones 

  • Tablets 

  • Jewellery 

  • Wallets and handbags  

  • Musical instruments 

  • Sports equipment. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list – if in doubt, get in touch with your insurer. 

Items that are worth over £1,000 don’t usually come under this definition. Instead, you'd list them as a ‘high-value’ or ‘listed’ item. You'll be asked to list laptops and bicycles separately.

READ MORE: Insurance for high-value items 


What’s the difference between personal possessions and contents insurance? 

There’s the potential for some overlap between the two types of insurance as they cover many of the same items. 

The main difference between contents insurance and personal possessions cover is that: 

  • Personal possessions insurance covers items that you take outside the home 

  • Contents insurance is for items that get damaged or stolen from inside the house itself. 

You can't buy personal possessions cover on its own - the only way to get it is to add it onto a contents policy.


What does ‘cover away from home’ mean? 

Cover away from home protects your possessions once you step outside your front door. So, if someone steals your wallet at the shops, or if your phone smashes on the ground while jogging. 

Your home also includes your garden. So, if you lose or damage anything in your garden, you’d claim on your regular home insurance policy.


How much cover do I need?

When you go out, make a note of everything you’re taking with you. If you tend to leave the house with a £500 watch and a £500 mobile phone, then the total amount of cover would be £1,000.

Include everything that you'd need to replace if it were lost or stolen. This includes your jewellery and any gadgets.

READ MORE: Insuring your jewellery


Does personal belongings insurance cover me abroad?

The extent of your cover is likely to vary between insurance companies. Some might offer you worldwide coverage, while others might restrict you to the UK.

Check your policy documents to be sure.

Even if your insurance company has global cover, it’s no substitute for travel insurance if you’re going on holiday.


What’s not covered by personal belongings insurance?

Depending on your policy, there might be a few exclusions. For example:

  • Any items that you use for business, like a professional camera – you might need a separate policy for these

  • Anything damaged through wear and tear

  • Items that are stolen after being left unattended

  • Items worth over £1,000. You'll be asked to list these separately

  • Bicycles and laptops worth more than £150. You'll be asked to list these separately.


Will personal possessions cover university students? 

This will depend on the insurance company. Some may offer to cover student possessions while they’re living away from home, but others might not. 

For extra peace of mind, you could get a dedicated student contents insurance policy. This ensures that all their possessions are protected. 


How do I get personal possessions cover? 

When you get a home insurance quote with us, we’ll ask you if you want to insure your possessions when away from home. This will be in the ‘Your Cover’ section, when you fill in the details about your home contents. 

If you select ‘yes’, we’ll ask you how much cover you need. You can select between £500 and £12,500.


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How can I keep my possessions secure? 

Personal possessions cover offers extra peace of mind. But the safer you make your possessions, the better. 


Our home insurance expert, Jessica Willock, says:

“Personal possessions cover is just that – personal. So, how much cover you need will depend on the value of the possessions you take outside the home.

Before you get a quote think about these items and tally up what they’re worth.

It’s also important to make sure you take the right steps to keep these items safe when you’re out and about.

You might not be able to claim if you haven’t made reasonable efforts to keep your items secure."

READ MORE: How to protect your belongings from burglars


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