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Is your UK camping holiday insured?

Written by: Emma Lunn
Many Brits will be swapping trips abroad for a UK holiday this summer – some of whom will spend their holiday under canvas.

But campers have been warned to check their insurance as only 16% of home insurers automatically provide cover for items away from home.

According to research by GoCompare, one in 10 Brits will pitch-up for a UK camping holiday this year, 5% hope to go glamping, while 6% hope to soak-up some culture by staying at an arts or music festival.

What do campers keep in their tents?

The majority of campers will take valuables with them on their trip. Almost half (49%) carry a smartphone, 41% take bank cards, a third (32%) take a power bank charger, and 30% take their camera on holiday.

Other valuables taken on camping trips include an iPad or other tablet (20%), a smart or expensive watch (15%), a Bluetooth speaker (15%), a Kindle or other reading device (15%), a laptop (11%), and expensive jewellery (4%).

Are you insured?

Home contents insurance can cover you for the loss of and damage to things in your home. However, many people mistakenly believe their personal belongings – including mobile phones, jewellery, wallets, clothing, gadgets, bags, and bikes – are also covered while they are out and about.

A few insurance policies (16%) automatically provide cover away from home, but most (82%) only provide ‘personal possessions’ cover as a paid-for extra.

The amount you can claim for the belongings you carry around varies between insurance policies. Limits are applied to single items (these can be as low as £250) and to the total amount you can claim for your personal belongings.

Typically, items worth more than £1,000 need to be specified, otherwise they won’t be covered. Specific cover limits, restrictions and exclusions usually apply to valuables, cash and cards, mobile phones, sports and camping equipment, and spectacles.

Bikes are only generally covered away from home if you have opted for personal possessions cover. Again, bikes typically attract specific policy limits, terms, and conditions. For example, bikes may only be insured against theft if they are in a locked building or securely locked to an immovable object.

Policy exclusions

Insurers expect you to take care of your belongings while they are away from home. Theft claims are likely to be declined if the items were left unattended, for example if you left your iPad in your tent while you went out for the day.

Before heading off to the campsite, it is sensible to check your insurance policy limits and conditions. Theft of items left in a car, for example, are usually only covered if they were out of sight in a locked boot, concealed luggage compartment or glove box.

Ryan Fulthorpe, spokesperson for GoCompare Home Insurance, said: “With continuing uncertainty and restrictions surrounding foreign travel, Brits are readying themselves for a summer of staycations. After being cooped-up at home for most of the winter, many people are looking forward to getting back in touch with nature by spending a few nights under canvas.

“At home, we’re so used to being surrounded by an array of technology and gadgets and, probably don’t give much thought to the cost of replacing them if they are stolen or lost. Obviously, these items are highly desirable to thieves, and will be much more vulnerable left in a tent than in your home. So, before setting-off, consider whether you really need to take all your gadgets and valuables with you. If possible, keep electrical items to a minimum, and make the most of your car for safe storage.”

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