Planning a staycation? Beware the pitfalls of relying on your home insurance

30 June 2017
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Brits planning a staycation are being warned to make sure they have the right insurance in place, as loading up the car and heading for the coast comes with the same pitfalls as any holiday.

Research conducted by Saga found that nearly half of all staycations are taken without any kind of travel insurance policy. It appears many staycationers simply rely on their home insurance to cover them when holidaying in the UK.

However, while the NHS is there to fall back on if you were to fall ill on a UK-based holiday, your home insurance won’t protect you against holiday cancellations, which could leave you out-of-pocket.

And when it comes to covering your possessions, there are also pitfalls to using your home insurance. Nowadays, families travel with an array of electronics, jewellery, and other valuable possessions. But you could be at risk if your home insurance policy doesn’t cover certain items outside of your property.

Kevin McMullan, head of Saga Travel Insurance, says: “While it’s great to see people boosting the economy by experiencing the beauty of the UK as an alternative to going abroad, it is concerning that many think they do not need travel insurance for UK trips. Whilst medical bills will be covered by the NHS it would be wise to make sure you are covered for any pre-paid accommodation and travel costs in case of cancellation and for the costs incurred by friends and family who will want to be by your side if the worst happens and you’re admitted to a hospital many miles from home.”

Many insurers provide UK only policies ranging from between £3 and £70, which cover cancellation, baggage and medical expenses.

Ensure home insurance covers high value possessions

When it comes to your home insurance, you should also double check high value items are covered. Price comparison website Gocompare highlights the issue of possessions that change in value, particularly jewellery that fluctuates on the price of gold and silver. Failing to make sure such items are properly valued and registered with your provider could cause a nasty shock when it comes to making a claim.

Gocompare recommends that you carefully document your possessions, as insurers will want evidence of their existence in the event of loss or theft.

Ben Wilson, spokesperson for GoCompare Home Insurance comments: “In the unfortunate event you to need to claim for jewellery or other valuables, it’s your responsibility to prove their value and your ownership. We recommend you keep receipts or bank statements, valuations and any instruction booklets in a safe place, separate from your valuables. Insurers also accept photographs in support of claims, so it’s a good idea to snap a selfie while wearing insured items of jewellery or watches. However, we wouldn’t recommend you ‘advertise’ your valuables by sharing these photos online.”

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