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Home Contents Insurance at Christmas

After a year disrupted by the effects of COVID-19 in the UK, the festive period will be a welcome relief to many, and a chance to spend time with family members that may have had to self-isolate for extended periods in 2020. For that reason we’re going to discuss one of the best parts of Christmas – The presents.

Can I insure Christmas?

In short – Yes. Toys, games, electrical items, clothing and toiletries to name a few, all fall under the standard definition of contents on a home insurance policy. Food and drink, which is also the staple of a lot of households at Christmas, can also be included. Most home insurance policies have a separate section for frozen food, which becomes more important than ever when our freezers are full to bursting with tasty treats for the family. Your home contents insurance is potentially well suited to cover you over the month of December.

Do I need to pay more?

A large number of insurance companies automatically increase their cover over the Christmas period these days, so you will probably find that what they offer you as standard will do the job. Generally this comes in the form of a temporary percentage increase of the total contents, to frozen food, to personal money, or a combination of all three. The definition of personal money in a number of these policies will extend to gift vouchers or store cards.

If the standard cover provided isn’t sufficient for your needs, get in contact with your company to arrange something more suitable.

How long does my extra cover last?

This will vary greatly from policy to policy, as does the cover offered and the restrictions that apply, so it is impossible to give you a clear answer on this point. We would highly recommend reading your policy thoroughly, and if you are in any doubt, contact your insurance provider for advice.

If you’re the kind of person that likes to prepare well in advance, and get the bulk of your festive shopping done in November for example, there may be a period of time where the cover isn’t in force, and you may want to think about arranging a temporary increase with your company in this instance.

What about other religious festivals or holidays?

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, a number of insurance companies will temporarily increase cover for other religious holidays instead, and it is worth getting in contact with them to see what they can offer for you. An increasing number of policies are changing their wordings so that “religious holidays” or “special events” are referred to instead, which may mean that cover is automatically in place. We expect that this trend will continue over time.

Some even go as far as extending cover for weddings, civil partnerships, and birthdays.

If you do find that your home contents insurance cover isn’t suitable, we recommend contacting your insurer to arrange an increase in the cover on your policy. It is also worth keeping in mind that some items such as laptops, phones, tablets, and bikes may need to be insured separately, even with the increased limits.

What if I go away for Christmas?

Most insurance policies allow for either a 14-day or 30-day period of unoccupancy as standard, so you may not need to inform your insurers.

It is worth keeping in mind though that the number of burglaries over the Christmas period can increase, so asking if a friend or family member can visit your property every couple of days may be worthwhile.

If you’ve found that your home contents insurance is lacking, then we at GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd have a wide array of comprehensive policies available to suit your needs.

From everyone at the team here, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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