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Christmas shoppers warned to check their home and car insurance before stashing presents in the boot

December 17, 2021

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Cars can be the perfect hiding place for Christmas presents, however, GoCompare is urging drivers to read their home and car insurance policies first before leaving too many valuable gifts in the boot.

Many parents will know the difficulty of having curious kid scurrying around the house on a present-seeking mission, and so resort to leaving the Christmas shopping in the back of the car before the time comes to wrap, but if your vehicle is broken into or stolen, would your gifts be covered?

GoCompare has done some digging and found that for most people luckily, they would – but with cover limits and obvious restrictions.

If you were to claim on your car insurance, GoCompare found that out of 327 standard comprehensive car insurance products, 306 cover personal possessions as standard – but with varying degrees of financial cover.

Some 43 will cover possessions worth £400 or more – where there is a monetary limit, 98 policies offer cover of between £250 and £399, while 109 offer cover of between £150 and £250, and 56 policies less than £150 if the personal possessions are stolen.

And if your car windscreen or windows are broken in the process, there is again a difference in cover.

Some 306 standard car insurance policies cover windscreens as standard, with an additional 13 policies covering for side windows if they are smashed during the theft.

If your Christmas shopping is worth more than £400 then it might be worth seeing if your home contents insurance would cover the stolen gifts.

When examining the insurance data, GoCompare found that out of 356 home contents policies, 41 per cent (146) cover personal possessions in a car up to the contents or personal possessions sum insured on the policy, which is the maximum the insurance company will pay out by the section or terms of your policy.

But some insurance companies are explicit in their policy documents that they will only cover “everyday items”, and so you might find that they will not cover gifts hidden in a car.

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Home contents insurance certainly offers higher financial cover for personal possessions stolen from cars, with 90 policies offering cover of £1500 or more, where there is a monetary limit, if your effects are stolen from your car – but again, checking the exact wording of your policy is important as they may not deem Christmas shopping as personal possessions, and may want proof that they were hidden away from view in a locked boot.

Ryan Fulthorpe, of GoCompare Car insurance, said: “We’ve all been there. You’ve done some shopping and the person you have bought for is in the house – so you leave the gifts in the boot ready to get them out when the coast is clear.

“So, it is reassuring to know that both car and home contents insurance offers some kind of protection for you should the worst happen.”



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However, he added: “Of course, we always recommend that you do not leave expensive gifts in the back of the car – even if you are hiding them from your nearest and dearest – as there are many caveats in both car and home insurance policies which means that you might not always be covered.”

For more information about car and home contents insurance visit the GoCompare website here.

Get the latest money-saving and benefits news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our weekly Money newsletter here.



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