Bank holiday campers warned to check insurance or risk unexpected costs

22 August 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
It's bank holiday weekend and as Brits prepare for a cheap weekend away, is reminding them to check their insurance or face hefty replacement costs

The August bank holiday is the last one until Christmas, and a final opportunity for those with kids to get away before the school holidays are over. As a result it is this time of year that sees millions of Brits hit the roads, rails and airways in attempts to make the most of that extra day.

Although many will be jetting off to sunnier climates, for some, the budget will only stretch to a British break, which for many means good old traditional camping, and, for those who were fearing a wet weekend, things are looking up – the forecast is actually okay!

In fact, camping has seen quite an upturn in recent months; reports suggest that, while the credit crunch takes hold and hits mortgage lending and other huge markets, the camping industry has been one of few sectors to enjoy continued success.

Camping can really cut costs, for example, you can get a pitch for around £10 per night, which normally includes washing facilities. Once you have paid the one off cost of equipment, all you have to pay for is petrol, pitch and food, which can be done cheaply with a camp stove.

However, as the popularity of camping rises, is warning bank holiday revellers to check their insurance. What happens if items are stolen from the tent when you are not there? What if items get damaged or lost while away from home?

Spokesperson for Rachael Stiles, comments: "Many campers will automatically assume that items they take with them will be insured under their contents insurance. However, this is not always the case, which is why we are urging those who are intending to get away this weekend to check their insurance, particularly if they are taking expensive items like iPods and laptops with them."

'Away from home cover' or 'personal possessions cover' is often optional when it comes to home insurance and it is this type of insurance that would pay out should you lose something due to damage or theft while away from the home. Another alternative option could be UK travel insurance, which could cover you for items lost or damaged while camping.

However, be careful, if you leave items unattended in a tent and they get stolen, it is unlikely that an insurance company will pay out for a claim as it is the policy holder's responsibility to 'take every reasonable precaution to prevent loss or damage.'

Miss Stiles added: "Campers should also be aware that if they intend to take items that are valued at more than £1,500 with them, they may have to notify their insurer to make sure that these items are covered for being taken outside the home – even as part of personal possessions cover."

"We really cannot affirm enough the importance of checking insurance, it is easy to ignore the small print, but while the nation finds ways to save money, it seems futile to ignore insurance and end up losing thousands of pounds worth of valuables. The last thing Brits need right now is unexpected costs on top of an already increased cost of living" Miss Stiles concluded.