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Careless Brits' leave beach valuables unattended

08 August 2006
One in four British holidaymakers have no qualms about leaving expensive items such as sunglasses, watches or digital cameras in their bags while they head off for a swim or to pick up a drink or ice cream from a nearby shop.

Research from insurance company Norwich Union suggests Britons are careless with goods that are worth, on average, £555. A typical beach bag will contain a mobile phone, camera, watch, sunglasses, and cash and credit cards, with each item worth at least £75.

Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of those surveyed underestimated the true value of the possessions in their bag by around 60 per cent.

"Our evidence suggests that the simple beach bag, once just for towels and sunscreen, has become a glamorous fashion accessory packed with expensive items which make them rich pickings for opportunist thieves," said Dawn McMullan, travel product manager at Norwich Union.

"Holidaymakers also appear to be severely underestimating the value of their belongings, which means that if they do become a victim of theft, they could find themselves under-insured."

The research also found that the highest risk demographic (16 to 24 year-olds) were also the least likely to have insurance cover on their holiday.

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