Comprehensive car insurance a must for women who carry everything but the kitchen sink

31 March 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Women risk theft and personal injury by carrying around a heavy load in their handbags and cars, which could cost them dearly without adequate contents insurance and car insurance.

Women leave £2 billion of personal belongings in their cars on a daily basis, an average of at least four items and £129 per car, according to research from Sheilas’ Wheels car insurance, putting themselves in danger of theft, accidents and injury. A further 18 per cent admitted to having at least seven personal items in their cars.

The research also found that 60 per cent of women view their cars as an extension of their homes, which could account for the 85 per cent of who admitted that there are a number of things in their cars which belong in the wardrobe, not the foot-well.

More than a quarter of women regularly keep a change of clothes in their cars, perhaps as a result of the growing ‘after-work’ culture among those who work in offices, which requires a different wardrobe, and one fifth of women keep make-up in their cars, so they’re ready for any occasion.

Other changes in social habits - such as a rise in the pursuit of hobbies and number of people attending the gym after work - have also contributed to the array of items left in cars. Some insurers, such as Sheila’s Wheels, provide exclusive women’s car insurance policies which offer cover for handbags and personal possessions in the car.

The most common items being driven around were found to be books, shoes, clothes, children’s toys, and toiletries. Such items as these pose a great risk if they were to roll under the pedals of the car, and one in ten female motorists revealed that they have had an accident or a near miss as a result of deodorant, drinks bottles, lipstick and hairbrushes getting under their feet.

"Any personal belongings, whatever their value, that are left unattended in a car can be easy pickings for opportunistic thieves." comments Jacky Brown at Sheilas’ Wheels. "To avoid a smashed window or a broken lock, we want to encourage all women to avoid using their car as a wardrobe on wheels and leaving anything strewn over the back seat, on display."

Cheshire Building Society has also found that women are putting themselves at risk by carrying expensive items in their handbags, with almost half carting around £200-£500 of personal items with them every day, such as MP3 players, laptops and mobile phones.

In light of these findings, Cheshire is urging people to check that the personal possessions which they take outside of the home are still covered by their contents insurance, because ‘a big bag means big bucks for criminals.’

Karen Torson, from Cheshire Building Society, comments: "It is important that people don’t underestimate what their belongings are worth and should check that everything being carried around with them is covered by their home insurance policy for loss or theft."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd