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Consumers advised to check contents value of handbags or man bags

17 December 2007
British women are walking around with more than £1,500 worth of valuables in their handbags according to the latest research by Legal and General.

The study found that the average 30-year-old will buy a new bag every three months, spending on average between £185 and £380 and is likely to own over 100 bags in her lifetime.

The price of designer handbags such as the Chloe Elvire tote has crept up over the decades and can now cost in excess of £870. Yet, according to The Daily Mail, the world's most expensive handbag has even overtaken the cost of a Mercedes with wannabe fashionistas paying out an eye-watering £23,484 for the Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork handbag – that is £3,000 more than a Mercedes C180 Coupe SE.

However, it is not only women who are paying over the odds for the necessary accessories. The increasingly popularity of man bags have spelt the end for the plastic carrier bag but with the exclusive purchases and expensive contents comes the worry of replacing items lost or damaged.

Now Legal and General is advising consumers to check the value of the belongings in their bags, in particular technology items such as iPods, mobiles, PDAs or Blackberries, which can cost hundreds of pounds to replace.

Ruth Wilkins, Head of communications at Legal and General's General Insurance Business explains: "It is surprising how much we do actually carry around with us each day. This often includes items that we would be lost without, such as family photos, a special gift or a lottery ticket, which are difficult to put a price on.

"In addition, there is the pressure to buy the latest designer items, which can be quite pricey. So it’s probably not that surprising that the value of something like a ladies handbag is so high, when you do consider the variety of items a women will sometimes carry around with her and which are sometimes taken for granted."

While most household insurance policies offer the optional benefit of cover for personal possessions away from the home, which should include a handbag and its contents, policy holders should check that the level of cover is sufficient for the personal possessions they own.

Wilkins continues: "It is extremely upsetting to have a handbag or the contents stolen. So rather than realise that you are not insured we suggest people check that they have cover now and that it is adequate to cover the cost of replacement."

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