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Insurance risk for festival-goers

25 August 2009 / by Andy Davies

Festival-goers are putting £2.3billion worth of possessions at risk this summer by taking valuable items like mobile phones and digital cameras to festivals.

According to the Post Office Insurance, around 20 million people in the UK have been or are planning to go to a music festival such as V Festival and Reading this summer.

Figures published by the Post Office show that on average people take items that collectively amount to more than £450 each, while for the 5.3million people who camp overnight this increases to around £600 with the costs of sleeping bags and camping equipment pushing the price up.

As around nine per cent of people have experienced loss or theft at a festival, the Post Office is urging people to 'check their home insurance' to make sure they are covered if anything happens.

Commenting on the risks, Richard Pennant-Jones, head of general insurance at the Post Office, said: "Festival-goers a few years ago would have been happy with just a lunchbox, a pair of wellies and a cagoule.  But the modern outdoor event rucksack can contain all sorts of pricey gadgets like digital cameras, Blackberrys, mobiles, iPods, and even extravagant picnic paraphernalia - over 350,000 people this year plan to take an expensive rug.  

"This means we are much more at risk from opportunistic thieves and pickpockets, as well the more common event of loss."

Figures show that around 77 per cent of people will take a mobile phone, while 75 per cent of music lovers will be carrying up to £100 of cash with them.

Mr Pennant-Jones said simple steps could save hundreds of pounds in the event of loss or theft, he added: "It is easy for people to get caught up in the fun of the festival, which is why they need to try and protect their belongings.

"The Post Office recommends that people take old items or equipment wherever possible and not be tempted to take expensive items such as designer sunglasses and bags.  And they should check their home insurance contents policy to be clear what personal possessions are covered automatically and whether they need to get extra cover."

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