Protect your Christmas presents with ho-ho-home insurance

03 December 2007
In case a thief comes down the chimney this Christmas Eve instead of Santa Clause, insurance companies are urging homeowners to protect themselves by increasing their home insurance policies to cover the extra value of expensive presents in their homes.

This Christmas, people will be getting into the festive spirit by spending an average of £385 each on presents, totalling £18.3 billion, according to Direct Line, and home insurance should be adjusted accordingly as thieves are drawn in by the added value of gifts in the home.

Andrew Lowe, Head of Home Insurance at Direct Line said: "With all the extra possessions in the home, Christmas can be a popular time for burglaries so people need to make sure they are vigilant with their home security. Those buying popular gadgets such as digital cameras, laptops, iPods and the new iPhone need to be especially careful as these items can be easy-pickings for burglars to steal and re-sell.

"After Christmas and New Year some may find that the value of their household contents has significantly increased in value, so it is worth reassessing home insurance policies to make sure people are not underinsured."

Rural home insurer NFU recommends that homeowners hide presents in the loft rather than in cupboards, where they'll be safer both from the kids and thieves, that they not leave presents in obvious places where they can be seen from windows, and that they add any expensive gifts received to their home insurance policy so that they are never underinsured.

Laura Wood, spokesperson for NFU Mutual, said, "People do not consider the cumulative value of the gifts which they store or bring into their home during the festive season and it is vital that they remember that the value of these presents will impact on their home contents insurance.

"People living in rural areas can also be more susceptible to power cuts and long term power loss and when you have a freezer full of lovely Christmas goodies, this can be disastrous. Therefore the NFU Mutual policy also provides unlimited freezer cover in case the worst happens."

Some insurance companies offer extra protection for the Christmas period or include it as standard – compare Home Insurance policies here

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