What Personal Possessions Are Covered By Home Insurance Outside The Home?

Caeva O'Callaghan | December 21st, 2020

Does home insurance cover possessions outside of the home?

Your contents insurance cover will insure your personal belongings while they’re in your home. But, if you remove them, even temporarily, your insurance might not cover all the risks.

Everyone removes contents from their home from time to time. If you take your laptop to a cafe to do some work, put on a ring with sentimental value, or lend a power tool to a friend, you will want to know how your home insurance covers these possessions.

In most cases, items which fall under your contents policy will not have cover if you remove them from your property. This is the case even when removal is temporary.

In this article, we’ll go over questions such as:

  • Are my belongings insured outside my house?
  • What happens if someone stole my laptop from my car?
  • Does contents insurance cover belongings outside the home?

While you’re out and about, the last thing you want to worry about is insurance. Getting to know the facts about how your insurance covers your possessions outside the home will put your mind at ease.

When your contents aren’t covered outside your home

Contents that you temporarily remove from your home, but which stay in Ireland or the UK, and aren’t more than 20% of the contents sum insured, will not be covered for accidental damage or loss from most risks.

These non-insurable risks include damage or loss from:

  • Flood or storm while your belongings are not inside a building
  • Frost, snow or ice
  • Stealing which does not involve force and violence to enter or leave a building
  • Removal for sale or exhibition or to storage

This means if you leave your belongings outside in the rain or snow or in an unlocked house, you will not be able to make a claim on your contents policy.

When you remove your belongings for exhibition, your insurance provider will naturally assume they are valuable or somehow unique. If so, and your loss will be significant if the items suffer damage, it’s a good idea to insure them separately.

And if you lose or discover damage on your belongings during a removal or storage, they should fall under the cover of the storage or removal company. If they don’t have insurance, this will mean it’s your fault for not ensuring your belongings had protection.

What is extended cover?

You can often purchase extended cover on your insurance policies. This will help keep your belongings safe in more situations, including when you take them outside the home.

Most insurance policies let you add on extended cover for your personal belongings. This will include any valuables you own or which are your legal responsibility. The limit for any one item is €1,000.

All Risks cover does exactly what it says on the tin. It covers all the contents you declare on your policy against all risks. This type of cover will protect your personal possessions, even when outside the home.

There are two types of All Risks cover: Specified and Unspecified.

Specified All Risks Cover allows you to list individual items on your policy, and specify their individual value. These items normally include jewellery, hearing aids electronics, bicycles, and other valuables. Each item has cover up to the amount you insure it for.

Unspecified All Risks Cover is an umbrella style cover which allows you to select a total amount that your personal effects will have cover for in each year. There is no need to list each item individually. This cover protects items such as glasses, mobile phones, handbags and other small items. Certain limits apply to Unspecified All Risks cover including; €2,000 for any one item, bicycles up to a limit of €320 and personal money up to a limit of €650.

What happens to items damaged or robbed in your car?

When you purchase your car insurance policies, you can pay a little extra for more comprehensive personal belongings extension. This will cover household items you remove from your home and leave in your car temporarily, like your handbag.

However, most insurance policies allow a small sum to cover theft of personal belongings. The limit is normally around €300 per claim. But there’s good news too: a claim under this section will not affect your no-claims bonus.

If you have all risks cover and your laptop is stolen from your car, you will likely be able to claim for it on your contents insurance. If not, it might have cover on your car insurance.

If you have any questions about what is covered by your home insurance call us and we can advise you.

If you are concerned about the level of cover you have for certain possessions, feel free to pick up the phone and talk to our home insurance experts today. We are available Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

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All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.