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Holidaymakers should review their insurance policies before they go on holiday this festive season. This is according to Annelie Smith, Corporate Executive at RBS, who notes that in addition to travel insurance, consumers also need to make sure that they insure their high value personal belongings.

“Personal property such as jewellery, laptops, tablets, phones and cameras are all at increased risk while you are travelling, when in fact it is fairly easy to insure them under the specified items in one’s home contents insurance,” Smith says.

She points out that consumers need to know what to expect when it comes to home contents insurance. “The good thing about insuring personal property under home contents, is that the items specified on the policy are insured no matter where they are. It is also quite quick to insure a new item just before you leave on holiday, and your broker can easily add them to your cover on short notice,” she says.

“Consumers however need to make sure that they understand the conditions and exclusions contained in their policies. Many home contents policies have a limit on how much you can claim for lost items. Be sure to know what the limit is, and whether you may need to have this increased to cover all your insured items for the time that you are away.”

Smith adds that most policies would also specify that jewellery and other high-value items must be kept in a safe while not being worn or used. “You also need to have the items valued in order to make sure the full replacement amount is covered. We have seen quite a few instances of consumers only being able to claim for a fraction of the value of their jewellery, because their valuations weren’t up to date,” she comments.

Home contents cover is also useful when consumers want to insure items for very short periods. “You can insure items just for the week or two that you are on holiday, which is especially advantageous for those who want to use their holiday as an opportunity to propose to their partner.”

According to Smith, the risk of losing your newly acquired engagement ring should not be forgotten. “A broker can add your engagement ring to your cover for just the time that you are away. Once you get back, the cover lapses and your fiancé can have it insured under their name,” she says.

“It is important to understand the risks of the country or destination that you are travelling to, and not to take any unnecessary risks. Make sure your travel and medical insurance policies are in place and take advantage of the flexibility of home contents cover during your holiday,” Smith concludes.