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Home insurance at Christmas

Five ways to make sure your presents are covered at Christmas

A family celebrating Christmas by the fire pulling crackers and opening presents

With all those lovely presents waiting to be wrapped, it's not just your bank balance you need to keep an eye on at Christmas. Make sure your home insurance covers you if anything happens to the extra goodies in your house during the festive season.

In 2016, generous Brits spent over £800 on Christmas, more than any other European country. Nearly £500 of this was spent on presents for our nearest and dearest.

Sadly this generosity doesn't extend to the criminal community and despite Christmas being the season of goodwill, burglaries tend to increase during this time. In 2015, the Association of British Insurers reported that insurers were dealing with nearly 500 claims for theft each day in the run up to Christmas.

Add to that the risk of fire from dodgy fairy lights, paper decorations and seasonal candles and you could be forgiven for just taking to your bed until it's all over.

But don't despair. The Fire Service offers some excellent practical advice about how to keep your home safe during Christmas.

And we've put together five great ways to make sure your presents are insured during the festive season.

1. Extra cover for special events

Check through your home contents insurance. LV= increases your contents cover during Christmas to protect the extra presents you have in your home during this time.

LV= will increase your contents cover by 10% in the month before a religious festival and the month after, for all the goods you bought for the event during that time. So we don't just cover Christmas, but all the major religious festivals too.

2. Visitors' presents and valuables

Lots of people welcome friends and family to stay during Christmas. So on top of all the presents we buy for them, there are also the presents they bring for us. Not to mention the extra jewellery and gadgets that inevitably come with them.

This can soon add up, so it's best to check if your insurance will cover items that belong to other people who are staying with you. Alternatively, check that your visitors have insurance cover for when they are away from home.

Check if your insurance will cover items that belong to other people who are staying with you.

3. If you're away from home for Christmas

Christmas is a great time to take a holiday or visit friends and family to celebrate the occasion. But if you're away from home for even a few days, make sure you stay well insured against theft and the winter weather.

Secure your home

With many families travelling away for Christmas, thieves target homes that look empty or insecure. Make sure you:

  • Lock every door and window securely
  • Set your lights to come on using a timer
  • Ask a trusted friend or neighbour to check your home every day

Take a look at our guide to house locks and stay insured with the right types of locks.

Protect against weather damage

With temperatures dropping in December, take care to protect your home against freezing pipes when you go away. A few simple safeguards can really help:

  • Lag pipes and insulate water tanks
  • Keep the heating on low when you're not there
  • If your water tank is in the loft, open your loft hatch to circulate warm air

Personal belongings cover

When you leave your home for Christmas, chances are that you're laden with presents, food, drink, jewellery, gadgets and half your wardrobe (just in case!).

Make sure these things are insured when you're away from home with personal belongings insurance. This type of insurance covers you for items up to a certain limit if you lose or damage them when you're out and about.

It also usually covers you for lost cash and credit cards. However, the limit of the amount you can claim may be less than for individual items, so if you're carrying a lot of cash on you, just be aware of that.

4. Accidental damage

There's nothing quite so excited as a five year old on Christmas morning. Or quite so clumsy as your Uncle John after a few sherries.

Of course it's never deliberate, but accidents can be very costly. A new flat screen TV or a replacement carpet can run to hundreds of pounds. Extended accidental damage cover can help stop you being out of pocket for accidents that can't be mopped up.

A new flat screen TV or a replacement carpet can run to hundreds of pounds.

5. Check your contents cover after Christmas

Everyone has gone home and your home is back to normal. Except, you've probably got some new things in it. Your son has a new mobile, your daughter a new iPad and your hubby bought you a fabulous new necklace.

It's time to re-evaluate your contents to make sure you're not under insured. And if you have an expensive item, make sure your contents insurance will cover it.

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