Britons lost £2bn worth of property on public transport in 2021: would your insurance cover it?


People who lose property on the train or bus end up on average almost £300 out of pocket, as the majority of home insurance policies do not cover their belongings when they leave the house.

Over the past 12 months, Britons have lost around £2billion in personal belongings on public transport, costing them an average of £288 per lost item.

According to a study by insurer Direct Line, only 12% of home insurance policies include personal property coverage, and 87% offer it at an additional premium.

Over a third of commuters lost property on public transport in 2021, with the total amount of personal items lost on trains, Tubes and buses totaling over £2billion

Nearly eight million people lost something while traveling on trains, subways and buses in 2021, while 12.8 million items of property were reportedly misplaced.

Around 1,500 items are lost every hour, meaning Britons collectively lose over £258,000 every 60 minutes.

Those under 35 accounted for the lion’s share of property lost, misplacing £1.5billion in property last year.

Experts are now urging Britons to check their home insurance policies to make sure they are properly covered before their next morning commute or weekend break.

According to MoneySuperMarket, more than 75% of the home insurance policies it advertises come with a mandatory deductible of just £100, meaning it will still be worth claiming insurance for more expensive personal items.

Dan Simson, head of Direct Line home insurance, said: ‘We are often rushed or tired when traveling by train, bus or tube, so it’s no surprise that so many people have left things behind. they.

You can protect your gadgets with personal possession coverage, available with most home insurance policies.

You can protect your gadgets with personal possession coverage, available with most home insurance policies.

“It can be expensive, however, and just losing an item like a pair of headphones or sunglasses can cost hundreds of pounds.”

He added that it’s important to make sure your belongings are covered by your home insurance before you leave the house with your expensive gadgets.

It is important to check your policy carefully, as some will have restrictive limits on what customers can claim.

Angela Pilley, home insurance expert at Defaqto, said: “As everyone’s needs vary widely, there is no standard level of cover for personal property in the market.”

The amount a policy will pay for lost property depends on the availability and cost of coverage, the maximum payout offered by the insurer for each particular item, and whether or not the items are on the policy.

While some items will be included as standard, others will need to be added as an additional option by the policyholder.

This is especially the case for more expensive items that may exceed the policy’s per-item limit, such as cash, cell phones, and pedal bikes.

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Pilley said customers should check if their policy limit is “sufficient to cover the maximum amount of all their belongings while travelling”.

She added: “The amount you are asking for is for your whole family, so if mum, dad and the kids are away for the day, consider the maximum value of anything you could take with you.

“This includes everything you wear and carry, including eyewear, clothing, purse, jewelry and all wearable tech equipment.

“In addition to this, there will be a single item limit and any individual items over this value will need to be specified on the policy for cover to apply.

Not included Included Additional option
Money 5% 87% 9%
Mobile phones 3% 89% 8%
Pedal cycles 1% 60% 39%

‘With limits varying from £250 to £15,000, it is important to consider the maximum value of any item you take outside your home and ensure that the limit per item is sufficient or, if necessary, to ensure that it is individually listed on the policy.’

She also said some policies may not cover specific gadgets or property such as cellphones, cash or bicycles.

Simson agreed, urging consumers to check with their provider.

“Whenever insurance policies are purchased, we always advise customers to read in detail what is covered and any exclusions, to ensure the cover meets their needs,” he said. .

“This includes listing specified items of higher value, for example a possession that is worth more than the policy limit of individual items.

“If a client is unsure of what to list, we encourage them to speak with our insurance advisors to discuss what should and should not be included, as they will be able to participate in those discussions.”

Finally, Pilley advises travelers to be aware of the deductible they are accepting when opting for homeowners insurance with personal property coverage.

She said: “In today’s market it is typical for the deductible applicable to claims under the personal property section to be the same as a claim for home contents.

“However, some claimants apply a higher deductible when claiming personal property outside the home.”

About 93% of available policies apply the same deductible for personal property as for contents cover, with only 3% applying a reduced deductible and 4% increasing their deductible for personal property.

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