Don’t make Christmas presents a gift for thieves, warns insurance expert

People should not be hiding presents in garages and sheds

HOMEOWNERS in Scotland are being urged to think twice about where they store their Christmas gifts this year.

“People should not be hiding presents in garages and sheds, even if it is only temporary or overnight,” said James Cuthbertson, of rural insurance broker Lycetts.

“It has never been a good idea to store valuable items in outbuildings, but with the cost-of-living crisis and inflated prices, burglars are more determined to exploit any opportunity they can.”

Cuthbertson stressed the importance of carefully checking household insurance policies and of not simply assuming all contents are covered.

“Most policies will have limits for any items that are stored outside the house. This is because security measures for sheds and garages tend not to be as rigorous and effective as they are for houses.

“Limits vary from insurer to insurer, with some providing cover wherever the gifts are kept and others insisting on secure locations.

“A number of insurers automatically provide an increased level of cover over Christmas, but this assumes that any expensive gifts are kept in the home.”

He also warned against keeping presents in cars.

“Although most motor policies would not cover such losses, presents stolen from a locked car may be covered under a household policy, subject to certain limits and terms, so it’s always best to double check the policy wording.

“The safest thing to do is avoid leaving expensive items anywhere other than in the home. Even then, try not to hide them in obvious places such as behind wardrobes or under beds as these are often the first place burglars look.

“Checking the terms of insurance policies, can help ensure a happy time for families over the festive period.”

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