As most women will testify, a handbag is one of life's absolute essentials, and a must-have accessory that a girl simply can't live without. And while a bag that gets carted around every day may seem like an everyday item, it can also come with a hefty price tag – and especially if it's an expensive designer brand.
On top of this, girls often carry all manner of items with them in their trusty totes, the total value of which can sometimes run into thousands of pounds. Contents can include purses and wallets (themselves costing a fair whack), cards and money, make-up, mirrors, sunglasses, perfume, and a haul of gadgets, including a mobile, an iPod, and a tablet or a laptop.
No-one wants to contemplate losing a bag or getting it stolen, but should the worst happen, you will have no choice but to think about replacing all those valued items. Given the value of the contents and the value of the bag itself can soon mount up, it's vital to make sure these objects of desire are properly insured.
Here we take a look at how to ensure you have the right cover in place for your beloved bag and its contents.
Handbag cover under home contents insurance
First off, it's worth checking your household policy to see if your handbag and its contents are covered. The key thing to bear in mind is that while your bag and its contents may be covered while you are at home, you may lose this cover for high-tech items such as a mobile, tablet or laptop, if you carry them with you when you're out and about.
make sure you think carefully about the total value of your bag – and everything in it – as it's easy to under-estimate this figure
Put another way, standard buildings and contents insurance usually covers valuables while you are in the house, but will not automatically provide cover for personal possession once you step outside. As a result, you may need to take out additional cover as an optional extra. Check your policy details.
Getting cover for the contents of your handbag
To ensure you and your possessions are fully protected when you leave the house, it's worth speaking to your insurer to see if you can add cover for the contents of your handbag “outside the home” to your policy.
Some will allow you to add personal possessions cover away from home on to a standard home contents policy as a bolt-on. But make sure you check the cover limit for individual items, as this may stand at around £1,500 – meaning more expensive items will need to be listed individually on a policy.
Another alternative is to insure certain goods, such as your mobile, tablet or laptop separately. You can do this by applying for specialist cover for individual items from a stand-alone provider.
Cover for designer handbags
When thinking about cover for your handbag, you may want to consider buying a stand-alone handbag insurance policy from a specialist provider. Standard handbag cover will usually cover your bag against theft or damage, and the contents up to a limit of, say, £500 or £1,000.
Equally, if you've got a top-of the-range bag, it's now possible to get specialist designer handbag insurance which will offer cover up to a higher limit of, say £2,500 for a handbag and its contents. This includes cover for all those expensive gadgets, as well as your cash and credit cards.
Some specialist policies will cover any bag you carry – rather than a particular bag – while other features to look out for include help with cancelling mobile phones and cards, support finding a locksmith, and a get-you-home service.
On the upside, if you take out a stand-alone handbag policy and need to make a claim, this won't mean losing the no-claims discount on your home cover. On the downside, premiums can be pretty pricey and often come with a high excess – especially if you're taking out designer bag insurance – making it vital to shop around for the best deal you can find.
Anyone who has lost a bag or fallen victim to a bag thief will know that having to make a claim can be extremely stressful and time-consuming, as you will need to prove the value of the bag and its contents. This is why, as a precautionary measure, you may want to think about making a list of all the items you carry around with you in your handbag, as this could help you should you need to make a claim.
Finally, when insuring your handbag and its contents, make sure you think carefully about the total value of your bag – and everything in it – as it's easy to under-estimate this figure. By getting the value right, this will ensure you get the right level of cover for your needs – giving you peace of mind that your prized possession and all of its contents are fully protected.