Going to a festival? Protect your belongings!

After taking a year off in 2012, the Glastonbury Festival is back this weekend, and although some old hands will be among this year’s headline acts - notably The Rolling Stones and Kenny Rogers - much has changed since T Rex topped the inaugural bill back in 1970.

For instance, whereas £500 would have given you a 10% deposit on a house back then, it’ll not even cover the contents of the average festival-goer’s rucksack this year.

And while tickets for that first Pilton Pop, Blues and Folk Festival – the first to be held on Glasto’s Worthy Farm site – cost just £1 each, this year’s event will see tickets top the £200 mark for the first time.

All of which means that, if anything goes wrong, such as tickets getting misplaced or possessions being stolen, this year’s revellers have more to lose than ever. So if you’re heading off to Glastonbury or any other of this summer’s festivals, it’s vital to stay vigilant and to make sure you’re fully insured, just in case the worst should happen.


What’s in your rucksack?

It’s estimated that more than 16million people will attend one of the many festivals and concerts being held across the UK this summer, taking with them an array of electronic gizmos that will collectively be worth over £8billion – meaning that the average festival-goer’s rucksack will contain £524 worth of gadgets.

This seems like an awful lot of kit to be travelling with, so let’s take a look at how the figures break down…

  • 66% will take a digital camera. This figure is 10% down on the 2011 figure and suggests that more people will be using their smartphones to keep a record of their weekend. Speaking of which…
  • 57% will be taking a smartphone, meaning there’ll be a lot of people not in attendance receiving unwanted voice and video calls from friends that are!
  • 23% will be packing a laptop or tablet device, but unless there’s going to be a lot of live blogging going on, I’ve no idea why anyone would risk taking such expensive and non-essential items.
  • 5% plan to take along a cordless hairdryer or straighteners, which suggest they’d be better suited to life at a top people's health farm rather than a weekend at Worthy Farm.

The good news is that, although there were more arrests at Glastonbury 2011 than at the 2010 festival, the actual number of reported crimes was down from 345 to 309.

That said, over a quarter (26%) of those attending an outdoor event this summer have lost items or had them stolen at previous events, while tales of opportunistic muggings and tents being used as swag bags to relieve people of their belongings are always rife at this time of year – so it makes sense to make sure your items are covered. Here’s how to do it…

Don’t blow your cover

Losing your valuables or having them stolen is enough to put a dampener on even the wettest of festival weekends, but if they’re insured then you’ll at least be able to replace them.

If you have home insurance then check the terms and conditions of your contents cover as some items may be insured against theft, loss or damage while away from the home.

If your policy provides this sort of cover, make sure your insurer is aware of any expensive items you plan to take with you, and they’re included in your list of valuable contents, or you could find your claim is refused - this in known as ‘non-disclosure’.

This means being aware of the ‘single article’ limit within your policy, which is usually set between £1,000 and £1,500. You need to tell your insurer about anything you own that’s worth more than this amount, be it a fancy camera, top-of-the-range laptop or expensive home entertainment system – regardless of whether you take it away from home or not.

If you’re not covered by you home insurance then you may be able to upgrade your policy to include the items you’re taking away with you, or you could take out separate gadget insurance.

However, even if you’re fully insured, this doesn’t mean that you can be irresponsible and leave your iPad lying around inside your tent or not have to worry about dropping your phone in the chemical toilet after one too many ciders. Insurers need to be confident you have taken sufficient care and paid enough attention to your insured items – so if you do take any valuables then it’s best to keep them about your person, in a locked rucksack or an inside pockets that no one can get to without you noticing.

You should also keep any money in a couple of separate places and try to stick together in groups as this should minimise the risk of being mugged.

If an item or any money is lost or stolen then make sure you report it to the police within 24 hours as this is a condition of some policies and failure to do so might lead to your claim being rejected.

And, finally, when pitching your tent try not to do so at the bottom of a hill as rainwater, and much worse, could run downhill and flood your tent – making it a very unwanted dirty weekend!

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing.

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