Ina Opperman

By Ina Opperman

Business Journalist


How to keep your valuables covered when you travel

According to Stats SA, theft of personal property accounts for 45% of the total number of crimes against individuals.


It is important to know how to keep your valuables covered by insurance when you travel, as home contents insurance does not cover anything you take with you when you leave your house.

If you already secured your spot on the beach or in the bush for the December break, remember that you also need to secure the things you will take with you because theft of personal property is the most common type of crime experienced by individuals.

“Your luggage, beach bag, camera and other personal possessions are prime pickings for thieves,” Wynand van Vuuren, client experience partner at King Price Insurance, warns.

Here are his tips to ensure your valuables are covered:

Get specific

He says as the items you take with you when you leave your home vary enormously in value, most insurers have ‘specified’ and ‘unspecified’ requirements. Generally, your insurer will allocate a collective amount to cover a number of ‘unspecified’ items, like keys, make-up and other low-value items.

“But high-value items, like phones, tablets and even expensive running shoes, must be specified in detail, down to their make and serial number if possible, to prove their existence and replacement value.”

ALSO READ: EXPLAINER: Six tricky travel insurance terms and what they mean

Insure your valuables for what they are worth

“It is your responsibility to ensure that your specified items are covered for what it would cost you to replace them today and not what you paid when you bought them. Just like you should update the insured values for your buildings and home contents annually, you should also check that your specified portable possessions are insured for what they are currently worth,” Van Vuuren says.

Ensure you have the right kind of cover

Van Vuuren says it is critical to have the right kind of insurance. “Personal items that you take with you when you leave your property are not covered under your home contents insurance. Your home contents insurance might cover your iPad and designer sunglasses if they are stolen from your home, but from the moment you drive out your gate with them, you need separate portable possessions cover.”

Living in South Africa, we have learned to be hyper-vigilant about our personal safety and the security of our possessions. The reality is that you should not let your guard down when you are on holiday, says Van Vuuren.

“If you plan to travel, our best advice is to chat to your insurer about the portable possessions you will take with, to make sure that they are covered properly.”

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