20 June 2017

Five ways to keep your belongings safe at festivals

Glastonbury, Reading and Latitude are amongst the summer music festivals ready to take over fields across the country this summer.

You might have already packed your wellies, earplugs and that all-important wrist band, but have you considered how you’re going to keep your valuables safe and if insurance can repair or replace them should something happen?

What are you taking?

There was a time when festival-goers simply stuffed a tent, some toilet roll and spare clothes into a bag, so there wasn’t much to take care of once you were on-site.

But today, some people will take expensive gadgets, such as a smartphone or camera, and lots of cash with them, but may not have thought about how they will take care of them in the mosh pit and the mud.

Nationwide Product Manager Darren Black highlights that statistics from festivals such as the Reading Festival show that many people lose their valuables when in the tightly packed crowds because they leave them in easy-to-access pockets.

“Figures released by Thames Valley Police following the Reading festival weekend in 2016 highlighted that almost 90% of crime reported was related to theft,” Darren says.

Know what’s covered

You may not realise that your home insurance or your parents’ home insurance, could offer cover that extends to possessions outside the home, offering cover even in the muddiest of fields.

Of course, leaving valuables at home is the safest way to protect them, but you’ll need to pack some essentials. A good first step is to check what’s covered under your home insurance.

Personal Possessions cover (for items such as mobiles and cameras on your person) is included as standard with Nationwide’s Home Insurance policy. This means you have £5,000 of cover, up to £4,000 on single items and £1,000 of cash, away from home (in the British Isles).

Personal Possessions cover can also be added to Nationwide's Home Insurance Essentials policy for an additional premium. This means you have £2,500 of cover, up to £2,000 on single items and £500 of cash.

So if your new camera hits the deck during your favourite act, you should be covered.

Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so here are some helpful pointers.

Five top tips to keep your valuables safe

  • Check the festival facilities

Festival organisers are as keen as you are to help protect your stuff, so check out what facilities are offered before you go. Queues for on-site ATMs can be long, but most festivals now accept card payments and even cashless payment options like Apple Pay.

Make a note of your bank’s emergency number just in case you lose your card. If you do need to carry cash, split it into two stashes and consider storing some in a money belt or at least zipped pockets.

One simple way to avoid ending your festival on a low, is to secure any valuables that you won’t regularly need in a festival locker. 

  • Don’t take what you don’t need

That vintage ring or expensive pair of sunglasses might look great with your festival outfit, but it’s all too easy to lose things in the crowds.  

While Nationwide home insurance could compensate you financially against loss, theft or damage so long as you have proof of the item’s value, family heirlooms are sentimentally irreplaceable.

  • Secure your smartphone

We’re not going to tell you to leave your phone at home – you’re likely to need it to meet up with friends, take snaps of your favourite band or check the line-up using the festival’s app – but there are steps that you can take to keep it safe.

Keep it in a zipped pocket or bag when you’re not using it and consider a waterproof case to protect it from the elements. Use a PIN or password so that if it is found, no-one else can run up a large bill and activate any tracking devices your phone may be enabled with. As well as with Personal Possessions cover, if you are a FlexPlus customer, your mobile phone will also be covered under this product.

  • Make your mark

Label possessions with your name and postcode to deter thieves and make it easier for them to be returned to you if they are handed in. To improve the ability to recover lost or stolen items, you can also use things such as SmartWater.

  • Nothing to hide

If you have to leave items in the car, make sure they’re hidden from view and locked away if possible – and the car itself is locked.

If your car is empty, leave the glove compartment open so that would-be thieves can see that there’s nothing worth stealing.

Good weather is one thing you can’t rely on, but you can take control of your festival experience and make sure it is a summer to remember – for all the right reasons. 

Do you want to cover your valuables away from home?

Limits and exclusions apply. Please read the policy documents carefully.

Apple Pay is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries.

Nationwide home insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

Worldwide Mobile Phone Insurance is arranged and administered for FlexPlus by Lifestyle Services Group Limited and underwritten by London General Insurance Company Limited.

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