Does your homeowners insurance include a “Santa” clause?

December 23, 2010

Homeowners in the UK risk losing more than Britons risk losing over £23 million worth of presents via burglary this Christmas, and sadly, that may not be covered by the usual contents clause in their home insurance coverage, at least according to HSBC.

To help protect consumers, the bank is urging them to read their policies and look for a so-called “Santa clause” which is meant to cover the additional value of goods in their houses during the Christmas period. Two companies, More Than and Tesco Personal Finance have increased their basic home contents coverage by ten percent during the holiday season, for example.

Also of concern to insurance companies is the increased risk from theives. HSBC says that as many as 64,600 British homes could be burgled over the holidays, and adds that only about fifty percent of the population follows basic security practices, like keeping their Christmas trees away from windows.

Stephen Young, head of general insurance at HSBC told the press that, “Every year, over 60,000 people have their Christmas ruined by opportunistic thieves. “Before starting your Christmas shopping, make sure your home is secure and check that your insurance policy has a ‘Santa Clause’ to cover all those extra gifts.”

While most American insurers don’t offer such clauses, temporary riders to cover additional value are available. If you go crazy with Christmas shopping, consider giving yourself the gift of security this year.