Nearly 180,000 music fans hit the roads to attend the Glastonbury festival last month and unfortunately many of those may have been under-prepared when it came to insurance. While checking their insurance documents before they left home may not have been high on the agenda, it would have paid dividends for those who were unlucky enough to lose something of value or even have it stolen. Even those who live in the surrounding area need to be aware of the implications of the weekend on their homes and cars.
Comparison site uSwitch, released figures last month which showed that 68% of festival goers believe that their valuables will be covered by their car insurance if left in the car during the festival. However, 62% of car insurance policies will cover contents of vehicles up to just 100. This will cover the cost of a cheap mobile phone but that’s about it.
They also pointed out that home insurance policies will not cover items left in an unlocked tent or indeed, the tent itself, which needs to be covered by a bespoke policy. Items may be covered if the tent has a lockable door but you have to confirm this with your insurer.
Mike Pickard at Esure makes the point that festivals are rich pickings for opportunistic thieves and any valuable left in tents or elsewhere will be very vulnerable. In fact, Moneysupermarket.com has reported that there was a 50% increase in reported crimes at last years Glastonbury festival compared to 2007.
The best way to protect your valuables while at the festival is to get Personal Belongings Cover which can be added to a standard home insurance policy by way of a bolt on. But, this can cost an extra 100 to 200 and the excess on most claims is around 100. So it seems the best plan appears to be not taking valuables to Glastonbury or any festival.
Of course festival goers do need cash while they are at the event. Most festivals, including Glastonbury will provide cash machines which prevent the attendees from having to carry large sums of cash with them. Festivals also often provide secure lockers which are usually free and mostly underused.
Getting to the festival can also pose problems in regard to insurance. For many, the trip to Glastonbury is a long one. It is important to ensure breakdown cover is up to date or the event could be missed altogether. In addition, many festival goers may choose to share the driving duties with friends. It is worth bearing in mind that only those over the age of 25 with fully comprehensive insurance are able to drive someone else’s car and even then there are often restrictions and increased excesses, so check.
But it is not just the Glastonbury festival goers who have to be aware of the need for good insurance. People who live in the surrounding villages have in the past been subject to an increase in crime during the festival weekend. In previous years there had been a problem with gatecrashers attending the festival. Those who are turned away at the gates also have caused problems, milling about in the nearby villages. In 2002, 1089 crimes where attributed to the Glastonbury festival and this along with other problems such as increased traffic, resulted in the festival being blocked in 2003 by the Mendip District Council.
Bearing this in mind, the residents of the surrounding area would be wise to check household and car insurance policies to make sure they are covered – especially for vandalism.
Local residents have in past been kept happy by the festival organisers by way of free tickets to the event. However this year fewer were offered the tickets as the catchment area was made smaller. Those outside the catchment were offered tickets for the Sunday only.
While attending a music festival such as Glastonbury should be a carefree event, leaving home without insurance is foolhardy. Getting back to your tent to discover your Ipod is missing and someone has stolen your car is certainly going to take the shine off what would otherwise be an excellent weekend whether you are covered or not — but it will sting less with proper cover.