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Covered in mud and covered for loss.

Byline: JEREMYGATES

An army of about 180,000 music fans will head for the Glastonbury Festival at the end of June - and many won't notice they have gaping holes in their insurance policies as they set off.

That's the warning from price comparison site uSwitch.com, which reckons that 128,000 festival-goers - about three-quarters of the crowd - will go by car. Many think that goods carried with them, possibly worth several million pounds in total, are safe as long as they are locked away in cars.

Not so, says uSwitch.com, which warns that few insurers are likely to stump up much towards the replacement cost of Apple iphones (worth up to pounds 391.50), SatNavs (up to pounds 391), iPods, mobile phones, sunglasses and other gadgetry which could go missing, because more than 60 per cent of car insurance policies offer a maximum pounds 100 cover on valuables left in vehicles.

Then there's the question of cash: the average consumer at Glastonbury spends about pounds 300 over the weekend; uSwitch fears another pounds 52 million could be vulnerable to loss and theft because few house insurance policies are likely to cover items kept away from home in a tent.

Finally there's the drive to the West Country and back - nearly a quarter of motorists admit allowing friends or relatives to drive without being named on their policy.

In fact, only motorists over the age of 25 with fully comprehensive insurance are covered under their own policy to drive someone else's car. Several insurers allow Third Party Only cover to under-25s. An event such as Glastonbury creates an insurance minefield for both providers and policy holders, according to Mark Monteiro at uSwitch.com.

"Placing all your valuables in a car or tent could very well exempt you from cover with every insurance policy you own," he warns..

"Our advice to motorists is to check all policy details before getting into the car, and then enjoy the music with peace of mind." Limits to cover for items left in a car are low on most policies: usually pounds 100-pounds 250 for items locked away and kept out of sight at all times..

Ian Crowder at AA Insurance says: "Although some car insurance policies cover SatNavs, equipment must always be locked away out of sight. The best advice is to take as little as possible to Glastonbury: a few CDs for the journey, and a camera kept with you at all times." Standard AA home contents insurance policies covers items lost outside the house to a maximum pounds 5,000 per claim, with an unspecified single-item limit of pounds 1,500, on payment of an additional premium which might add 50 per cent or more to the standard household premium.

This provides cover anywhere in the world, so might entitle you to a discount on travel insurance.

Will Thomas at finance website Confused.

com says: "Home contents insurance may offer cover up to pounds 5,000 on items taken outside the home, but you must specify high-value items when you arrange cover." Insurance broker John Portwood at Essex-based Portwood & Co adds: "The 'all risks' extension of home contents insurance policies offers contents cover anywhere in the UK automatically, subject to terms and conditions, and also covers items in caravans. Cover is usually new for old, with a single article limit and an overall maximum.

"Travel insurance, usually much cheaper, usually relates to the contents of a suitcase, rather than high-value items, with cover on an indemnity basis anyway, meaning deductions are made for wear and tear, and the policy excess also deducted before settlement." Travel insurance, in fact, has limited benefits at a "rave" in full swing.

Steve Williams at Confused.com admits: "No travel insurance policies that I know will touch pop festivals with a barge pole." n INFORMATION: uSwitch.com (0800 093 0607); AA Insurance (0800 107 0680 and www.theAA.com); www.Confused.

com; Portwood & Co (01207 509 446 and www.portwood.co.uk) is also a specialist in arranging travel cover for over-75s..

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The crowds at Glastonbury - but how many are safely insured?
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 19, 2009
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