Pensioner loses life savings on car roof and isn’t insured

The sad story of the pensioner who lost his life savings when he drove off with £88,000 in cash in bags on the roof of his car is a timely reminder to review home insurance policies.

Most people assume their home contents insurance covers them for theft, loss, or damage – but this is not necessarily the case.

Many home insurance policies have a top limit on claims that is listed as the ‘sum assured’ on the policy.

But this may be subject to other terms and conditions, like specifically naming and valuing items worth more than £5,000 or a maximum amount of cover for cash.

In the case of our anonymous 68-year-old pensioner from Southend-on-sea, Essex, he saved £2,000 a year for each year of his working life and for much of the time kept the money under his bed.

He told police he felt his money was safe as he had a guard dog. The dog died recently, so he took to carrying the money around in his car when he went out.

Check out your home insurance

Unfortunately, while rearranging some other items in the car, he took the bags of money out and put them on the roof.

Then, he drove off forgetting they were there.

Police have found the empty bags but no money.

If you keep large amounts of cash or have valuable jewellery, art, or antiques, check your home contents insurance to see they are covered.

Take the chance to go around the house totting up the replacement value of furniture, clothing, and other possessions to make sure your insurance will cover the bills if you should lose everything.

It’s also a good idea to give a relative or friend a sealed envelope with copies of your policies and other important documents so you have the details to hand if you have to make a claim.

After all, it’s no good leaving your home insurance policy in a drawer if you have the bad luck to have your home destroyed by fire.

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