A tent isn't the only cover you need at summer festivals

Article date: 1 June 2011

  • Crime figures reveal that £190,000* worth of possessions were stolen last year

Music festivals are a high point of the British Summertime and 46% of the population has at some point braved the mud, put on their sunglasses and rocked the weekend away according to research from Aviva.**

However, with the throng comes the risk - 14% of people who have been to a festival have had belongings lost or stolen there and 12% said they have had items lost or stolen at other outdoor events such as sporting fixtures.

And official crime statistics obtained by Aviva reveal that there were 945 reported incidents of thefts at the top 7 UK festivals last year. According to police records, the combined value of these thefts was just under £190,000.

The biggest problem is thieves targeting tents, with 650 such crimes reported, but personal thefts such as pickpocketing are also a threat (295 reported instances) particularly in crowded areas.

UK Festivals

No. thefts from tents

No. personal thefts

Value of thefts





V Festival Chelmsford




V Festival Staffordshire







Not Available









T in the Park








With many festival-goers taking expensive personal items such as smartphones, MP3 players and cameras, Aviva calculates the average value of possessions people take to a festival at £928,*** meaning those unlucky enough to find themselves as victims of crime could be well out of pocket if they are not properly covered.

Jonathan Cracknell, household underwriter at Aviva said; "Festivals are a brilliant staple of the summer calendar and it's obviously a chance for people to enjoy their favourite bands in the sun (or rain!) with their friends. But like any event with crowds of people all carrying pretty expensive gear there is a risk of crime and our research shows that it is definitely worth being as aware of security as you are of the line up of the day.

"Tents appear to be the main target for thieves, so don't leave them crammed full of all your favourite electronic gadgets when you pop out for breakfast and perhaps think about carrying less expensive accessories with you when you are out and about - a flashy watch is more likely to attract an opportunist thief than an older model - and simple things like not putting your wallet in your back pocket will also put off would be pick-pockets.

"It's also worth remembering that unless you have additional personal belongings cover on your home insurance your belongings, unfortunately, aren't covered outside your home, so it might be worth checking to see if you have the cover already or if it is worth adding it if you are festival-going family!"

Your Cover

All your valuables as well as camping gear like tents, cooking equipment and binoculars can be covered under the Personal Belongings section of your home policy. This means you are covered anywhere in the world if your belongings are stolen, but also if they are accidentally lost or damaged.

It covers everyone who lives permanently in the home, so if parents have added it to their policy, the teenage kids will be covered too!

Personal Belongings cover starts from around £15 a year with Aviva's direct insurance policy for home and covers:

  • Clothing and personal belongings up to your chosen limit (from £2,000 up to £10,000 with the maximum limit for any one item being £2000)
  • Up to £500 of personal money
  • Credit cards up to £1,000 

Aviva's top tips to enjoy a worry free festival:

  • Never leave valuables unattended in tents or in cars
  • Consider what you really need to take. Can you share who takes what among your friends? Do you really need to take an expensive watch?
  • Only take out as much cash as you need
  • Separate cash from cards and only take one bank/credit card if you can
  • Make sure pockets or handbags have zipped openings to prevent belongings being snatched
  • Don't flash the cash or the expensive hi-tech gadgets
  • Keep belongings in the bottom of your sleeping bag at night
  • Use the free lock-up areas provided by the festival organisers or ensure personal belongings are kept close and within sight
  • Report anything lost or stolen to the police immediately and get a crime number that you can report to your insurance company

- ends -

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

Aviva Press Office:

Rebecca Holmes 01603 685177/07800 690 731 rebecca.l.holmes@aviva.co.uk

The Wriglesworth Consultancy:

Suman Hughes/ Hugh Murphy     020 7427 1400 s.hughes@wriglesworth.com

* Total theft figures and values of items stolen at 7 UK festivals in 2010, based on data requests submitted on 27th April 2011 to 7 UK police forces as detailed in the table above. (Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Essex Police, Staffordshire Police, Thames Valley Police, Tayside Police, Cheshire Constabulary, Suffolk Constabulary)

** Consumer research carried out by Wriglesworth Research among a UK representative sample of 1,014 adults between 9th - 20th May 2011

*** Based on most popular mobile phone (iphone 4, £510) according to pluggedin.co.uk, most popular MP3 player (ipod Touch 8GB, £189.00) according to Comet, most popular camera (Sony W350, £99) according to Comet and most popular tent (Vango Banshee 300, £130) according to Cotswold Outdoors.

Notes to editors:

Aviva is the world's sixth largest* insurance group.  We provide more than 53 million customers with insurance, savings and investment products with total worldwide sales in 2010 of £47.1 billion**.

We are the UK's largest insurer with 19 million customers and one in three households has a relationship with us. Our combination of life, health and general insurance, together with motoring services from RAC, is unique in its scale and breadth in the UK market.  Customers can choose to buy our products through intermediaries, our corporate partners or from Aviva direct and we have become the partner of choice for many of the UK's biggest organisations. 

We are ranked as one of the UK's top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc are in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2010 we invested £4.3m into our communities in the UK, which included 1,500 Aviva volunteers giving 24,000 hours for good causes. In addition, our employees gave £600,000 through fundraising and donating. Read our corporate responsibility report at www.aviva.com/2010cr.

Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life. Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.

The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.

For broadcast-standard video, please visit www.aviva.com/media/video.

Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/avivaplc

*based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009.

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