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Susan Care

Susan works as editorial assistant and researcher on personal finance stories. She also writes on a number of breaking news stories, as well as offering great money saving tips to shopping-savvy consumers.

Having the family over for Christmas? Make sure their possessions are covered with contents insurance

We all tend to have more valuable possessions at home over Christmas. Make sure you are properly covered

Christmas is usually a frantic time of year for most people. And in the months leading up to it, everyone's busy buying gifts,planning the festive feast – and organising where all of the guests are going to sleep. So it's not surprising that some things drop to the bottom of the Christmas ‘to do' list- like getting quotes from home insurance companies.

But ironically, it's the time of year when you might want to think more about your home insurance than usual. Because it's when the contents of your home will probably be at its most valuable. You will have new Christmas presents under the tree and expensive food and drink in the cupboards. And, of course, your guests' belongings too.

If you do have guests staying over, it's well worth checking your contents insurance policy to see whether their things are covered too – as many insurers will cover them up to a certain amount. But if you don't have a policy to check, look online to get some contents insurance quotes> so you can find one that will also cover your guests. Having quality contents insurance in place will help give everyone, extra peace of mind.

Here are a few tips to help keep the contents of your home safe over the Christmas period, especially from burglars:

**Don't make it easy for thieves **

It's a sad fact, but homes are often targeted around this time of year. Thieves know that many homes will be full of expensive gifts and belongings. And longer, darker nights also make it much easier for them to break in.

So if you leave the house empty – especially at night – try not to make it too obvious that it's unattended. Perhaps set some lights inside the house on a timer to make it look like you're still in. You can even adjust them so that they come on in different rooms – making it look like people are moving from room to room. Make sure doors and windows are shut and locked. And never leave a key out under the mat; however tempting it is when you've got guests staying. It could be the first place a burglar will look.

And even when you're in the house, don't advertise expensive items, like laptops or gifts, by leaving them in full view of the windows.

Keep things as safe as you can

It might be worth asking your guests if they have anything of value with them. Then if the item is small enough you can lock it in a safe, or take extra care when storing it away. It's better to know what's inside your home, so you can take extra precautions to keep these valuable things safe and secure.

In the run up to Christmas, it's really worth taking a few minutes out of your day to look at contents and home insurance policies before your guests arrive to make sure everyone's belongings will be covered. And once you've got your policy in place, you can relax and focus on enjoying the joys of the season.