Engagement and wedding rings, watches and hearing aids were among common items lost or stolen while people were on the beach in 2022, according to claims data from an insurer.
Incidents dealt with by Aviva have included a necklace being lost in the sand, a camera being dropped on rocks and an engagement ring being lost in the sea and eaten by a fish, according to the owner.
Freak waves are common causes for claims, including glasses being knocked off heads and rucksacks being swept out to sea, the insurer said.
The average claim for items lost or damaged at the beach is £889, according to Aviva’s analysis of its home claims data.
Three quarters (76%) of people plan to head to the beach this summer, according to a survey of 2,000 people across the UK, commissioned by Aviva.
A third (33%) of people said they had lost a personal possession while at the beach or in the sea, according to the poll carried out by Censuswide between June 16 and 19 2023, although not all these items would have necessarily led to an insurance claim.
When asked how they protect their possessions at the beach, half (50%) of people surveyed said they would never leave their belongings unattended.
One in seven (14%) admitted to hiding their personal items under a towel while 5% said they bury them under the sand.
Kelly Whittington, property claims director at Aviva, said: “The best way to protect valuable items is to leave them at home, but this isn’t always practical, particularly if it’s an item you keep with you all the time, such as an engagement ring or phone.
“Personal belongings cover – an add-on to home insurance – can be a good option for people who want to protect their belongings when away from home.”