Purchase protection is a perk/bonus that protects credit card owners beyond the scope of Section 75. Section 75 is the standard UK legislation -- is a section of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 -- that ensures that credit card companies are responsible for ensuring that consumers receive the goods that they purchased; protects against faulty or damaged goods for goods that cost between £100 - £30,000. Purchase protection is not a part of UK legislation, but is a perk/bonus provided by credit card issuers that protects goods against the following:
The credit card company will therefore provide a refund if goods (purchased with their credit card) are lost or stolen. There are some limitations to purchase protection; a typical example of its limitations are as follows:
The level of protection is solely reliant on the credit card provider/issuer; in 2013, the highest purchase protection I've found was for goods valued up to £5000, which were purchased in the past 90 days (Barclaycard Platinum Simplicity).
Only select premium credit cards offer purchase protection; such as platinum cards. In 2013, the following credit cards came with the purchase protection perk: Amex Platinum, Barclaycard Platinum Simplicity, Capital One Classic, and the Ulster Gold Mastercard.
Update note (2018): When applying for a credit card with purchase protection, check the fineprint for the procedure required to claim if goods are stolen -- how simple or elaborate the process may be -- most claims will require a crime number. Also check for goods that are exempted, such as second hand / used goods or perishables.