Take care of your tech and compare gadget insurance
Hi-tech gadgets are part and parcel of modern life, whether it's the mobile phone glued to your hand 24/7 or the tablet you use to binge-watch that must-see drama on Netflix, we're usually never more than an arm's length away from a chargeable device.
However, their portability means that they can be a high security risk, vulnerable to theft, damage and loss when taken out and about or on holidays.
Luckily, you're in the right place to compare gadget insurance and choose the right policy.
What is gadget insurance?
Gadget insurance provides cover for items including mobile phones, laptops, cameras, tablets, music players, eReaders and GPS devices, which can be extremely powerful and expensive goods.
In case something does happen to your beloved gadgets you should ask yourself whether you could do without them, and whether you could afford to replace them.
If the answer to the above is no, then think seriously about getting gadget cover.
What does gadget insurance cover?
Insuring possessions away from home
What you're covered for with gadget insurance is completely dependent on the policy you choose, so pick wisely. Still not sure? Your terms and conditions will detail exactly what you're protected against.
However, the more common types of cover include:
- Theft cover - Gadgets can be very appealing to thieves, so cover in case they get nicked is a must
- Accidental damage cover - A cracked screen is the bane of a smartphone owner's life, the right policy offers gadget repair if it affects how the device functions
- Mechanical breakdown cover - If your warranty runs out and your gadget dies, you may be able to revive it with this type of cover
- Extended warranty cover - Lengthens the period in which you can get a replacement for a broken/faulty gadget
- Worldwide or international cover - Jet setters rejoice! This is basically travel insurance for your devices, so get snap happy
- 48-hour guaranteed replacement - Can't live without your smartphone? You never have to for very long if your policy includes this
- Unauthorised call cover - If your phone has been stolen, this type of cover means that you won't have to pay the bill for any phone calls made once it's been thieved. This is usually up to a certain amount
Note that there'll be exclusions or limitations on gadget insurance policies, for instance the device may only be covered up to three years old, so it's important to read the terms and conditions. Make yourself aware of any excess that you're liable for if you make a claim too.
What are my gadget insurance options?
A dedicated gadget insurance policy should be considered by those fully equipped with all the latest hi-tech gizmos and aren't afraid to show them off… well take them outside the house at least.
These types of policies can offer more comprehensive cover including extended warranty cover, international cover, 48-hour guaranteed replacement and phone-call cover in the case of a theft.
However, it's important to avoid doubling up on gadget cover. After all, there's no point in paying for two policies that do the same job.
Did you know...?
- 71% of UK adults own a smartphone
- 14% of UK households are mobile phone only homes
- 54% of homes in the UK have a tablet
Before taking the plunge and signing up for gadget insurance, make sure you haven't already got cover from:
Home insurance and gadget cover
Your home insurance policy may already offer gadget insurance, you can determine to what extent by reading your terms and conditions.
It may be costing you extra to get cover away from your abode for gadgets, known as personal possessions away from the home, and if you make a claim for your tech, it could affect your no-claims bonus.
Note that any individual item/gadget included under home insurance must be valued under £1,000, even though the total sum covered may be significantly more.
Think too about the excess your home insurer may charge - if it's higher than the value of your gadget, it may be worth paying for a replacement yourself.
If you're in shared accommodation there's more to think about - one person's gadget claim could lead to higher home insurance premiums for everyone in the household.
As the name would suggest, you can insure more than one gadget with the same policy, there may even be a discount available for doing so. If your drawers are overflowing with fancy tech, you may want to consider this type of insurance.
It's not all about insurance…
Remember that for many people the most valuable thing about their gadget will not be the device itself but the data on it.
Protecting this needn't cost you any money at all.
Ensure that you regularly back up your music, photos, files, contacts and other information.
Consider cloud storage options for your data, as well as physical back-ups such as home computers and detachable hard discs.