Gadget insurance guide

Do you need dedicated gadget insurance to protect your valuables, or does your home insurance offer sufficient cover? Find out more with our guide.

Key points

  • Don't just accept a policy offered by the retailer selling you the gadget - shop around!
  • Consider cover you may already have through your warranty, home insurance, travel insurance, bank account or credit card
  • If this is insufficient, think about extending cover on your home insurance, or taking out a dedicated gadget insurance policy

The rise of the hi-tech gadget is likely to have made an enormous impact on your life, and should also have led you to think carefully about how you value and protect your belongings.

Items such as mobile phones, laptops, cameras, tablets, music players, ebooks and GPS devices can be extremely powerful and expensive goods.

Their portable nature means that they are also a high security risk, vulnerable to theft, damage and loss when taken out and about or on holidays.

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.

What are my gadget insurance options?

If you can afford expensive gadgets then it's a fair bet that you also already have some sort of home contents insurance cover in place.

If that's the case, you should read the policy carefully to see what protection it offers.

Also consider your warranty and look into any insurance cover you may have through things like your bank account or travel insurance - and think about how accident-prone you are!Mobile-phones

Should the protection be enough to satisfy your needs, then there may be no need to consider a separate, dedicated gadget insurance option.

But consider how important things such as extended warranty cover, international cover, 48-hour guaranteed replacement and phone-call cover in the case of a theft are to your needs, and whether such options are offered by the insurer.

Also consider the extra premiums for cover away from home, and the potential impact of a claim for a gadget on your home insurance no-claims bonus.

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.

Adding gadgets to your home insurance policy

When you compare contents insurance through Gocompare.com, our easy-to-use forms will ask you to estimate the total value of your contents and whether you need cover for bicycles and laptops away from home.

Mobile phones in the home

    On 2 September, 2014, Gocompare.com analysed the 334 home insurance policies listed on the matrix of independent financial researcher Defaqto.

    It was found that 312 provided cover for mobile phones within the home as standard.

You'll also be asked to name and describe any individual items that are worth over £1,000, and whether you want those items to be covered away from home.

You'll then be asked to input how much cover you need for any other personal possessions away from the home.

Note that any individual item/gadget included in this section must be valued under £1,000, even though the total sum covered may be significantly more.

After you've answered these questions you'll see a handy table with a summary of all the cover you've requested.

Note that, in the event of a claim, insurers usually apply a 'single article limit' to items. This is the maximum amount an insurer will pay for an item, and this may differ between item types as well as between insurers.

Consider also whether you want to include accidental damage cover for your gadgets - some insurers may exclude gadgets from this form of cover, so make sure you check your terms and conditions.

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.

What are the dedicated gadget insurance options?

Our possessions provide rich pickings for thieves and, given the portable nature of our gadgets, we've now got more to lose, too
Matt Reid, specialist gadget insurance provider ProtectYourBubble

Should you decide that the cover available through a regular home insurance policy doesn't meet your needs then there are dedicated gadget insurance policies out there.

Please note that Gocompare.com does not currently offer a comparison service for such products.

People will often take out specialist gadget cover from a retailer when they buy their hi-tech device - for example, they will take out mobile phone insurance with their phone provider.

It's likely that a retailer will offer you such cover when you buy a gadget, but bear in mind that this is not necessarily the best or most cost-effective option to take.

There are numerous dedicated gadget insurance specialists out there, including Protect Your Bubble, Gadget Guardian, Cover My Gadget and Supercover Insurance.Laptop

It may also be possible to take out an integrated policy with your home insurer, offering separate gadget cover outside the home.

As ever with insurance, you're well advised to shop around, compare the deals on the market, look at the prices and read the policy with care.

Finally, remember that you'll have a warranty with your new device. On some gadget policies you may be paying to cover a product in the event that it breaks, but this will be unneccessary when the gadget is under warranty.

Don't double up on cover

It's quite common for gadgets to be covered under another product - such as a premium credit card or packaged bank account - so check before taking out any insurance that you're not already covered.

While it may seem like a good idea to have extra protection, doubling up on insurance is a bad thing which could complicate claims and see you charged more for cover in the future.

It's not all about insurance…

Cover for personal belongings in a car is typically limited to fully comprehensive policies and restricted to around £100
Scott Kelly, car insurance expert

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.

See also:

By Sean Davies