Gadget insurance provides cover for items including mobile phones, laptops, cameras, tablets, music players, eReaders and GPS devices, which can be extremely expensive.
If something does happen to your gadgets, you should ask yourself whether you could afford to replace them.
If the answer to the above is no, then think seriously about getting gadget cover.
Every policy is different but a good one will cover your gadgets for damage, theft and loss. Exactly what you’re protected against will be in the policy docs - have a read so you know what you’re buying.
The more common types of cover include:
Gadgets can be very appealing to thieves, so cover in case they get stolen is a must. Dropped your phone and have a cracked screen? Accidental damage cover will help, provided the damage affects how the device functions.
In the event of mechanical damage, if your warranty runs out and your gadget dies, or if your device is damaged as a result of liquid, your device should be repaired or replaced under your policy.
This is basically travel insurance for your devices and will cover you when abroad within certain territories, and provided you’re not abroad for more than four consecutive weeks. Damage to a device whilst travelling in a territory against the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice may invalidate your 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.
This element of cover allows you to extend the period of any warranty you have for your device allowing you to get a replacement for a broken/faulty device.
Can’t live without your smartphone? You never have to for very long if your policy includes this.
There’ll be exclusions and limitations in your policy. For instance the device may only be covered up to three years old - if your gadgets are older than that, you wouldn’t be able to claim. Wear and tear won’t usually be covered either.
Some policies may exclude cover under the following circumstances:
You may not be covered when the item has been left in your car but not out of sight - it should be left in your boot or glove compartment. You may not be covered for accidental loss if you’re not clear of the time or place you lost it.
You may not be covered if your gadget is stolen from your home/work if the gadget isn’t locked away (for example, you may have to prove forced entry should your gadget be stolen from your home).
Some policies won’t accept a claim within the first 14 days, either of a policy starting, or within 14 days of a policy amendment. Make sure you check your policy wording carefully to help understand what is and isn’t covered.
You will be unlikely to claim on your gadget insurance for a fault if your device is still under warranty.
To claim on your insurance, you must be able to provide proof of purchase. If your device is stolen, you need to report it as soon as possible and get a police reference number.
We rely on expensive phones and laptops for work and day-to-day life. If they get damaged, lost or stolen and you don’t have any insurance, you’ll pay to replace or repair them.
When buying gadget insurance, make sure you check the policy details carefully - some insurers will only cover brand new gadgets or those less than six months old, whilst others allow more flexibility.
It’s also really important to consider your excess - in the event of loss or damage, what are you able to pay towards your new device? The excess could be worth almost the same as the cost of replacing or repairing the gadget, so carefully weigh up your options.
Your gadgets might already be covered under your home insurance.
The drawback is that it usually costs extra to cover them outside the home and if you make a claim for your tech, it could affect your no-claims bonus.
There’s a single item limit in your policy. It’s the maximum you can claim for one item and its value differs between insurers. It’ll probably be most applicable to very expensive gadgets, like cameras, the latest smartphones and laptops.
Again, look at how much excess you have to pay. If it’s the same or greater than the value of the gadget, you won’t be able to claim.
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.
Before taking the plunge and signing up for gadget insurance, make sure you haven’t already got cover from:
Yes you can with multi-gadget insurance, you can cover multiple gadgets under one policy - there’s normally an upper limit so make sure you check the maximum number of devices. Some insurers will offer a discount for insuring more than one device, find out by comparing providers.
Your warranty will normally only cover you for mechanical failure, not accidental damage or theft - so gadget insurance is definitely still worth it even if your device is still under warranty.
Call the police immediately to report the theft and make sure you get a crime or incident number as you’ll need this to claim on your gadget cover, then contact your insurer to start making a claim.
Make sure to contact your insurer before proceeding with any repairs – as a requirement of your policy may be to use an approved repairer.
Gadget insurance will only cover the cost of repair or replacement if the safety or performance of your device is impacted – so scratches, dents and other visible defects will not be covered.
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Page last reviewed: 16 November 2020
Next review due: 18 January 2021