Choosing the right insurance could save you from paying hundreds of pounds to replace your console if it’s damaged, lost or stolen.
You have two main options for insuring your games consoles:
Gadget insurance will cover your consoles against a variety of everyday hazards.
Some insurers will offer discounts if you purchase cover for multiple gadgets with them. That’ll save you money if you've got other gadgets that need insuring alongside your games console.
Before you buy gadget insurance for your games console, make sure the policy will cover it - retro or rare consoles may not be covered by some insurers.
Unlike contents insurance, gadget insurance policies cover your games console outside your home and will usually cover accidental damage as a standard feature.
Loss, theft, cracked screens and mechanical breakdowns, like blank screens or charging issues might also be covered.
Some policies include worldwide cover - ideal if you travel regularly and want to bring your handheld console to play on the plane.
There are some situations your gadget insurance won't cover.
If your games consoles are second hand or old, many insurers will refuse to insure them.
There's often a limit on how old your device can be (less than 12 months is a common requirement). Make sure you're only paying to insure recently purchased consoles or your claim could be invalid.
Cosmetic damage such as scratched casing generally isn't covered under gadget insurance. Loss, theft and damage caused by careless behaviour on your part may also cause insurers to reject your claim - you'll need to take reasonable precautions if you want it repaired or replaced.
Standard gadget insurance policies don’t usually cover loss of data, such as music, films and games.
Digital purchases made through official distribution platforms like the PlayStation Store, Xbox Games Store and Nintendo eShop usually let you re-download content that you’ve previously bought through your account.
If you're using your console to store other files, back it up using a USB drive or cloud storage.
Contents policies do cover games consoles, although there are a few things to take into account.
Consoles are considered high risk items and cover for high risk items is limited to a percentage of your total claim under standard contents insurance policies.
If the value of your high risk items exceeds this percentage, you might not get the full value of your items back when you make a claim.
For example, if your contents policy covers up to £20,000 worth of possessions, with a 25% allowance for high risk items. If your console is stolen along with a television, a couple of laptops, some smartphones and valuable jewellery, the value of your stolen goods could easily exceed £5,000. But because of the 25% limit, £5,000 is the maximum amount you'll be able to claim for these items.
Most standard contents insurance policies will only insure items within the walls of your home. You may be able to insure portable items like handheld games consoles away from home as an optional extra, but this is likely to cost more.
So if you're worried about leaving your new Nintendo Switch on the train, look into separate cover for it, such as gadget insurance.
If you've just got a couple of old consoles lying around the house that rarely leave the premises, it’s probably better to include them under your contents insurance policy.
If you purchased an extended warranty with your console, this may already cover you in case of damage, reducing your need for insurance (although it won’t cover things like theft or loss).
But if you regularly play the latest current generation games and enjoy travelling with handheld consoles, it makes sense to choose a separate gadget insurance policy that covers you in case of loss, damage or theft.