Look around you – how many gadgets can you see?
You can definitely see a smartphone or a laptop, perhaps both. Cast your eye across your home and you’ll probably see a tablet, digital camera, an e-reader, and more.
All these gadgets are part and parcel of our lives. They’re so ubiquitous that sometimes we even forget they’re there. Forgetting all about them means they can be at risk – from theft, damage and loss. This is where gadget insurance comes in.
What is gadget insurance?
Gadget insurance protects all your bits of kit – from smartphones to tablets to cameras – under one insurance policy.
The rising cost of smartphones means they can be incredibly expensive to replace in the event that they were lost or damaged.
That’s not to mention the fact that we rely on our smartphones for communication, music, photographs, and banking.
If you’re unsure whether your gadgets are already covered or whether you could afford to replace them, gadget insurance might be for you.
Am I already covered under your home insurance?
Most home insurance policies will offer some level of personal possessions insurance, which gadgets come under. The extent of the cover may be limited however, depending on your policy and its terms and conditions.
But there are a few things that could put you off relying on your home insurance for gadget cover.
Look into the excess your insurer would charge if you were to make a claim under the policy – is it more than your gadget is worth?
Additionally, think about whether you want to push up the cost of your home insurance by making a claim for a gadget. You might end up worse off in the long term if you have to pay a premium for your home cover.
Does my travel insurance cover gadgets?
While you’re on holiday or working abroad your travel insurance will offer some level of cover for your gadgets, the amount being dependent on the policy you take out. If you are going to rely on travel insurance while you’re away, make sure the amount covers everything you’re taking.
Remember to tot up the value of your gadgets – it can get high fast.
Travel insurance may exclude accidental damage too, which is something to keep in mind if you’re going on an extreme sports holiday or to a festival.
Bank accounts or credit cards
It turns out that hidden gadget insurance is more common than you think. If you have a packaged bank account – one that offers travel insurance and other products as well as your standard banking – or a premium credit card, your gadget might already be covered.
Be mindful however that when it comes to cover under products like this, you need to check to make sure you’re covered in the way you expect.
Banks may give you cover initially but then remove the cover in the future, or they might increase the amount you have to pay for the cover making it too expensive. Keep an eye on communications from your bank that will detail any changes to your policy.
What does gadget insurance cover?
Whether or not you’re covered under home insurance or a banking product, gadget insurance can offer extra levels of cover that you might need. If you’re always in the queue for the newest Apple tech, then it’s something you should definitely consider.
Gadget insurance policies protect you against the standard risks that you might run into – theft, accidental cover, worldwide cover, and mechanical breakdown.
A lower excess
Gadget insurance will have a much lower excess than any home insurance policy, due to the fact that any claim amount is going to be much smaller.
Each policy is different, however. Some may charge an extra sum if you make an accidental damage claim in the first three months, while other policies may allow you to claim after the first 30 days.
Some dedicated gadget insurance policies are able to get new tech out to you
much faster than a home insurer or bank would, which is something to bear in
mind if you rely heavily on your phone.
Gadget cover also doubles up as an extended warranty, which extends the period you’re able to claim a replacement handset in the event yours is broken. If your manufacturer’s warranty has run out, replace it with gadget insurance.
As well as the piece of tech themselves, gadget insurance can also cover gadget accessories such as headphones or camera lenses.
Some policies cover specific pieces of tech – like specialised camera insurance, for example – but others can over all your gadgets under one umbrella policy.
Is my cracked screen covered with gadget insurance?
Probably the most common problem, most dedicated gadget insurance policies will cover the cost of a cracked screen at no additional cost. Make sure to bear in mind any excess that you might need to pay, however.
Similarly, remember that gadget insurance policies usually take 14-30 days to come into effect. This means that if you’ve lost or broken your phone before taking out cover, you won’t be able to claim.
Don’t double up on cover
Getting two insurance policies to protect your gadgets may seem like a good idea – you’ll definitely be covered then, right? Wrong.
Buying two insurance policies to cover one device can become very complicated if you have to make a claim, as insurers have something called a contribution clause, which means they will only pay their share of the claim. Not a big problem you may think, but it can become an issue when it comes to renewing insurance as you will have two claims registered on the policies, possibly driving up the cost of insurance in the future.