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Gadget insurance

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Last updated: 29 October 2021

We love our gadgets. Gadget insurance, as the name suggests, is a form of insurance that covers your beloved gadgets. It includes laptops, mobile phones, tablets, music players, cameras, eReaders, and even GPS devices - all of which can be very costly to replace.
In the unfortunate event in which you lose or damage one of your gadgets, you need to think about how you would go about replacing them. If you wouldn’t be able to purchase new gadgets without blinking an eye, this guide will help you figure out how to go about insuring your precious devices.

Do I need gadget insurance?

You’ll need to do a bit of thinking about your habits when it comes to using your gadgets. If you are prone to accidents, or not being as careful with your gadgets as you should be when you’re out and about, then it may be worth looking into gadget insurance.

Insurance for gadgets typically covers damage from accidents, including accidental spillages of liquids. Theft and loss are also commonly covered too, but you’ll need to read the policy wording to check the details of your specific cover.

The most important factor other than your propensity for accidents is how much your gadgets are actually worth. If your mobile phone is several years old and your laptop is on the cheaper end of the price spectrum, then you may not need to worry about getting them insured. 

List all your tech items and figure out how much it would cost to replace them yourself. If it would cost you too much to do so, then it’s probably a good idea to them insured.

Are my gadgets already covered under my contents insurance policy?

If you’ve already got a home contents insurance policy, you’ll be covered against many incidents that could involve your tech items. These could include theft, damage from floods, and damage from fires. However, most standard home insurance policies don’t cover all the possible situations that could affect your gadgets.

The two main areas to consider are whether you’re covered for accidental damage, and whether your items are covered by your policy when you’ve taken them out and about with you. 

If you’re not covered against accidental damage, then you’re not covered if your drop your item on the floor, or spill a liquid on them. Similarly, without being covered when you’re out and about, you won’t have peace of mind when your gadgets leave the house with you as they’ll be excluded from your policy the moment they leave your property.

Having said this, your items can still be covered under your home insurance policy if you opt for add-on insurance with your insurer. Of course, the price of your premium will go up, so you need to weigh up whether it’s worth adding this cover to your existing policy, or getting standalone insurance instead. Though your home contents insurance may cover your gadgets, if you make a claim for spilling a drink on your mobile, you’ll end up losing your no claims bonus so it may not be worth claiming in the long run. Having a separate policy may be best in this case. 

What is covered by gadget insurance?

Of course, every policy is different, so you’ll need to read the policy wording to know exactly what is covered under your particular insurance policy. However, some of the more common forms of insurance cover include:

  • Mechanical breakdown or water damage - if your device is out of warranty, or damaged due to liquid, your gadget will be replaced, or at least repaired.
  • Extended warranty cover - similar to the above, some policies will allow you to extend the warranty period of your device so that you get a replacement in the event that yours gets broken or is faulty.
  • Accidental damage - if you accidentally damage your device in a way that affects how it functions (and not just cosmetically), you’ll be able to get a repair or replacement under the policy.
  • Theft - if your device is stolen, then you’ll be able to get a replacement. Be warned though, most insurers will not pay out if you’re found to have been careless with your item’s safety.
  • Unauthorised call cover - you’ll be insured against any phone calls made on your stolen device up until a certain limit.
  • International cover - this will insure your gadget when you’re out of the country. However, if you’re abroad for longer than four weeks consecutively it usually invalidates your cover, as does travelling to a region advised against by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

What kinds of exclusions do gadget insurance policies have?

As with all insurance policies, gadget insurance policies have exclusions and limits to what will be covered. Many insurers won’t accept any claims within the first 14 days of your policy having started or being amended.

Commonly, gadgets need to be less than three years old to be eligible for cover (or even newer in some cases). Items also need to have been bought brand new, so if you purchased your gadget second-hand, it’s almost impossible to get it covered by a gadget insurance policy. 

In the case of loss or theft, you won’t be covered if an item has been left in your car but in sight of would-be thieves (i.e. not in the boot or glove compartment). You’ll also need to be clear of exactly when and where the item was lost.

Additionally, you may not be covered against theft if your item was not locked away whilst at home or at work. You may also need to prove forced entry occurred in order for the item to be stolen from your home. 

For total peace of mind you’ll need to read the small print of your policy in order to be fully sure of what is, and isn’t covered.


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Fergus Cole

Author: Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.

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