In the past, the only things of value you’d really have to worry about having insurance or protection for when you left the house were perhaps some jewellery, watches, and things like bank and credit cards. When you went on holiday, it’d be these things, plus maybe a camera, some cash and your clothes that you would need to insure.
In the increasingly digital age, however, it is pretty normal to set out for work or a day out with thousands of pounds worth of gadgets on your person, including laptops, phones, tablets, cameras, MP3 players, sat nav devices and portable DVD players. It is also likely, if you live in a household with older children, that everyone in your family has some expensive kit that they are taking out with them on a regular basis. When you go overseas on holiday, chances are all of this stuff is coming with you, too.
If you add up how much you’ve spent on all of this equipment, then it is unlikely that it’s an amount you could comfortably fork out again in one hit to replace it all if the worst happened. So, is your family’s personal gadgetry covered by your insurance, or do you need separate policies?
Gadgets on Your Home Insurance
Your home insurance may offer some cover for these devices when they are outside of the house, and even abroad, but there are likely to be some complications to this. Firstly, you will probably need to maintain a list of named items, and this is something many families don’t stay on top of when they upgrade to new laptops or phones. You should also consider the effect of the excesses and the no claims bonus – if say, just your daughter’s tablet gets lost, damaged or stolen, would it be worth claiming, or would the amount you’d have to swallow in excesses or the hit to your no claims mean it’d be better just to buy a new one, or leave her without one?
Check that your policy includes all of your electronics, and that those that are portable are insured when you’re out, but also make sure the coverage you get would suit your financial needs if you had to replace any or all of these items.
Your travel insurance may offer protection for your gadgets when you go on holiday, but look out for caveats or limits. Some policies, for example, will only pay up to 100 pounds for a phone. Plenty of handsets like iPhones and Galaxy phones cost more than three times this to buy new.
With some gadgets, especially phones and laptops, you can take out insurance when you buy them. However, if you own a lot of these things then this can mount up to a high monthly amount. You may also consider something like Protect Your Bubble Gadget Insurance, which allows you to insure all your tech gear for use outside the home and on holiday anywhere in the world. Specialty gadget insurance tends to offer better protection than general cover as part of your home insurance purely because it is designed specifically to work for these kinds of devices, and this means the excesses tend to be more in line with the price of the items in question and you can also expect services like fast repair or replacement.
About the author: Laura Ginn is a blogger who writes regularly on finance, insurance and consumer interest topics. As someone who uses a lot of technology in her work, she thinks it’s important to make sure all her devices are adequately insured.