21 October 2017 : 
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Cover for your gadgets

When you step out of the house, what do you take with you? Your keys? Wallet or purse? Perhaps that’s where it would end 20 years ago, but these days you’re likely to also be carrying gadgets – from smartphone and tablets to smartwatches and e-readers.

With portable technology soaring in popularity over recent years, research suggests that the value of people’s mobile contents is now in excess of £1,500. It might be hard to believe, but according to Saga Home Insurance, in the UK, we are carrying as much as £1,567 on our person at any one time.

The question you need to ask yourself is could you afford to replace hundreds of pounds worth of goodies if they were to be damaged, or even worse stolen, while you’re out and about?

Many of these gadgets and gizmos aren’t covered by a standard home insurance policy, so without specialist cover, you could find yourself out of pocket.

What is gadget insurance?

As you might have guessed by the name, gadget insurance covers your gadgets. This includes consumer electronics, such as your laptop, mobile phone, tablet, Sat-Nav, iPod, and camera.

Most policies will protect your belongings against theft, but you might have to pay extra or upgrade to a higher level of cover to get accidental damage, liquid damage, loss, and mechanical breakdown.

A good policy will repair or replace your gadgets within 48 hours of a successful claim, so you won’t have to wait long to reconnect with the world.

Watch out for…

So, now you know what you can get for your money – what can’t you get? Well, gadget insurance does tend to have a lot of exclusions, such as if your gadget is left unattended, you don’t report the loss or theft within 12 hours, or your gadget is more than six months old.

Most policies will offer worldwide cover as standard; after all you are insuring mobile technology. However, some will only protect your belongings while you’re in the UK or Europe, so if you are planning a trip abroad, it’s worth double checking.

As with any other type of insurance, there will be an excess to pay before you can make a claim. You should expect to pay around £25 for smaller gadgets, but it might rise Apple products, and larger items, such as laptops.

Can I add gadgets to my home insurance?

In some cases it might be more appropriate for you to extend your contents insurance policy, rather than buy separate gadget insurance. This often works out cheaper than a standalone policy, but you might not get the level of cover you need.

Generally speaking, home contents cover will only protect you against standard risks, such as loss or left. It might not cover you for accidents outside the home, and is very unlikely to cover unauthorised phone calls in the event that your mobile is stolen.

Do I need a separate policy?

If your home insurance policy doesn’t meet your needs, there are plenty of separate gadget insurance policies that will do the job.

While you might be offered specialist cover from the retailer you buy the device from, such as mobile phone insurance from your network, you don’t have to take it. You are free to compare the market and buy it from an independent insurer.

One of the perks to having a separate policy is that if you need to make a claim, your contents insurance premiums won’t be affected, as they might be if you claimed on your home cover. The excess is also likely to be much lower.

Check your bank account perks

Before you extend your home insurance or take out a separate gadget insurance policy, it’s worth checking that you haven’t already paid for cover.

If you have a packaged bank account – one where you pay a monthly fee – it’s possible that you’ve already got the cover you need. For example, the NatWest and RBS Silver accounts, Halifax Ultimate Reward account, and Nationwide FlexPlus, all offer mobile phone insurance.

If you find that you do get gadget cover with your account, you’ll need to activate the policy and check it meets your needs, but it could save you a few quid every month.

Jemma Porter - Image Written by : Jemma Porter - Signature
Jemma is a news & research reporter for compareandsave.com.Having worked as a journalist on a number of personal finance websites; she now spends time researching and commenting on UK personal finance stories and investigating new ways to help our readers save money.For press enquiries, please visit our Media Centre page.

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