Insurers not covering downloads Music download lottery when it comes to cover

23 January 2011

New iPod Nanos

You can buy iPods and other MP3 players at a bargain price online

Music lovers risk losing hundreds of pounds worth of digital music because their home insurer may not protect downloads. Which? has discovered that a third of leading home insurers' standard policies don't cover the loss of digital information stored on mobile phones, MP3 players and other portable digital devices. 

More than 100 million tracks are downloaded by the British public each year as more of us discard CDs in favour of digital music. This means that a high proportion of people could find their music collections wiped out if the device storing their music collection is lost or stolen. 

Russian roulette on download cover

Leading insurers who don't cover music downloads on their standard home insurance policies include Budget and Esure. Other market leaders, Direct Line and Privilege, offer up to £2,000 in ‘digital information’ cover, Britannia’s Home Builder Silver plan offers £8,750. 

Which? Recommended Home Insurance Providers, NFU Mutual and Hiscox, offer £1,000 and £2,500 worth of cover respectively.

Replacement music not allowed

Which? also found that four of the eight main download providers – HMV Digital,, 7digital and Tesco Entertainment – all allow customers to re-download lost tracks, meaning these customers won’t have to rely on their insurance.

However, iTunes states in its terms and conditions ‘Products may be downloaded only once and cannot be replaced if lost for any reason.’

Choose your provider well

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary Smith, says: 'It’s surprising that, at a time when the popularity of digital downloads is soaring, insurers aren’t offering music lovers the protection they need. People who buy a lot of digital music should double check their home insurance policy to make sure downloads are covered. If they’re not, we’d recommend switching to a provider that has entered the digital age.'

What's your view on digital download insurance? Join the debate at Which? Conversation.

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what's going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.