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Gadget insurance: how to get the best cover

Find out what gadget insurance covers, how much it costs and if it's worth buying a gadget insurance policy.

In this article
What is gadget insurance? What does gadget insurance cover? Do I need gadget insurance? How much does gadget insurance cost?
Common gadget insurance exclusions Alternatives to gadget insurance Gadget insurance: FAQ

What is gadget insurance?

Gadget insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing your gadgets if they lost, damaged or stolen. 

Items that could be protected under gadget insurance include:

  • Laptops
  • iPads and tablets
  • Mobile phones
  • iPods and MP3 players
  • Games consoles
  • Kindles and eReaders
  • Smartwatches and Fitbits
  • Cameras and Camcorders
  • Sat Navs

What does gadget insurance cover?

Most gadget insurance polices will cover the following:

  • Theft 
  • Loss
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Liquid damage
  • Worldwide breakdown

However, some policies may not automatically cover things like loss and theft, so it's important to check your policy.  

Gadget insurance allows you to insure a single item, such as an iPad, or multiple items, such as a laptop, mobile phone and Fitbit. 

Do I need gadget insurance?

When deciding whether or not you actually need gadget insurance, it’s worth asking yourself the following questions:

Are you accident prone?

If you’re quite accident prone and have a history of having your gadgets lost, damaged or stolen, the cover is worth considering.

Gadget insurance could help you save in the long term, especially where multiple claims may need to be made in a year.

Can you afford to replace your gadgets?

Gadgets include high value items such as iPads and tablets, laptops, iPods, MP3 players and cameras and camcorders.

It’s worth considering whether you would be able to afford to replace your gadgets if the worst happened or if you’d be happy to purchase purchase cheaper models or go without them.

How much do you rely on your gadgets?

If you rely on gadgets - for example your  iPad, tablet or laptop - heavily and need an instant replacement if they were damaged, lost or stolen, gadget insurance could be for you.

Remember that not all policies have rapid replacement so you will have to check that yours does.

Could you get protection elsewhere?

You may be able to protect your gadgets under a pre-existing policy. 

For example if you have contents insurance, you may be able to add your laptop and tablet to your policy under personal possession cover.

For more see: Alternatives to gadget insurance

How much does gadget insurance cost?

The cost of gadget insurance will vary according to the number of items you'd like to insure, their model and the level of cover you decide to go for.

We've taken a look at three categories of gadget insurance to help you get an idea of the cover you can expect to receive. These include:

Packaged bank accounts

A packaged bank account is a current account that comes with a number of benefits, like gadget insurance, for a monthly fee.

Specialist gadget insurance

Specialist gadget insurance policies have been designed specifically to protect your mobile phone and other gadgets.

Manufacturers insurance

Certain manufacturers offer their own insurance for the mobile phones and gadgets that they make.

The table below compares gadget insurance for an iPad Air 2 16GB from 16 providers.

Provider Policy
name
Monthly
cost
Annual
cost
Excess Value
limit
Number
of claims
per year
Covercloud Elite £7.14 £71.40 £50 Cost of
replacement
Unlimited
Row - £6.49 £73.99 £75 Cost of
replacement
Unlimited
Love It
Cover It
Premium £5 £55 £25 to
£75
Unlimited 2
Protect Your
Bubble
- £5.99 £71.88 £50 to
£75
Unlimited Unlimited
Switched On
Insurance
Ultimate
Cover
£7 £65 £50 £400 Unlimited
Helpucover - £14.99 N/A £50 £1,500 Unlimited
Gadget Cover - £5.99 £65.89 £75 Unlimited Unlimited
i-Digital Premium £7 £77 £50 £1,000 Unlimited
Trusted
Insurances
Ultimate
Cover
£7 £65 £25 Cost of
replacement
Unlimited
Debenhams Ultimate
Cover
£7 £77 £50 Unlimited Unlimited
Insurancefair - £6.63 £66.30 £75 £1,500 Unlimited
Endsleigh - £7.46 £89.52 £50 to
£75
Market
value
2

 

All quotes are for an iPad Air 2 16 GB, RRP £339

All policies cover loss, theft and accidental damage

Prices last updated in March 2018.

Common gadget insurance exclusions

Gadgets not listed on your policy

If an item is not listed on your gadget insurance policy will not be covered.

Damage covered by your manufacturer’s warranty

Most gadget insurance policies do not cover damage that could be covered by your manufacturer’s warranty - for example, mechanical breakdown.

Apps, pictures and downloads

Most gadget insurance policies do not cover the cost of the contents of your gadget. This includes photos, software and apps, music or downloads.

Gadgets over a certain age

The majority of gadget insurance providers will not cover gadgets over a certain age. It’s best to check the terms of your policy to get competitive quote.

Carelessness

Incidents that occur through carelessness are usually not covered by gadget insurance and insurers will often reject claims where you haven't taken reasonable care.  

Theft while unattended

Most gadget insurance policies will not provide cover if your phone is stolen while you’ve left it unattended. 

This could include leaving your phone on the seat of your car or on a table in a cafe.

Alternatives to gadget insurance

If you don’t think gadget insurance is for you, there are a number of alternatives which may still be able to give you cover:

Warranty

You may be able to get limited protection if your gadget is still under warranty. 

Warranties only tend to cover mechanical problems so it’s important to check the terms and conditions of your warranty before you decide against taking out separate cover.

Contents Insurance

If you have contents insurance you may be able to cover your gadgets through personal possessions cover. 

Personal possessions protects your belongings whenever you leave your home and could even offer protection when you travel abroad.

Adding gadgets to your contents insurance could result in you having to pay a higher excess if you claim. 

If you do make a claim, this could increase your contents insurance premium.

Self Insurance

Self insurance involves putting money away in a savings account each month to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your gadgets. 

Be realistic about your ability to set aside enough money to cover any costs that could arise especially if you have to pay for unauthorised downloads or calls to premium rate numbers.

Gadget insurance: FAQ

 

Is gadget insurance worth it?

 

Cost and value are very different things so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of taking out gadget insurance. 

If you do decide to get cover, be sure to shop around to find the best gadget insurance deal.

 

Can I get gadget insurance without proof of purchase?

 

Most insurers will require you to provide proof of purchase, such as a receipt, for the gadget you are claiming for. 

If the gadget you'd like to insure was a gift and you are unable to get the original receipt, you will need to provide evidence of the original purchase order. 

Check with your insurer before taking out a policy, especially if you did not purchase the gadget for yourself.

 

Can I insure a refurbished iPad?

 

It depends, some gadget insurers classify refurbished gadgets, such as iPads, as new while others may classify them as used. 

If you are unable to gadget insurance for your refurbished iPad see if you could get it covered through your contents insurance instead.

 

How long do I have to make a gadget insurance claim?

 

Most gadget insurance policies require you to report your gadget as lost or stolen within 24 hours of you discovering the incident. 

For some insurers you have as little as 12 hours to do so. It’s best to check with your gadget insurance provider.

 

How will my gadget insurance claim be paid?

 

If your claim is successful, your gadget insurance provider will settle it by either repairing your gadget, giving you a replacement or sending you a cheque or bank transfer.

 

What can I do if my gadget insurance claim is rejected?

 

If your gadget insurance claim has been rejected, you can complain to your insurer and go through their internal complaints process. 

If you are unsatisfied by the outcome you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

 

Does gadget insurance protect lost content?

 

Some gadget insurance policies may cover the cost or replacing apps and music. There is often no way to recover the cost of lost photos, messages or contacts if your gadget is lost or stolen.

Make sure you regularly back up your device - that way you'll be able to reload your old data onto your new gadget when you get it. 

 

What if I have another question?

 

If you have any more questions about gadget insurance, get in touch with our experts on the Which? Money Helpline or email us using money-letters@which.co.uk.

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