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:
- 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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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.