If you have a costly device or multiple ones, you could find it better to take out standalone cover as the protection you may have through any home insurance you have is likely to be restricted, not just to the location but the kind of failure too.
Brian Brown, head of insight at policy ratings expert Defaqto, warns gadget owners to remember household insurance will not cover devices against breakdown or failure, only for loss, theft or accidental damage if there’s that option in the policy.
Insurance policies vary a lot, so working out what you need then checking against what a policy offers, and most importantly what it does not before signing up, is a must.
Brown also points cover plans do not normally extend compensation to work lost as consequence of a breakdown or loss, or having to buy a replacement item quickly.
Most do not provide binding guarantees either about how quickly a repair will be carried out, although an indication will probably be given.
If a device fails within a warranty period then it is then down to the manufacturer to sort it out, after that protection from insurance kicks in. But as Brown explains if a repair is not possible, the alternative will be a REFURBISHED replacement, or equivalent cash value – not a brand new one.
When you buy a policy Martyn John, from price comparison site GoCompare.com, advises you will also have to prove your gadgets were purchased directly from a manufacturer, network provider, retail store or online outlet; that they are in full working order, free from any damage, and some insurers will also have a period of time at the start of the policy where you can’t make a claim.
According to GoCompare, currently the average best cost for an annual policy is £154.16, for gadgets varying from £900 to £1200 per gadget up to £7,500.
For students, in the front line when it comes to tech cover, the first move should be to add up the value of their possessions (often greater than they might think), recommends Julia Alpan, head of marketing at Endsleigh Insurance Services the UK’s leading insurer for the college sector.
She explains: “Purchasing gadget insurance can feel overwhelming, especially if you are doing it for the first time.
“When getting a quote, it’s important to take time to add up the value of your possessions; from laptops and phones, through to TVs, speakers and sports equipment. In our latest lifestyle survey, we found students’ possessions were valued at an average of £4,164, so it is vital that your policy covers the cost of your possessions.
“When choosing an insurer, consider what you want to protect your possessions against, such as for damage, theft and loss. It’s also important to consider how you’d want your claim to be managed, should you need to make one; whether for example you’d like 24-hour replacement or new for old. Some policies may include all of these elements, whilst others may not, so take time to understand the level of cover included within your policy, to avoid any surprises.
“At Endsleigh, we specialise in affordable, transparent insurance for students and young professionals, and find that people often assume their possessions are covered under their parents’ policy, which is not always the case. It is also important to note that their policy may have a higher excess than a student policy, and that any claims may affect their parents’ no claims discount.
“The right insurance provider will be happy to talk through the specifics of your policy before you sign, to make sure you have a level of cover that is right for you and your possessions.”