Tips for insuring your latest gadget
With the growing use of expensive electronic items – including laptops, mobile phones and tablets – it is important for people to consider insuring their gadgets.
According to independent financial research company Defaqto, a recent development has been the growing availability of specialist Gadget Insurance – however, there is wide variation across the market in terms of the cover offered and, as a result, gadget owners need to pay close attention to policy details before taking out insurance.
Defaqto data shows, for example, that:
Although 98% of Gadget Insurance policies provide cover for theft, if the gadget is stolen from a vehicle only 67% of these policies will cover theft from all types of vehicles; 21% do not provide cover if a gadget is stolen from a commercial vehicle or convertible car; while 5% will not cover theft from a commercial vehicle only
Cover against accidental loss is provided by 69% of all policies either on an ‘optional’ or ‘standard’ basis – however, not all policies offer cover for all types of gadgets, with 21% providing cover on a ‘restricted’ basis, typically excluding laptops and computers
Defaqto has launched a new Star Rating for Gadget Insurance to help consumers to see where different policies sit in the market in terms of the features and benefits they offer.
Star Ratings give each policy an independent rating of 1 to 5 depending on the level of feature quality and comprehensiveness provided.
To achieve a 4 or 5 Star Rating, as well as meeting the required level of feature quality as a whole, products must also provide a minimum level of benefit against ‘core criteria’ – these are features which, based on Defaqto analysis and market and industry developments, are key to a product representing a high quality offering to consumers.
Mike Powell, Defaqto’s Insight Analyst for General Insurance, said: “With the boom in the purchase of electronic gadgets, gadget insurance can provide cover against a number of risks, but it is essential that people research the cover available. Our research shows that there is marked variation between different policies in terms of the cover they offer, making it potentially quite tricky for people to identify the right option for their needs.
“First and foremost, it is essential that gadget owners look for products that meet their needs in terms of features and benefits. It is important to review the policy wording to be clear as to what is defined as a gadget as this can vary between policies. Be aware of the policy restrictions and excesses that are applicable, as these can vary depending on the gadget insured. Finally, although the price of a product is important, the cover and policy features offered should be the main focus when deciding which policy to buy.
“Our Star Ratings provide an independent rating of the level of features and benefits offered by the different Gadget Insurance policies on the market. They provide an at a glance view of where products sit in the market in terms of feature quality and comprehensiveness – with the aim of supporting consumers’ decision-making process.”
Consumers can access Defaqto’s Star Ratings for Gadget Insurance at defaqto.com/star-ratings/gadget-insurance, where they will be able to:
Find 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 Star rated products and compare their features and benefits
Identify what Star Rating their current product, or one they are considering, has
Access information about Star rated products so they can learn more about what they offer