Traveling with electronic gadgets just isn’t what it used to be. In days past we packed maybe a mobile phone with our clothes and that was it. Now, technology has made gadgets of all types possible. And, we like to take our gadgets on as many trips as possible. It is not unusual for us to be traveling on holiday with laptops, tablets, MP3 players and cameras galore. The money wrapped up in these devices typically gets taken for granted. But if they needed replaced, it could break the piggybank. Gadget insurance is the one fail-safe method to protecting our gadgets from theft and accidental damage.

Most gadget owners walk around thinking their travel policy or even home insurance policy is sufficient. But, when reading the fine print it is soon discovered the policy falls well short of being able to replace any gadget at today’s value. Most policies are either outdated or not able to do the job from the beginning. Additionally, being on holiday changes the game entirely. The loss of gadgets while out of town may end up costing a lot more than expected.

Mhairi Duffin, chief travel consultant with Confused.com, offered valuable advice regarding the cover for electronic gadgets, saying: “Most basic policies won’t cover things like smartphones and may not give you enough cover for more expensive laptops or cameras. Often the maximum payout per item on this type of policy is between £100 and £300, so if you’re planning on taking more pricey items away with you, it may be worth spending the extra money to get a more comprehensive policy.”

Consumer advocate group Which? studied policies for travel from 20 large providers. Most of the insurers provided replacement values far short of covering the cost of any of the items. This is disturbing due to the value of the items being carried at the time. Those include laptops at an average price of more than £650, iPads at more than £400 and smartphones at almost £400. All the insurers placed limits on replacement value at £300 or less. Even worse, the amount to pay towards a claim is set at £50 to £100 with some of the insurers.

Travel insurance then is quite ineffective against lost or damaged gadgets while on holiday. A more suitable option could be a home insurance policy which covers items while away. Providers typically add on a £50 supplemental fee to annual premium cost for this type of cover. An obvious problem surfaces though in the event a claim is made. The cost of the home insurance policy will go up, even though the items covered have temporarily left the house. Additionally, that £50 fee could go much higher if items to be covered are valued at more than £2,000.

In considering the big picture, gadget insurance is the most effective method of protection against accidental damage and theft. It even covers the cost of illegitimate calls made from a smartphone. Replacement turnaround time is quick as well, so no one is left without their important gadgets for long periods. Gadget Cover has several cover options suitable for any budget.

Policy pricing is quite low, with smartphones covered for a mere £5.99 per month, laptops even less. There is a quick 48 hour turnaround time for replacement of gadgets, compared with possible weeks of waiting with a home insurance policy.

Electronic gadgets are not just devices we rely on for communication and completing other tasks. They are investments in tools which help us reach our potential each day. So pay close attention to online reviews and do as much research as possible before selecting a provider. And remember there is a source for claims not handled fairly – the Financial Ombudsman Service.

When selecting a policy, make a checklist for the cover you desire down to the fine details. All insurers will typically offer a basic policy which provides replacement in the event of accidental loss. Beyond that, pay close attention to the fine print and make certain that particular policy includes every stipulation necessary for you to reach a level of comfort with that policy. Do not sign anything or pay any premiums or set up fees until that time. Restrictions within a policy could end up being a trouble spot if not understood before signing. Again, pay close attention to the fine print of any policy before signing.

Making an insurance claim can be stressful, but being prepared makes the process much smoother. First, make certain all gadgets which are making the trip on holiday are cared for in the safest way. Padded gadget carriers are always a wise idea, especially in the event a laptop is being toted onto an airplane. Many tablet makers also make stylish carriers which offer extra protection.

Next, make a record of the gadget’s important identification numbers. Notably, the IMEI number, which can be found either on the packaging or handset. It is also located on the SIM tray if the device is an iPhone. This number should be registered with the UK National Property Register at www.immobilise.com

Lastly, in the event a claim does have to be filed, stay calm. This is the time all your preparation work will pay off. Rely on the information which has already been documented, contact the appropriate authorities and obtain a crime reference number. It is also best to contact the provider straight away.– 

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