Thinking of taking out Gadget insurance

December 16, 2015

Are you thinking of buying a new phone, camera or laptop this Christmas? If so, you’re probably wondering whether or not to take out GADGET insurance to protect you from possible loss, theft or accidents? There are a number of things to consider before you do:

Guarantees/warranties and your rights: if you discover a manufacturing fault with a product you have bought, remember that you have rights as a consumer to get redress from the seller of the goods. However, it is good to know where you stand if you also have a guarantee from the manufacturer or if you took out a warranty at the time of purchase. If you bought a phone or laptop that has become faulty and it is still within the guarantee or warranty period, the manufacturer has to resolve the issue for you. A guarantee or warranty normally won’t protect you if you lose or drop the device, even if it is within the specified time period. Gadget insurance usually only covers faults which occur outside of the manufacturer’s guarantee period so make sure that it is worthwhile paying for it.

Amount you pay for a replacement: Before you decide to buy gadget insurance make sure that you have looked at what the total cost adds up to. Compare this amount to what it would cost if you had to replace the item yourself.  It might or might not work out cheaper to replace the item yourself than to pay insurance over a number of years. Make sure you do this calculation before purchasing any policy.

Do your research before you buy and don’t be pressurised by sales staff: Take your time. If you know what item you want to insure, you should compare quotes from different providers. Most insurance providers have their policy terms and conditions online, or you can call them to get a quote if you prefer. Remember, if you take out gadget insurance you may have to wait a period of time before your cover comes into play, e.g. 2-3 weeks days. So you won’t be able to make a claim, if you drop or lose your device within that time period. If you take out gadget insurance online or by phone you have 14 days from when you entered into the contract to cancel the policy. This is knowing as a cooling off period.

Get information on what’s covered and what’s not: most insurers will protect your item against things like accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, unauthorised calls after your phone has been stolen, and most will include a period of cover when travelling abroad. Read the small print so you know what you’re not covered for and watch out for any exclusions that may apply. For instance, if you left your phone lying in your car without hiding it away in the glove compartment and it was stolen you may not be covered. You may be able to include the item as part of your home insurance contents cover, but this could cause your home insurance premium to increase if you have to make a claim.

Excess fee: normally when you make a claim you have to pay an excess fee. This is the amount of money you must pay yourself towards any claim.  Excesses can vary and normally increase with each claim you make. For example, if it is the first time your phone is stolen, the excess could cost between €30- €60, but if your phone is stolen a second time and you are making a claim again, the excess could cost double this amount. You are normally limited to two claims per year. Make sure you know what the excess is before you buy a policy.

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