Get the low-down on gadget insurance

November 28, 2017

Are you buying a new laptop, tablet or phone in the run up to Christmas? You may be offered gadget insurance at the checkout. Gadget insurance is completely optional, so you should think about whether it suits your needs before taking it out. What do you need to know when it comes to gadget insurance?

Guarantees or warranties

If a gadget you have bought is faulty, you have rights as a consumer. It is up to the business you bought it from to resolve the issue. It is also worth knowing where you stand if you have a guarantee from the manufacturer or if you took out a warranty at the time of purchase. If it is still within the guarantee or warranty period, going to the manufacturer to resolve the issue may be the quickest course of action.  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 outside of the manufacturer’s guarantee period, so make sure that it’s worth your while taking it out.

Cost of replacement

Look at the total cost of any insurance policy compared to how much it would cost you to replace the phone, laptop or gadget, to see if it makes sense. Would it actually work out cheaper to replace the item yourself than to pay for insurance over a number of years? Make sure you work this out before buying any policy.

What’s covered and what’s not?

Most insurers will protect your gadget against things like accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, unauthorised calls after your phone has been stolen and 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 in your car without hiding it away in the glove compartment and it was stolen, you may not be covered.

Excess fee

If you have to make a claim, you will more than likely have to pay an excess fee. This is the amount of money you must pay yourself towards any claim. The excess usually increases with every 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. Most policies include a maximum amount of claims – usually two per year.

Don’t be pressured

It may be convenient to choose whatever insurance is offered by sales staff when you buy your laptop or phone without giving it much thought. But it might not be the best deal out there. Don’t feel pressured into making a decision there and then. Do your research and shop around for the best deal for you. You may be able to include the gadget 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.

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