What can you claim for?

It depends on the type of cover you have, but most policies let you claim for:

  • Loss

  • Theft

  • Mechanical breakdown

  • Accidental damage

Some insurers let you claim as soon as your cover is set up. However, some policies do not let you claim within the first 14 days, so check the terms of your policy.

You can claim for any gadget listed on your policy, but most insurers also apply a single article limit. This is the maximum amount they will pay for one gadget, for example 1,500.

How to make a claim

If your gadget is lost or stolen, call your local police station as soon as you realise it is missing and make a note of the incident report number.

For all claims, you should then contact your insurer:

  1. 1.

    Call your insurer's claims number, which can be found on your policy documents, and let them know you need to make a claim.

  2. 2.

    Give details of your claim, including how it was lost or damaged. You may be asked to fill out a claims form but most insurers can take details over the phone.

  3. 3.

    Send any paperwork or supporting documents your insurer has asked for.

Make sure you report any claims to your insurer within 48 hours of discovering the loss or damage, otherwise they may refuse to pay out.

What do you need to send?

Your insurer may ask for a receipt or proof of purchase before they can pay your claim. This is to show that the gadget you are claiming for belongs to you.

If you do not have the original receipt, your insurer may accept:

  • Credit or debit card statements, showing when you bought the item and how much it cost

  • Photographs showing you with the item, e.g. wearing your Fitbit

Check with your insurer to see what they need from you if you make a claim on your policy.

Does it cost to claim?

Yes, you will need to pay your excess before your insurer can pay your claim. This is the fixed amount you have to pay towards every claim you make.

Some insurers will ask you to pay this before your claim is paid, but others will just deduct it from the overall value of your claim. For example, if your gadget costs 200 to replace and your excess is 50, your insurer will only pay 150.

Your excess will vary depending on what you claim for. For example, if you claim for damage or breakdown, your excess may be 50. But if you claim for theft or loss, it could cost 75 or more.

You may also be charged more for your policy when it renews if you have claimed, because you will lose your no claims discount.

How are claims paid?

If your insurer agrees to pay your claim, it will be settled one of three ways:

  1. Repair

  2. Replacement

  3. Cheque or bank transfer

Claims are usually settled in two working days, but if your gadget needs to be sent to an authorised repairer it could take several weeks to get it back.

Your insurer may ask that you pay any remaining balance of your insurance premium before your claim is settled:

  • If you pay monthly, you may need to pay your remaining payments

  • If you pay annually, your insurer will be able to settle your claim right away

What if your claim is refused?

Your insurer may not pay your claim if:

  • The cause of the loss or damage is not covered by your policy

  • You have acted carelessly, e.g. you have left your laptop on show in your car

  • You did not report your claim quickly enough, e.g. within 48 hours

  • You gave incorrect information when you took out cover or reported your claim

If you think the reason your insurer has refused your claim is unfair, you can complain to them. If you are still not happy with the outcome, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.