What is it?

Gadget insurance is a type of policy that offers protection for multiple devices, like smartphones, laptops and tablets.

You can usually cover your gadgets for:

  • Theft

  • Loss (this may cost extra)

  • Mechanical breakdown

  • Accidental damage, including liquid damage and cracked screens

Your insurer then covers the cost of repairing or replacing your gadget, up to the maximum value listed in your policy documents, e.g. 1,500. You will have to pay an excess if you claim, but this is usually only 50.

Do you need it?

You may want to consider getting cover if:

  • Your gadgets are expensive to replace

  • You own several of gadgets

  • You use your gadgets on the move, e.g. reading your Kindle on your commute

  • You have lost gadgets or had them stolen before

If you are accident prone or have a history of losing your gadgets, you should consider taking out gadget insurance.

If you only want to cover the risk of your gadget not working, you could save money by making use of your manufacturer's warranty or taking out an extended warranty.

What is an extended warranty?

It is an insurance policy that covers the cost of repairing or replacing your gadget, even after your manufacturer's warranty has run out.

An extended warranty only covers mechanical breakdown. It does not cover loss, theft or cosmetic damage, like cracked screens.

They are usually offered by the shop you buy your device from, but you can also find extended warranties using our comparison.

What cover can you get?

Most gadget insurers let you build your policy by adding the cover you need, including:

  • Theft is usually covered automatically but your insurer may not pay claims if you act carelessly, e.g. you leave your iPad in your car.

  • Loss is usually optional, so you may need to pay extra to cover it. Some insurers do not cover loss of more expensive items like laptops, so check the policy terms to make sure you get the cover you want.

  • Mechanical breakdown covers your gadgets after the manufacturer's warranty has run out. It covers blank screens, problems charging and broken buttons, but not general wear and tear.

  • Accidental damage is usually included automatically, to cover drops, breakages and cracked screens that stop your gadgets from working. Cosmetic damage like surface scratches and dents are not covered.

  • Liquid damage covers your gadgets if water or drinks are spilled on them. Most insurers include this automatically but some charge extra to add this to your policy.

  • Worldwide cover protects your gadgets anywhere in the world for up to 90 days each year. This means if your gadget is damaged or stolen while you are on holiday, your insurer will pay to repair or replace it.

Some cover may cost extra, so compare quotes to get the cover you need for the cheapest price.

Are you already covered?

Before you buy a gadget insurance policy, check to see if you are already covered by:

  • Your contents insurance: If you have worldwide accidental damage cover, your gadgets may be protected when they are out of your home. However, you may have to pay around 75 towards any claims.

  • Your manufacturer's warranty: If your gadgets are still under warranty, the manufacturer will pay for repairs or replacement if they stop working. If you only want to protect against mechanical breakdown, this could save you money.

  • Your packaged bank account: If you have a reward bank account, check if it comes with basic insurance for your mobile phone. If you have cover elsewhere for your other gadgets, this could save you money.

If your gadgets are already insured on another policy, check you have the protection you want. For example, some policies do not cover accidental damage.

How much does it cost?

The monthly cost of a gadget insurance policy ranges from around 1.50 to 15, depending on the cover you have and the provider you choose.

Some insurers offer a discount for paying your premium in full. You could also get a discount for insuring more than one gadget on the same policy. For example, a 10% discount for two gadgets.

How can you find a policy?

You may be offered insurance in store when you buy your gadget, but this is not necessarily the cheapest option.

Shop around to find the best gadget insurance by comparing quotes and getting the deal that is right for you.