Are your gadgets insured for travel?

Published:
07 February 2012
Topic:
News,Insurance,Home,Travel

Look around any airport's departure lounge today, and you'll see a multitude of smartphones, e-readers, tablet computers and laptops.

As tech has gotten smaller and lighter, these expensive items have become common travelling companions - whether they are for keeping us entertained on a plane, staying in contact with home, or even a spot reading on the beach.

Insurance giant AXA estimates that, last year, British holidaymakers collectively took more than £7billion worth of electronic gadgets away with them - and it's not just younger travellers who are packing their bags full of tech either.

Research from Saga Travel Insurance shows that 70% of the over 50s are taking at least one gadget away with them on holiday. One in five said they would be taking a tablet like an iPad or a Kindle with them and a third said they'd be taking away a sat nav.

But how many of us actually check that our gadgets are insured for travel?  Here we take a look at the implications on your travel insurance.

Single item limits

When comparing travel insurance policies, it's tempting to go for the absolute cheapest option. But ignoring the small print in favour of cheap cover could in fact prove more costly if you were to lose or damage one of your expensive gadgets and find the policy doesn't pay out for its full cost.

This is why you would be well advised to check each policy's 'single item limit' before making a purchase.

As it says on the tin, a single item limit is the maximum amount the insurer will pay out for a single item, regardless of how much cover the policy gives you for your personal belongings overall. Single item limits vary from policy to policy.

For example, a quick MoneySupermarket travel insurance comparison for a couple, both aged 25, travelling to Dubai (with baggage and cancellation cover) returns three quotes under £20. However, the single item limits range from just £150 to £300.

Bearing in mind that you may also have to pay an excess charge for making a claim, losing or damaging something like an iPad - worth anywhere between £400 and £659, could prove to be very expensive.

Some travel insurance providers will let you increase your single item limit (sometimes referred to as single article limit) for an additional fee.

Some policies simply won't cover you at all for some items like mobile phones. If you're planning on taking your iPhone, Blackberry or any other smartphone abroad with you, check that you have some sort of cover. If you have insurance included as part of your mobile phone contract, that may cover you abroad, but you need to check the policy details.

Doesn't my home insurance cover me?

Some home insurance policies will cover your valuables abroad if you have personal possessions cover. Adding this extra level of cover will increase your home insurance premiums but will give you extra peace of mind when taking your gadgets abroad.

If you already have home insurance, check that it includes personal possessions cover, how much it covers you for and for how many days abroad it covers you.

What if my travel and home insurance both cover me?

If you lose or damage any of your gadgets abroad and find that both your travel insurance and the personal possessions element of your home insurance covers you, which one should you claim on?

If you can, it's probably best to claim on your travel insurance because if you make the claim on your home insurance policy, you'll have to pay the excess and it will probably push up your premium as you'll be losing your no claims discount.

Make sure you're covered

To make sure your holiday doesn't land you with the unexpected expense of having to fork out for a new laptop or smartphone this year, be sure to read the small print of your travel insurance cover. You can play around with options and search for the best deal for you on MoneySupermarket's travel insurance channel.

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct

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Mark Hooson

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