• Only half (51%) of all mobile, gadget and joint mobile & gadget policies offer cover for multiple gadgets, despite average UK households owning well over seven separate internet devices per home[i] If you are considering joint mobile & gadget cover beware; two in five (39%) offer no cover for lost phones or lost gadgets
  • One in five (21%) policies do not cover unattended theft from cars or premises
    Only 1% of policies will offer the loan of a phone in the event of theft, loss or damage of an insured’s phone, leaving many without means of communication
  • Beware that bargain you picked up on eBay as 42% of policies don’t cover you for gadgets or phones bought from online auction sites
  • Defaqto urges consumers to check their cover and ensure they have the right insurance for their devices
    With action cameras and digital media players such as Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV making their first appearance in the consumer index ‘basket of goods’ in 2018, the UK’s passion for gadgets continues to grow. However, analysis by Defaqto, the independent financial information business, reveals that gadget and mobile insurance policies can often leave tech users with little cover for their devices.

Despite UK households owning well over seven separate internet devices per home, Defaqto discovered that only half (51% or 81 out of 159) of all policies offer cover for multiple gadgets, leaving many tech users with little choice but to opt for multiple gadget policies to provide cover, which is not only costly but could be confusing too.

For those considering a joint mobile & gadget policy, it’s worth noting that two in five (39% or 35 out of 89) do not cover the accidental loss of a mobile phone or a gadget, such as a tablet or camera. Given the portability of popular gadgets, with families and individuals alike taking their devices on holidays and into the workplace, many are lost accidentally. In addition, 35% (31 out of 89) of these joint policies offer no cover for malicious damage, should you discover that your device or gadget has been intentionally tampered with or damaged.

When it comes to theft, many insurers will not provide cover for the theft of unattended phones or gadgets, including thefts from vehicles and premises. One in five (21% or 33 out of 159) of policies will not provide cover for a phone or gadget that has been stolen from an unattended vehicle or premises, such as your workplace or home. Of those policies that do cover unattended theft, the majority have conditions which apply, such as evidence of forced entry or a declaration by the insured that the gadget or phone was concealed, for example in the glove compartment of a car.

Should you be unlucky enough to find yourself without your mobile phone, due to loss, theft or damage, there are very few insurers who will offer a temporary replacement. Worryingly, only 1% (2 out of 151) offer a loan mobile whilst another phone is being sought or the insured one is being fixed. This could be incredibly frustrating should users depend on their mobile phone for work or to communicate with families and loved ones on a regular basis.

When it comes to claiming for repairs or replacement due to electrical or mechanical faults, joint mobile & gadget policies offer restricted cover. Should your phone or device suffer from an electronic fault, 16% (25 out of 159) offer no cover with 15 policies offering some cover but with strict restrictions. In terms of mechanical faults, the situation is no better with one in five (20% or 32 out 159) policies offering no cover and 13 out of 159 offering cover with strict restrictions. Worryingly, less than half (46% or 70 out of 151) provide cover for a smartphone that’s two years or older when the policy starts, although the average lifespan for a smartphone today is 4.7 years[ii]

Defaqto analyses the whole of the market and rates products according to their benefits and features, as well as against a set of core criteria. Consumers can check the features of a home insurance policy, including bike cover, as well as its Star Ratings online at defaqto.com/homeinsurance.

Brian Brown, Head of Insight – Banking & General Insurance at Defaqto, comments:

“With technology continuing to develop and become increasingly more sophisticated, gadgets, phones and devices are now part of the every day fabric of modern life in the UK. Households have numerous gadgets – smartphones that we can make calls on whilst checking our bank accounts, tablets to stream our favourite films and internet-linked speakers which remind us when we need to turn off our lights and heating to save energy, to name a few. To say that we rely on modern technology to function would not be an exaggeration. Unfortunately, as gadgets and mobiles are so portable, millions are lost or damaged each year and so getting the right insurance is vital.

“Just as we spend time choosing those gadgets which will fit into our lives and address our many lifestyle needs, we need to also apply the same consideration when it comes to insuring our gadgets. Policies and features vary considerably so it is essential that tech users check their insurance cover to ensure they have peace of mind should they unfortunately find themselves without their devices due to theft, loss or damage.”