What is gadget insurance?
It’s an insurance policy that covers portable devices against things like accidental damage, liquid damage, loss and theft. The types of gadgets you can insure include:
- Mobile phones
- iPads and tablets
- Smart watches
- Cameras, GoPros and camcorders
- Sat navs
- Portable games consoles
If you just need cover for your mobile phone, a dedicated mobile phone insurance policy may offer more protection.
What does gadget insurance cover?
Most policies protect your gadgets and phones against:
- Accidental damage: This pays for repairs if your device has been damaged by accident. For example, repairing a cracked screen if you accidentally drop your camera. If your device can’t be repaired it will be replaced.
- Malicious damage: If a third party causes deliberate malicious damage to your gadget you’ll be covered for the cost to repair it or a replacement.
- Liquid damage: Whether you accidentally drop your gadget in the toilet or spill coffee on it, you’ll be covered against any water or liquid damage.
- Theft: If your portable device is stolen, it will be replaced.
- Breakdown: If your device suffers from a mechanical or electrical fault causing it to break down and is outside its warranty period, it will be repaired or replaced.
- Unauthorised calls: If your handset is stolen, you can claim for the cost of any fraudulent calls, messages, and data usage - usually for up to 24 hours from when it’s taken.
- Worldwide cover: This covers your gadgets while you’re travelling. You’ll usually be covered for up to a maximum of 180 days.
If your device needs replacing due to accidental damage or theft, it’s usually replaced with a refurbished device of the same or similar age and specification.
What extra cover can you get?
Gadget cover varies between insurers so it pays to shop around. Some insurance companies may offer benefits like worldwide cover as standard, but you may have to add it as an extra for others.
Here are some extra benefits you may wish to add:
- Loss: This pays for a replacement if you lose your device accidentally as long as it’s not left unattended. You may be able to add this cover for as little as €1 a month extra.
- Accessories: e.g. phone chargers and headphones that are accidentally lost, damaged, or stolen at the same time as your device. They will be replaced up to a maximum value, usually between €150 and €300.
What exclusions are there?
There are lots of exclusions and circumstances that stop you from being able to claim. Some of the key ones include:
- Claims made within 14 days of the policy starting: or an event in that period that results in a claim being made.
- Claims arising from pre-existing damage: before the policy started.
- Theft of your device from a vehicle: unless it’s out of view and enclosed e.g. in the glove box or boot and the vehicle’s windows and doors are secured, and any fitted alarms are activated.
- Unreported theft or loss: You must report that your gadget has been stolen or lost to the police within 48 hours and get a crime reference number.
- Loss of or accidental damage to an inactive device: Your device must be fitted with a SIM that works or you must provide proof from your network that the phone has been in use since the policy started.
What type of cover do you need?
This will depend on what gadgets you have and how many you need to insure. Here are the main types of cover:
Laptop & MacBook insurance
Laptops may be covered by your contents insurance, but exclusions could apply and the cover may not be very comprehensive.
If you have a high excess on your home contents insurance, or you need a replacement quickly, then laptop cover can be a good option.
Laptop & MacBook insurance can cost as little as €6.99 or as much as €11.99 per month for the latest, high-spec laptops.
Tablet & iPad insurance
Your tablet or iPad isn’t always covered by your home insurance so check your policy details.
Tablet cover may also protect you from mechanical breakdown, overseas travel, malicious damage, and loss or theft when you are out and about.
Cover premiums can be as low as €3.99 per month, but the latest models may cost you around €8.00 per month. You may need to pay extra for loss cover, so check the small print.
Chances are your iPhone goes everywhere you go and has some perilous moments, but accidental damage or loss away from the home will not be covered by a standard contents policy.
Any claim for your mobile phone may also result in higher monthly premiums and a lengthy wait for your insurer to process the claim.
For peace of mind, taking out mobile insurance for your new iPhone can be worth it. Prices start at around €7.99 per month and the Apple iPhone 13 will cost you about €11.00 per month.
Multi-gadget insurance can be a cost-effective way of getting all your tech covered in one go. For example, when you insure your mobile phone, you can cover your games console, laptop, and headphones at the same time.
A multi-cover policy is worth considering if you travel regularly for work or leisure with all your gadgets.
Typically, you will pay full price for the most expensive item and additional gadgets will be cheaper, or you may be offered a multi-cover discount of up to 15%.
Who offers gadget insurance in Ireland?
There are several insurers and brokers you can find gadget insurance with in Ireland. These are some of the main ones that are worth a price comparison:
How to choose the right gadget insurance policy
With so many insurers to choose from and lengthy policy documents to read, it can be difficult to know where to start. To find the right insurance, here’s what to check:
- What devices are covered by each insurer
- The maximum age the devices can be
- How much the excess is
- Whether the standard cover is enough or do you need add ons
- The total cost (including any add ons) for the year or per month
- The exclusions and policy conditions
- Whether there’s enough worldwide cover for your travel plans
How to get cheaper gadget insurance
Gadget insurance starts from as little as €3.99 a month but the cheapest policy won’t necessarily meet your needs. Here’s how to find the right insurance for less:
- Insure more than one gadget to get up to 15% discount
- Shop around for quotes
- Only pay for the cover you need
- Pay upfront rather than monthly as you’ll be charged more
- Avoid hidden card payment charges
Check that your home contents insurance policy doesn’t already cover your gadgets or you may be wasting your money.
Is gadget insurance worth it?
If you have expensive gadgets that are relatively new, insuring them can give you peace of mind in case something goes wrong. It could save you hundreds of euro on repairs if it’s damaged or a replacement if it’s stolen.
Plus, the excess on your home insurance may be higher than a dedicated gadget insurance policy and the claim process will be longer.
If your gadgets are older or refurbished, it’s probably not worth continuing to insure them.
Gadget insurance FAQs
Are my gadgets and mobile phone covered outside of Ireland?
Yes, most insurers include worldwide cover for between 60 and 180 days in any 12 month period.
As this is a broad range, always check that the policy you choose has enough cover for your needs.
Can I insure multiple devices?
Yes, most insurers let you have one policy for multiple devices and this could save you up to 15% compared with buying separate policies.
Can I insure my gadget if it’s over 12 months old?
Most insurers will only provide insurance for gadgets that are less than a year old from the date the policy starts but Loveitcoverit.ie extends this to three years.
How do I cancel my gadget insurance policy?
If you decide the policy isn’t right for you within 14 days of buying it (known as the ‘cooling off’ period), you should inform the insurer who will issue a full refund.
If it’s outside the 14 days, you usually have to provide 30 days notice and will be issued a refund for the unused portion of the year if you paid upfront.
An administration fee may apply and should be detailed in the policy document or terms and conditions.
How many claims a year can I make?
This varies insurer to insurer. For example, Chill.ie lets you make up to two claims a year, while Loveitcoverit.ie doesn’t put a limit on the number of claims you can make.
How much is the excess?
The excess may either be a set amount or vary depending on the type of gadget and type of claim you make.
For example, some insurers set a higher excess on the latest iPhone compared with a cheaper device, and an accidental damage claim would have a lower excess than a claim for loss or theft.
The amount of excess you pay per claim could be as low as €30 and as high as €175 so always check before you buy.
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