12:57 07 January 2013
Tablet sales went through the roof last year and thanks to Christmas shoppers, worldwide estimates for total tablet sales for that timeframe have been revised past the 122million mark.
Chances are, then, that there may be some tablets or other new gadgets in your home that now need to be insured. Here are our 10 easy steps to make sure your new 'toys' are covered against damage, loss or theft.
1. Calculate the value of your new gadgets
Home insurance comes in two forms: buildings cover for your home's structure and permanent fixtures, and contents cover for everything you fill your house up with. When you take out contents insurance you're asked to estimate the value of your home's contents, and new, expensive gadgets can push that figure up.
Search the web and find out the market price of your new kit - this is the amount you'll need to insure it for as part of your contents cover.
Head over to our contents calculator tool by clicking (or tapping, if you're using your new gadget) here. The tool will help you get an idea of the new value of your home's contents so that you can get the correct level of cover.
2. Dig out your existing contents insurance policy
If you already have a contents insurance policy, dig out the documents and find out how much it covers you for. This total is known as the 'sum insured'.
3. Do you have enough cover?
The figure you see may have a bit of headroom for new purchases and so will cover the value of the new tech. If this is the case, go to step 5, if not, carry on to step 4.
4. Top up your cover
If your current policy doesn't provide enough cover for the new stuff, you'll need to top it up. With an existing policy, the simplest way is to contact your insurer by phone and tell them you've had some nice new presents which mean you need some more cover.
If you don't already have contents insurance, you'll need to tally up the value of all your home's contents, including the new things, and get a quote here.
5. Shop around for the best deal
Just as with car insurance, loyalty to your home insurer won't earn you any rewards - so it's worth shopping around to see what other insurers are offering come renewal time. After all, the average saving is £125 a year, according to our figures at MoneySupermarket.
Our home insurance comparison service compares prices from more than 95 home insurance companies, so you can be sure to get a broad view of the market and not be left wondering if there was a better deal elsewhere.
6. Beware single item limits!
With new or existing policies, you will need to look beyond the price of total cover to the small print such as a single item (or single 'article') limit.
This is the absolute maximum your insurer is willing to pay out for any one thing. It typically stands at around £1,500 but it can be as low as £1,000.
Other insurers however, will offer £10,000 or £15,000 for valuables as standard - though you'll likely pay more for policies with those providers - but in any case, the first job is to know the figure.
If you've been especially lucky and received an expensive tech gift, it could exceed your policy's single item limit, which means the insurer might not cover the full cost of replacement should it be damaged, lost or stolen.
7. Cover your gadgets separately, if necessary
In this case, if you have some new gadgets which do exceed your existing policy's single item limit, you'll need to inform your insurer and ask it to provide additional separate cover.
It will probably push up your premiums, but could save you the cost of making up the shortfall if it came to making a claim.
8. Check you have cover on the go
Tablets and smartphones are often sold on their portability, so if you've got a new gadget you can use on the train or take on holiday, you'll want to make sure your cover extends beyond your home's welcome mat.
Adding personal possessions cover to your home insurance as an optional extra will cover your gadgets, to a certain extent, for use away from the home. You'll need to check the amount you'll be covered for, and whether there are any exclusions in the terms and conditions though.
Also remember that you need to take 'reasonable care' of your belongings outside the home, even if they are covered. For example, if you left your iPad on your car's passenger seat and returned to a broken window and a missing iPad, the insurer could refuse to pay out.
9. Check you're not double covered
If you've got a new mobile phone on a contract, you may have been sold standalone mobile phone insurance. But this might not be necessary.
For example, if you're already paying for personal possessions cover on your home insurance, or you get sufficient cover for free with your current account, you will be able forego standalone mobile phone insurance and pocket the cash instead.
You basically need to weigh up which of the three options provides the best level of cover for the least amount of money.
10. Enjoy your new gadgets
Enough of the boring insurance stuff, you're now covered and can start enjoying your new tablet or phone without having to worry about it being damaged, lost or stolen.
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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