BY Taurai Museka
Gadgets have become so much of a necessity for everyone these days. We can not do without our valuable items such as cameras, laptops, tablets and most importantly our smartphones. It is very normal to find a person moving around with gadgets with values in excess of USD$1,000. A lot of us do not realise the value of the gadgets that we carry around with us on a daily basis. When we do realise this value it is logical to find a way to protect this value and gadgets insurance does that very well.
My friends always make fun of how I had one of my phones stolen barely a week after buying it. I know a lot more people who have that exact story and some who had their’s broken during unboxing. The cost and thought of replacing my phone made me cringe. I never took insurance for my gadgets seriously and because of that I had to go several weeks without a smartphone. You can only imagition how much I got left behind in those weeks I spent without a smartphone. It was at that point that I realized the need to insure my gadgets.
What does gadgets insurance cover?
Gadgets insurance covers portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets, portable music players, portable gaming consoles, laptops and cameras against accidental damage or theft. Because terms and conditions might vary between different companies it is key to read the fine print when choosing which company to go with. One company might not have theft as part of their standard gadgets insurance cover and you could be forced to pay more for that cover for example.As always, just like with other types of insurance, make sure you are aware of the exclusions on the policy for instance some insurance companies might exlude theft as a result of leaving unattended gadgets in public areas. A good example is leaving your phone on a bar counter unattended because it is insured. This will just invalidate your claim if the phone is stolen. It is also important to check applicable excesses on the policy. Different causes of loss could have different applicable excesses.
Laptops are a big part of our lives whether you are a student or a business person. This is why insuring your laptop is a must.
Because spilling liquids on laptops is quite common ask if your cover extends to accidental damage caused by liquids. Also because some insurance companies also look to minimize their losses they put a limit on the value of laptops you can insure. So if you are a man of great tech-sense and own a Stealth Macbook pro you’ll probably want to check limits on your policy. Some companies will also exclude other types of damages such as fallen keys or cracked screens so make sure you understand what is included and what is not. However make sure you always have a back-up for all your important data because as much as insurance can replace your laptop it can not replace your data.
I am one of the many people who cannot live without their phones. My smartphone is so important in all aspects of my life including spirituality, family, business and entertainment. Just like laptops, checking what your policy covers against is important. Getting a policy that does not cover for theft is pointless considering its one of the covers you need. Also check to what extent they cover accidental damages. Some companies will not cover accidental damages within the guarantee period of the phone. Also request to have your valuable phone accessories such as your smart watches on cover.
Portable music or video players
Joggers in streets with music players strapped on their arms are a common site if you are an early bird like me. Ipods are really attractive devices for thieves and they can easily be lost. Like the other devices, check if your insurance company covers for theft or damage outside the guanrantee period.
Cameras are journalists best friend. For them they are not just for capturing moments but for adding dollar to the pocket. They are equally important for the rest of us as they capture moments we can never re-live. However they can easily be damaged and they are attractive for thieves as well. For the journalist it is important to check if damages caused by riots is covered under your policy. Damages caused by political riots are usually excluded. Also check if your accesesories such as extra lences and stands are covered under your camera or they covered separately.
It is worth noting that insurance companies in Zimbabwe are not moving quick enough to provide this type of insurance. Only a few companies provide this cover with the rest still reluctant and deciding to be left behind. I would be pleased to see more companies roll out this service soon.
Article by Taurai Craig Museka a freelance insurance writer. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp +263775608014