Damaged, Lost or Stolen
Lots of tech changed hands this holiday season. Whether you bought yourself a shiny new gadget or Santa brought you something from your wishlist, you may be wondering what happens if it is damaged, lost or stolen. Think about where you take your iPad. Everywhere! You probably pay close attention to keeping track of it because you are used to carrying it around. But sometimes we take our toys over to a friend’s house and are not as diligent about tracking it because it isn’t a part of our normal routine. This is one of the reasons why you need to know if your personal property is covered by insurance.
Inside or Outside Your Property
Typically, your personal property is covered when part of an insurance claim if it is part of the overall loss. For instance, your auto insurance policy may cover your personal property inside the car if your car is destroyed. However, if you leave your fabulous new Xbox One X on the backseat of the car and someone helps themselves to it, you probably won’t be reimbursed. Also, your deductible may be higher than the replacement cost is anyway.
All may not be lost, though. Did you purchase the Xbox with a credit card that provides purchase protection? This benefit is usually available for a limited amount of time after the purchase. 90 or 120 days being the most common. Check with your bank or credit card company because some credit cards specifically exclude items stolen from vehicles.
As a side note, a lost cell phone is not the same thing as a loss including a cell phone. Most bank/credit cards will not cover misplacing something.
Generally speaking, if your new tech toys are damaged or lost in your home through a covered loss such as a fire or burglary then your homeowner’s insurance will cover it. However, if you have some higher end items or things that are used for business then you will want to speak with your agent about additional coverage options. That additional coverage may protect those items when off-site. For example, a wedding photographer will have different needs than a hobbyist with a nice DSLR camera.
Which brings us to the next point. Is it a good idea to have item specific coverage? Like so many things, it depends on your personal situation.
Is Smartphone Insurance Worth Buying?
Consumer Reports has an in-depth article from last summer that explains the different types of losses and coverage that could be found at that time. There are many different scenarios with differing degrees of expense in determining whether purchasing additional coverage from the cell phone manufacturer, your wireless carrier, or an independent insurer makes sense. With many things, assessing what is the best option comes down to personal decisions about finances and peace of mind. Is it better to come up with a deductible or the full cost to repair or replace your cell phone? This could be a good starting point in thinking about what best fits your needs. Also, look at how many losses or accidents you have had in the past with your cell phone. If you routinely break or lose your phone you know that you are probably going to do so again.
If you have questions about your property and the best way to insure it, please reach out to us so that we can give you personal attention in addressing your specific needs. Read here about why working with an Independent Agent makes sense.