You'll be glad of gadget insurance abroad

The ‘wish you were here’ postcard is a thing of the past. With all our smart devices, we don’t just unplug ourselves when we go travelling anymore. In fact, it’s never been easier to carry a lot of your home comforts with you – and keep the kids entertained – as you go on holiday.

But what happens if your fancy tablet goes for a dip in the pool? Or your phone decides to stay at the bar after you’ve had one too many pina coladas? Find out how you're covered.

couple on a beach holding mobile devices

Is gadget cover included with my travel insurance?

Some travel insurance policies will cover some of your gadgets as standard. It’s likely though that this will be limited to certain items. Check for any exclusions when shopping around.

How can I insure my gadget abroad?

Depending on who you buy your policy from, here's how you can take out gadget insurance:

Add gadget cover to your travel insurance policy as a bolt-on

Most policies will allow you to take out additional cover for high-value items on your insurance. But, there'll probably be a limit to how much you can claim for a single item, so check this before deciding to take your high-spec laptop away with you.

Take out a separate gadget policy

If you have lots of different items – phones, cameras, laptops – you should consider taking out a separate policy specifically for your gadgets. This cover will let you list your items and get an adequate level of cover for each.

Check if you have worldwide cover from other accounts

Your home insurance might cover you for some of your gadgets even when you’re away from home. Also, some credit cards and bank accounts can include worldwide cover as a benefit.

What’s covered by gadget travel insurance?

Most worldwide cover travel gadget insurance will cover you for:

  • Accidental damage
  • Theft
  • Liquid damage
  • Breakdown

Limitations or exclusions

Each insurer will have different terms and conditions but the most likely exclusions or limitations to look out for with gadget insurance include:

  • UK purchase only – insurers might only offer insurance for purchases bought in the UK.
  • Data or software issues – your insurer won’t cover you against viruses or any lost data.
  • Maximum trip duration – you won’t be covered for any travels that go over a set number of days.
  • Age of equipment – some insurers won’t insure your gadgets if they’re older than a set number of years.
  • Cosmetic damage – if you have scratches or chips but the gadget is in working condition, you won’t be able to claim for any repairs or replacements on your insurance.
  • Negligence - if your items get lost or damaged because you were irresponsible, your insurance won't cover you. So any phones dropped in the club or left at the bar are your responsibility. If you can go without it - if you're going to a bar right near your hotel - consider leaving phones and gadgets in a hotel safe.

Being gadget smart on your holidays

  • Back up all your data before you start travelling – if you do have to replace your phone, at least all your favourite photos will be saved.
  • Carry gadgets in your hand luggage – it’s better to know where your expensive items are, and you have easier access to check on them.
  • Get waterproof cases to avoid liquid damage if you drop something around the pool or beach.
  • Store your valuables in a safe or security box when you aren't taking them out with you.

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For your single trip or annual multi-trips