Does gadget insurance cover lost phones, laptops, cameras and other tech?

insurance for lost phones and gadgets
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For most people, it takes being denied a claim before you actually start checking more carefully what's covered on your insurance policies. The truth is that we should all pay a little more attention. Considering how much modern technology costs, this applies to gadget insurance too.

If you're paying for gadget or mobile phone insurance but you're not covered when it matters, you're throwing away money. So if you've already asked the question "does my gadget insurance cover lost gadgets?" then you're on the right path and we're here to help you find the answer.

Insurance policies vary widely so you need to make sure yours isn't just to cover you for things like damage or theft. Loss is a very common issue and if you're not covered you could end up out of pocket.

  • Apple user? Then don't miss our guide on getting the best iPhone insurance policy

 Does gadget insurance generally cover lost tech?

For the most part, gadget insurance will be there to cover you for things like a dropped phone with a damaged screen. Or perhaps water damage where you've dropped your laptop in a puddle or your earphones in a pint. Mechanical failure outside the warranty period is also usually covered by this type of insurance too.

The good news is that most types of gadget insurance will also cover loss and theft when outside the home. But not all.

So be sure to check your policy terms to see if loss is covered in your case. Some insurers will have an excess in place for loss that could end up costing you as much as the gadget is worth anyway. Do you really want to be giving the iPhone insurance company £100 to cover a lost iPhone SE you bought three years ago?

Another issue to look out for is exclusions. For example, if you leave your phone unattended, or fail to report the loss or theft - in some cases within as little as 12 hours - then you could invalidate the policy.

That said, there are some better policies that not only cover you, without an excess charge, but also send you a replacement phone to tide you over. 

If you think you're getting your gadget insurance on the cheap, chances are there is going to be a catch. So always check what's covered.

What about lost laptops and cameras?

Since laptops and cameras cost more than the average phone or smartwatch, it's important to check that any policy you have taken out has the laptop or camera's value noted. Lots of policies will cover you for most PCs and snappers but for some higher priced tech you may need to check you're covered.

Does home insurance cover my lost gadget? 

Home insurance does usually let you add your tech gadgets to the policy up to a certain value per item - generally up to around £2,000. The issue is they nearly always apply to inside the home only, so when you leave the house you're not covered. That makes separate gadget insurance for loss much more pertinent.

You can read more about tech and home insurance in our dedicated advice page.

How much does gadget insurance cost? 

Gadget insurance varies in price widely depending on what you're covering, how much cover you need and even how you want to pay.

That's why we recommend that you check out the best gadget insurance deals to find the right one for you.

Luke Edwards

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.