Insurance warning as techie teens head back to the classroom

A-Plan in Bournemouth urges parents to check they have adequate cover for mobile devices away from the home

Recent research from Ofcom* identified a millennium generation of techie teens as the most technology advanced in the UK, with 12 -15 year olds spending up to 94% of their free time either texting or communicating via social networking sites. At the same time, A-Plan, the High Street Insurance Broker in Bournemouth has calculated that back to school costs for the new school year can amount to £2000**. With mobile phone ownership becoming prevalent amongst teens, the loss, theft or breakage of a device will add further pressure to parents’ purse strings. As the new school year begins, A-Plan is advising homeowners to check their household insurance offers the right protection for gadgets in and out of the home.

According to the Ofcom report, over 4 in 10 households now own a tablet computer and 6 in 10 adults now own a smartphone, up from 5 in 10 12months ago. This demonstrates the increasing need for homeowners to be clear on where cover starts and ends as part of their household contents insurance.

Alec Alexander of A-Plan in Bournemouth says, “If you are checking the cover provided by your existing household insurance or arranging new cover, look at the number of devices that can be covered, any limitations that exist on items away from the home and what excesses apply. Whilst these may all seem obvious, often, it’s only when you want to make a claim that you realise the limitations of a policy. It’s certainly something to be aware if when buying cover through an online channel as the automated question set will not necessarily prompt you to answer these types of questions.

“With such a wide choice of policies to choose from and an array of options, policy extensions and excess levels to decide on when choosing household cover, it’s a good idea to contact a local insurance broker such as A-Plan for some friendly advice. They will ask all the right questions to ensure you get the level of cover you need at a cost you can afford that won’t leave you disappointed or out of pocket when the techie teen loses their mobile phone two weeks into term time.”

A-Plan Check list

1. Item exclusions

Check with your insurer if any tablet devices and/or mobile phones in the household are covered.

2. Accidental damage

Check if your policy already covers accidental damage as standard, some don’t. Also find out if your garden and outhouses are included in the policy wording, this is not always standard and varies amongst providers. Screen damage as a result of the device being dropped accidentally is very common.

3. Away from home cover

Often away from home cover is an ‘add on’ that you have to specifically request and will cost more. Make sure you’re not already covered while being away from your home by any other policies you may have.

4. Item limits

As mobile tech like iPads can be so expensive, there’s a chance the item’s purchase price might exceed the single item claim limit some policies have. It’s worth checking as some limits can be as low as just a few hundred pounds.

5. Away from home limits

If you opt for, or have already got, away from home cover in your policy, be aware that the claim limits (the amount per item, and also in total, that you can claim for) can differ from the limits that apply when you are in your home.

6. Excess and ‘no claims’

Consider lowering excess if you’re very concerned about your gadgets and possessions. It might cost you more in premiums, but could be worth the peace of mind it provides.

September 2014
 *
 **Based on new uniform; shoes; trainers; stationery; dinner money; train/bus travel;