Is your music collection worth a fortune? Better insure it then.

17 April 2012

You know, you can get anything insured these days. Supermodels insure their legs, page three girls can insure their assets and even Len has insured his signature good looks against damage in the ring.  But what about normal, everyday stuff? Naturally, your home insurance will cover most of your worldly possessions, but there is one thing you could have paid a lot of cash for over the years, but that might not actually be insured- your digital content and software.

That’s right. While you can back up photos and some apps to the cloud, what about proprietary program software for  your laptop, like Office or Adobe? What about your lovingly curated digital music collection, the stuff not ringfenced in by iTunes? Could you afford to replace it all if your laptop literally went up in smoke?

Boffins over at Moneysupermarket.com, who genuinely have nothing better to do all day than poke around in the underwear of insurance policies have discovered that different insurers have wildly different levels of cover for your non-tangibles. Top of the shop is Hiscox, who offer up to £2,500, followed by LV= and Direct Line with £1,000. However, at the other end of the chart are companies like Barclays, LloydsTSB and the Post Office who offer no cover at all.

digital table

Importantly, some insurers make distinctions between covering digital downloads and software stored on home entertainment equipment and computers compared with how they cover data downloaded on mobile phones. It's important to be aware of any differences should you need to make a claim and examples of  policy wordings (from those that actually do offer cover) are as follows:

digital cover

Peter Harrison, insurance expert at MoneySupermarket, said: " It's easy to overlook the value of digital downloads and computer software as they are out of sight and potentially out of mind. I'd advise homeowners to be sure they have sufficient protection against loss or theft of digital downloads. Check the details of your home contents insurance to see if you have cover in place and if you are unsure after reading through your policy documents, speak to your insurer to clarify if you do have cover and to what extent. It's worth spending some time to value your virtual content to ensure you have adequate cover for all your digital downloads as the upper limits on many policies can be modest.”

“Where possible, keep copies of invoices or bank statements as proof of purchase in case you need to make a claim" he finished.

But what if you have a massive hard drive and some serious music or software files? If the value or replacement cost of your digitals is more than the limit imposed by your insurer (not difficult if that level is £0), you may need to add exceptions to your policy, in the same way that jewellery over a certain value is often detailed separately to ensure cover. Although then, of course, you will need to see whether the extra cost is worthwhile.

Still, once downloads and digital software become commonplace, surely the insurance companies will keep up with the times and adjust their policies accordingly. Oh, wait…

TOPICS:   Insurance   Technology

19 comments

  • Shaniaa
    na, if mah laptop goes up n smoke ill just get ma uncle 2 download evrythng for me again! haha!
  • me
    its in the cloud man!
  • me
    Do we have to pay to download music? I never did!
  • Commander S.
    Does it pay out if Spotify removes the track from your collection ?
  • Biff W.
    Ingredients: 1 cup and 1/2 cup sugar 6 large eggs 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk 2 13 oz cans evaporated milk 1 teaspoon vanilla Preparation: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. You will need 6 ramekins or other specialty flan cook ware and a large baking pan to put them in. Pour 1 cup sugar in warm pan over medium heat. Constantly stir sugar until is browns and becomes caramel. Quickly pour approximately 2-3 tablespoons of caramel in each ramekin, tilting it to swirl the caramel around the sides. Reheat caramel if it starts to harden. In a mixer or with a whisk, blend the eggs together. Mix in the milks then slowly mix in the 1/2 cup of sugar, then the vanilla. Blend smooth after each ingredient is added. Pour custard into caramel lined ramekins. Place ramekins in a large glass or ceramic baking dish and fill with about 1-2 inches of hot water. Bake for 45 minutes in the water bath and check with a knife just to the side of the center. If knife comes out clean, it's ready. Remove and let cool. Let each ramekin cool in refrigerator for 1 hour. Invert each ramekin onto a small plate, the caramel sauce will flow over the custard.
  • Boris
    Biff your carpet bombing of all of the articles is a recipe for disruption.
  • Commander S.
    I swear you can see a penis in the recipe if you squint.
  • Hahn-Block
    What's with all the stuff from the Walnut chap ?
  • heywood_jablome
    So I buy my music, I get a receipt to googlemail. My house burns down. I get a new PC, log into my e-mail and download the tracks again with receipts to prove it in my e-mail. What did I miss ?
  • The M.
    Don't really see how this is news. I used to make sure my paltry collection of about 400 CDs was noted on my contents policy as it would cost about £5,000 to replace, making it at the time the most expensive thing in the property by far. Why should digital music be any different? What *would* be nice is that in the event of a theft/loss of a PC the itunes company or whoever would send you your downloaded collection on DVDs, all in MP3 format to save you having to re-download
  • Kel
    Yeah, surely an advantage of digital content is that if your hardware breaks/is stolen etc. then you can get some new hardware and just re-download all the digital content for free, since you've already bought it.
  • Sawyer
    @heywood & Kay: Not sure which digital content providers you're using, but many don't allow you to re-download for free. As Apple told me when my hard drive failed: it's your responsibility to back-up. Unless of course you just use the fact you've already bought it to legitimise downloading from free sources...
  • Sawyer
    Kel, even, not Kay.
  • Lieutenant S.
    Oh Boris, Oh Boris where are you ? We miss you greatly, and your playmates too. I've got a soft spot for old Wonky and even Red Ken I've a sneaky suspicion, that the man with the keys to the gates of the playground won't let you all in Come on Andy, let them play a little, we promise not to mention your love of the Apple
  • Mike H.
    bit torrent
  • Dick
    I usually email myself any license codes. Then I have a back-up if I lose them. And download the software again.
  • Mike H.
    You really are a dick, Dick.
  • heywood_jablome
    Dave from the pub loves his new title "digital content provider", thanks guys.
  • Parker D.
    I cannot thank you enough for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

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