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