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Smartphone favourite holiday companion

Man in sea on talking on mobile phoneNine out of ten of us say our smartphone is our favourite holiday companion, finds new research. But are your gadgets covered if they go walkabout?

Forget getting away from it all: nine out of ten of us say our smartphone is our favourite holiday companion.

And half of us pack electronic gadgets so we can keep in touch on our trip according to research by Halifax Insurance.

Are your gadgets covered if they go walkabout?

But whether you want to post holiday snaps on Facebook, send texts or catch up with emails, are your gadgets covered if they go walk about?

Halifax's research found that one in five of us lack adequate insurance to cover any loss or theft.

Yet the cost of our electronic holiday baggage, including smartphones, cameras, e-readers, MP3 players and tablets tops £700 according to insurer LV=.

"You might think your gadgets are automatically covered under your travel insurance policy but personal belongings cover isn't included as standard," warns Selwyn Fernandes from LV=.

"This must be purchased as an add-on.

"Without this you won't be covered for any loss, theft or damage to your personal belongings."

Travel policies with gadget insurance as an add-on

Mhairi Edwards, head of travel insurance at, says: "While many travel insurance providers don't offer gadget cover, there are a few that do.

"Travel insurance firm Big Blue Cover offers £3,000 cover for a maximum of seven gadgets per policy.

"And Insurefor also offer three levels of cover - £1,000 for three gadgets, £2,000 for five gadgets, £3,000 for seven gadgets.

"You can purchase travel insurance from these two firms through Then, just give them a call to buy gadget cover as an additional extra.

Edwards adds: "Make sure you know the process for claiming on your policy.

"If your gadget does get stolen you need to report it to the local police as you’ll need to provide a crime number with your claim for most policies.

"Keep your receipts for gadgets as you may be required to provide proof of ownership in the event of a claim."

Read the small print

Check the small print of your travel insurance policy for exclusions.

Some policies valuables won't be covered if lost on the beach or left in a holiday hire car, for example.

Will your home insurance cover your smartphone on holiday?

If you're taking multiple gadgets on holiday check your home contents insurance policy, as the personal possessions section may cover items away from home.

It may also have a higher limit of cover than your travel insurance policy.

For example, Churchill has a £300 limit for valuables - which can be increased to £750 - on its travel policy.

However, personal possessions cover on Churchill’s home insurance policy is £2,500 with a single item limit of £1,500.

The cost of claiming

With a travel insurance policy you'll only be liable for the excess - the amount you have to contribute before the insurance pays out.

However, with home contents insurance you'll be liable to pay the excess but you may also face a higher premium the following year because you've made a claim.

Standalone gadget insurance

You can buy standalone gadget cover from companies such as Protect Your Bubble but do check the small print for exclusions before you buy.

For example, with some policies gadgets must be less than a year old, and you can't claim for the first 14 days after taking out cover.

Barclays offers a "tech pack" add-on for current account holders which protects gadgets for £7.50 a month.

Cover is up to £750 worldwide although this is only against theft and accidental damage, not loss. However phone loss is covered.

Take care of your gadgets when abroad

Valuables should usually be with you or locked in the hotel safe to be covered, and this also applies when you fly.

"Gadgets, along with cash and jewellery, are never covered if they're stored in the hold," says Fernandes.

"So always carry any expensive items in your hand luggage."

This means being on your guard when boarding flights as, under easyJet's new rules for example, larger cabin bags can be popped in the hold if the overhead lockers are full.

Avoid costly phone bills when using your mobile abroad

Using your mobile phone abroad can mean a holiday hangover if you exceed your monthly usage without checking call and data roaming costs first.

The EU has lowered the cap on the cost of data charges by nearly a third.

Accessing the internet will now cost 39p per megabyte.

Read more: Mobile phones and internet data - what does a gigabyte get you?

Call costs are down from 25p a minute to 21p before VAT, but this is only within the EU, so won't apply if you're off to Turkey or Switzerland, for example.

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Sue Hayward

Carl Chambers

Sue Hayward is a personal finance broadcaster, journalist and author. Sue talks and writes on money matters including chatting on BBC Radio & TV as well as contributing to magazines, websites and newspapers. Sue's also written two books; the latest of which is 'How To Get The Best Deal'.

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