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Can travel insurance alone cover your gadgets?

How to protect your valuable items while you are on holiday.

girl with smart phone

When most of us go on holiday, we wouldn't dream of going without our mobile phone. Our mobile phones are our cameras, our computers and our way of keeping in touch. The children won't leave home without their iPads or gaming devices and of course there is the e Reader for relaxing by the pool. The value of all of these belongings can often add up to more than the personal belongings cover of your travel insurance and some companies exclude them completely.

Some travel insurance companies may suggest using your home insurance to cover your gadgets while you are away. Unfortunately, the likelihood of something happening to your belongings increases when you are away from your home. Research has shown that nearly half of all holidaymakers have been the victim of a theft. Cameras are the most common item stolen but, with more people using mobile phones to take pictures, that may change. Those most at risk are holidaymakers who leave their belongings unsupervised while they have a swim in the sea or the pool. The disadvantage to using your home insurance is that, If you have to claim, it will more than likely impact the premiums you will be paying the following year.

The table below gives some examples of travel insurance cover. Some companies offer an optional gadget cover to give you extra peace of mind. If you are travelling more than once in a year or frequently take your gadgets out and about, it would be worth considering a separate insurance through our mobile phone and gadget insurance pages.

CompanyProductPersonal Items and Baggage limitSingle Item LimitValuables LimitMobile Phone CoverCover for tablets and other gadgetsAdditional Gadget Cover AvailableMore Info
AvivaStandard Policy with Optional Baggage Cover£1500£400£400YesYesNoFind out more...

*The optional baggage cover is for £1500 per person per incident. These limits are only available with baggage cover. With this option mobile phones and other gadgets are also covered.

Post OfficePremier policy£3000£400£400YesYesYesFind out more...

Gadgets are only covered up to the single item limit unless optional gadget cover included. Claims for mobile phones are limited to £100 per person.

ColumbusGold cover£2500£300£500NoNoYesFind out more...

Additional Gadget Cover will give you up to £1000 protection in case of theft, damage or loss. This benefit is per policy not per person. Columbus have 3 levels of cover. Limits and excesses will vary.

There are precautions you can take to avoid being the victim of a theft:

  • Don't leave valuables out on display

  • Keep credit cards and cash in a secure pocket or a money belt especially in crowded areas.

  • Don't leave items in your car.

  • Use a padlock on suitcases or backpacks

  • Keep gadgets and other valuables in a safety deposit box if possible or stowed out of sight in locked premises if you are out for the day.

  • If possible try not to keep all your valuables together in one place.

The Foreign Office has information on specific countries for travellers.

If you want to take your gadget to the beach, consider using a waterproof cover that will allow you to take it into the water with you. A selection are available at Overboard which cater for most gadgets.

It is important to make sure you not only have adequate insurance should you lose all your belongings but also if any individual value item gets lost, stolen or damaged. As with all insurance products, read the terms and conditions carefully before you buy. Limits and excesses vary with each company and between their own levels of cover. Some stipulate where valuables should be kept or have exclusions that you should be aware of.

This content was last reviewed on 20/12/2023