Gadget Insurance

Nafisa AkaborCache This, Latest

As a technology journalist, the devices I use for running my one-person business from my home are important. They are the tools of my trade. You might be in a similar position where you find yourself working from home, using employer-provided or your own equipment, like a laptop, smartphone, router, etc.

In the past year, work from home (WFH) highlighted a different set of challenges: Loadshedding, surge or lightning protection or accidental damage if your kids use your devices for school. When you add the total value of your home equipment together, you’ll realise these tools need some form of insurance. Otherwise, if disaster strikes, replacing your devices will be out of pocket.

One of the most popular interactions I’ve had on social media in the past related to electronics insurance. At the time I responded with: If you have existing home contents insurance, just specify your gadgets on your existing premium for Out and About cover. Working out of town, in coffee shops or from airports have been part of my professional set up for close to nine years. So Out and About cover is essential for me.

Lowering your premium

I managed to bring my premium down by setting the value of my devices slightly less than what they cost. To decide on the amount, I factored what I would be able to afford above an insurance pay-out.

When my smartphone was stolen, I was paid out within three days. When my screen needed to be repaired, it was done in under 30 minutes in the comfort of my home. The screen repair, from start to finish, took all of 48 hours.

This is the convenience I pay for in a world where time is money.

Insuretech disruptors

After having written about and tested insuretech offerings, I’m starting to think it might be time to switch to one of the insuretech disruptors we’ve seen over the years: Naked Insurance, Pineapple, Solvency or Ctrl.

They operate differently by preventing risks rather than insuring against them. For example, allowing you to pause cover if you don’t drive your car. Having access to data and insights makes for more accurate premiums.

I tested Naked Insurance last year (pre-pandemic) and my quotes came back at less than half the amount I was paying. This included household contents, devices and cars.

According to Naked, their overall rates are lower because of minimal overheads; they automate front- and back-office functions and have a small marketing budget. You get the best price from the start, so when you cancel, they won’t offer you a lower rate as traditional insurers might. Naked argues that this is effectively admitting that they penalise loyal customers who don’t shop around.

Consider the costs and benefits

But paying a slightly higher premium with a traditional insurer has benefits like a no-claim bonus, which is a sneaky way to get you to not claim and wait for that bonus. This is ultimately what they want but that said, I’ve also received prompt service. Read about Njabulo’s experience here

Even though I’ve reduced my Out and About premiums somewhat, I know I can reduce it further. I just need to take the plunge, trust a start-up that is new to the scene, and give up a no-claim bonus.

For a different approach to insurance, listen to this episode of The Fat Wallet Show

Technology is an ever increasing part of our lives and let’s be honest, many of us like gadgets. There is also an abundance of new online services and apps taking over the traditional services we use. Nafisa Akabor has been covering everything tech for well over a decade and she’ll be writing on how we can do tech within a budget and reviewing some of the new online services. Cache This is published on the last Tuesday of every month.