Did you give or receive a drone for Christmas? How about a bicycle, e-scooter, mobile phone, laptop or gaming console? With these being some of Christmas 2022’s most popular gifts, chances are you, or a family member did.
However, with these new, costly additions to a household, many don’t think about insuring them, or how best to go about doing it.
How to insure an e-scooter
As reported in our earlier article ‘Are e-scooters legal – and do you need insurance’, there is much confusion over the usage of the motorised ‘L-shape’ e-scooters you see buzzing up and down the high street, and insuring them.
To explain, we have split e-scooters into rental and privately owned. You are likely to be shocked at the difference in usage!
Rental scooters are insured by the rental company supplying them, but the major concern here is that their terms aren’t explicit, leaving a user vulnerable in the case of an accident. Although the rental scheme is still part of a government trial, the reality is that many rental e-scooters are misused. They are ridden on pavements, seen carrying more than one passenger, or used by underage users despite requiring a driving licence to use them. With so few knowing, or adhering, to the rules of use, it remains to be seen whether they are banned entirely.
When it comes to the e-scooter you gave or received for Christmas, it’s important to understand that there are very strict rules when it comes to their use, which are very different to those of a rental e-scooter.
Did you know that you aren’t allowed to use a privately owned e-scooter anywhere other than private property? So, not for trips to work, school, friends’ houses or a quick trip to the shops – all of which would be illegal usage.
The fine print is often missed when they are bought, which is why we see privately owned scooters being used illegally on roads and pavements throughout the UK. As they are uninsurable, be warned that if you do use yours illegally in public, you will be liable for any damage to cars, property or pedestrians and may even face a fine.
You may have bought or gifted one for use on private property only, to stay on the right side of the law. If that’s the case, make sure that you add your e-scooter to your home contents insurance. With some over £500 in value, it’s a costly item to replace in the event of a burglary, fire or even flood damage!
How to insure your new drone
There are two different types of drone insurance available, depending on the kit and what you use it for: commercial or hobby.
If you received a recreational drone for Christmas and enjoy flying it for personal photography or racing and such forth, then consider your insurance options based on value. You may be able to insure it under your home insurance policy should it be stolen, but you would have to accept that, in the case of an ‘unintentional flyaway’ or accident, you would need to replace it.
This is because your home insurance wouldn’t cover it away from home. It is also worth mentioning that drones are usually excluded from gadget insurance policies.
Specialist drone insurance is recommended if your drone is over the value of £400 as the cost of replacement is higher. This type of insurance also covers you for accidental damage, theft from a secure place, unintentional flyaway, and defense costs and expenses in the event of an accident.
If you purchased a commercial drone as part of a new business venture this year, you will need Commercial Drone Insurance. This is because a Commercial policy will include additional benefits, and likely higher premiums, based on usage.
Should your drone, commercial or otherwise, crash into someone’s vehicle or through a window, make sure you’re covered for both the damage to the drone and damage it causes, whether to property or person!
How to insure your new bicycle
Cycling remains the number one hobby in the UK, but many cyclists find themselves underinsured. With an average of 199 bikes stolen every day (Moneysupermarket survey, 2020) it makes sense to include bicycles on your home insurance so that you aren’t left stranded in the event of a fire, flood, theft, or malicious damage.
However, the key here is to check your policy. There’s usually a limit of up to £500 which won’t cover the replacement of bicycles above this amount – a concern when keen cyclists can easily spend around £3,000 on a bicycle!
If you live in an area where bicycles are stolen frequently and you do make multiple claims, your home insurance premiums are likely to go up or the insurer may refuse to insure any further bicycles. If your area is at a higher risk, or you have a particularly expensive bicycle, it makes sense to take out specialist bicycle cover as opposed to including it in your home insurance.
The benefit of this is that you can pick and choose additional cover for personal accident and third-party liability. If you participate in competitions or are intending to take your bicycle abroad this summer, then standalone bicycle insurance is a smart option, just make sure your insurer covers you for cycling in other countries.
Insure gaming console and gadgets, including mobile phones
Other popular high value gifts this Christmas included consoles and mobile phones, with some of these items reaching well over £1,000 in value. Do you need specific insurance for these items, or should you list them on your home insurance?
We would recommend including these items in your home contents insurance in the first instance, to make sure that in the case of a break in, weather damage or even fire, the item will be replaced without you having to purchase it again out of your own pocket. This is great for items that you would use at home, such as the e-scooter or a gaming console.
But it can be worth considering separate insurance for items that leave the house.
Mobile phones are particularly expensive to replace, so if you are a little clumsy (or have bought one for someone that is) or are locked into a long contract where you would have to wait years for an upgrade, then it’s worth thinking about.
According to moneysupermarket.com, 97% of mobile claims are for accidental damage, with 85% of claims attributed to theft and 83% attributed to simply losing it.
The same applies for portable gaming consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch. If you are likely to use yours regularly outside of the home and are worried you may leave it in a coffee shop or break it, consider standalone insurance. This could also be useful if you intend to take any gadgets abroad this year.
What proof do you need for insuring new items?
The overall value of the contents of the average home in the UK stands at a staggering £35,000. When you consider this alongside the fact that there are over 250,000 burglaries in England and Wales each year, it is astonishing that over a quarter of UK homes are not covered by any insurance.
Contents insurance is usually very affordable. If you aren’t in a position to replace everything from your own pocket, it is crucial that homeowners purchase contents insurance and (most importantly) they adequately estimate the value of their items when they do.
The best time to report any changes is right now, before the year rolls on and you simply forget. Any new items you bring into your home should be photographed and, where possible, a receipt retained just in case the worst should happen. Or if you are considering standalone insurance, many insurers require the item to be less than 12 months old at the start of the policy, and we all know how quickly a year can fly by!
Whether you are looking for drone insurance, bicycle insurance, or to include your new gadgets on your home insurance, A-Plan has you covered. If you aren’t sure whether you need this type of cover, simply call your local branch who would be happy to help.