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Parents urged to insure technology-laden school bags

Monday, 4th Feb 2019

As kids return to the classroom, carrying school bags full of laptops, tablets and mobile phones, parents are being urged to check that any expensive new technology items are insured.

RAA Insurance Claims Manager Hayley Cain said most parents are unaware that standard home and contents policies don’t necessarily cover children’s laptops and other portable gadgets if they are lost or damaged outside their home.

“Parents spend a lot of money on laptops, tablets and phones for their kids these days, not realising that their home and contents insurance policy may not cover these items if they’re lost, stolen or damaged while at school,” she said.

“Whether it’s accidentally dropping their laptop in the classroom or leaving their school bag on the bus, kids can be pretty rough with their belongings at times, so it pays to insure any expensive items to avoid any nasty replacement expenses down the track.”

Ms Cain said parents should review their existing contents policy to ensure their children’s valuables are protected when taken outside the home, including while travelling to and from school.

“We live in a digital world where our kids are using expensive technology more and more, both at home and in the classroom,” said Ms Cain, adding that 60 per cent of all accidental damage claims received by RAA now involve technology items.

“Parents should immediately check their home and contents policy to not only see what’s covered, but where it’s covered. That is, are your belongings covered for loss, theft and damage outside your home, as well as inside?

“To insure personal items outside your home, you usually need to take out additional optional cover and specify the items you want to protect for a nominated dollar figure.

“When you consider how much it would cost to replace your child’s brand new laptop or tablet if it gets damaged, lost or stolen while at school this year, it definitely makes sense to ensure your insured.”

Worryingly, Ms Cain said most South Australian households are under-insured when it comes to their personal belongings, with many not insured at all.

“Most people significantly underestimate the cost of replacing their personal items, often because they only think about big items like TVs and furniture, not about smaller items like clothing, linen and crockery which all add up,” she said.

“Unfortunately, many are also unaware or simply disregard the need for additional optional cover to protect items when taken outside their home. In fact, for people with home and contents insurance, less than 5 per cent currently have additional optional cover to insure specified items outside the home.”

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