By Samuel Smith
Published: Monday, February 18, 2019
Updated: January 11, 2021 at 8:27 am
Gone are the days when your average school bag contained nothing more than a lunch box, homework and long-forgotten bananas in various stages of decomposition.
In 2021, the humble backpack is likely to contain a plethora of high-value tech, from laptops to tablets and mobile phones.
While much of this technology is now commonplace for children both in and out of the classroom, it’s easy to overlook its value, especially when lumped together on the back of a student.
RAA Insurance Claims Manager Hayley Cain says most parents are unaware 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 policies may not cover these items if they’re lost, stolen or damaged while at school,” she says.
“Whether it’s accidentally dropping a 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.”
If you know your kids will be carting their prized gadgets to and from school, Hayley recommends you review your existing contents policy.
“We live in a digital world where our kids are using expensive technology more and more,” she says, adding that 60% of all accidental damage claims received by RAA now involve pieces of technology.
Not so fun fact
The percentage of damage claims received by RAA involving technology:
“Parents should 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.”
Worryingly, Hayley says 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.
“Unfortunately, many are also unaware of 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% currently have additional optional cover to insure specified items outside the home.”