Insure digital content

2010-12-04 11:20

Losing digital content on your mobile device can cost more than the actual purchase price of the gadget.

But the possible financial ­setback can be avoided when data stored in items like iPods, smartphones and other ­digital devices is insured.

Christelle Fourie, managing director of MUA Insurance ­Acceptances, an insurance ­underwriter, says that in the event of loss or theft, paid-for digital content that is ­inadequately ­insured causes the most loss.

“More money is spent on downloading content like ­music, films or audiobooks,” says Fourie. “And people often do not think about the cost of having to replace such ­collections if ­laptops or digital players are ­stolen.

“Consumers should treat ­digital purchases the same way they would any physical purchase bought from the shop,”
Fourie says a wise consumer will add the collection to their existing household insurance cover. But they may not think about the implications of losing all the downloaded content if the device is stolen.

“Digital content is presumed to be different from physical items like DVDs and CDs.

“But in general, consumers have thousands worth of digital downloads at home.

“An iPod may cost R3 000 but also be loaded with content worth R2 000.

“Why not take out a cover for R5 000 once?” asks Fourie.

Fourie says some insurance companies cover digital ­content under personal all-risks insurance policies, but it is advisable to speak to a broker.

She says some insurance companies provide specific cover for digital downloads as well as software on ­computers.

A consumer needs to inform his insurer of the value of downloaded content on their gadgets.

Arthur Goldstuck of World Wide Worx, a specialist IT ­research company, says consumer spend on digital downloads is strongly related to age.

“The common trend is that the older the user, the more is spent on the phone, and the combination includes voice, SMS and data,” he said.

Goldstuck has noted that for urban users, spend drops off ­after the age of 45.

“On the other hand, internet usage on the phone shows the reverse. It is at its highest in the 16 to 18 age group and drops off steadily as users get older,” says Goldstuck.

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