Travel insurance coverage of electronics is unclear...please advise.

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Dec 11, 2018
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#1
We have used Christopher Elliott's article on The Best and Worst Travel Insurance Companies (https://www.forbes.com/sites/christ...orst-travel-insurance-companies/#3f5b7b584fc2), which has been quite helpful. We used it to shop around for travel insurance.

My question concerns the sort of aggregate schedule and benefits. Let me explain.

My husband and I, along with our three teenagers, are going to Manila, Philippines, for 18 days in late December. As most American families, we will be traveling with a host of electronic devices: five iPhones, two iPads, a MacBook, and an Apple watch. These are probably our most expensive items, because we will not be traveling with any fancy clothes or jewelry.

Yet, from reading two policies from Allianz and Travelex, it seems like they have placed severe limits on their coverage of items such as these.

I used a Total Trip Cost of $10,000 to get the quotes below.

Allianz’s OneTrip Prime plan for $274 says: "Special limit: Maximum $500 in total for all jewelry, watches, gems, furs, cameras and camera equipment, camcorders, sporting equipment, computers, radios and other electronic items. You need to provide original receipts for these items or they won’t be covered.”

Travelex has a more specific set of stipulations on their $270 Travel Select plan:
"Special Limitations: Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company will cover up to the maximum amount indicated for the following:
• the amount shown in the Schedule for the first item
• the amount shown in the Schedule per each additional item
• the amount shown in the Schedule aggregate on all Losses to: jewelry, watches, furs, cameras and camera equipment, camcorders, sporting, golf equipment, computers, electronic devices, including but not limited to: lap top computers, cell phones, electronic organizers and portable CD players.
Baggage & Personal Effects - $1,000
$500 for first item
$250 per each additional item
$500 aggregate for items shown in the benefit”

Needless to say, we are quite confused. Does this mean if somehow someone broke into our rental condo and stole most of our electronics, we’d only be able to recoup less than half of their cost? Furthermore, how strict are the companies on their “must have receipts for everything” policy? If I cannot find my teen’s 3-year old receipt for an iPhone 6x, will they really not pay out any of my claim for it?

Your advice and insight would be very much appreciated.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#2
@MGPollock The short answer is yes. Most insurance companies will only pay out on items that they can appraise or you have receipts for... otherwise they might get burned by an unscrupulous person.

If you're going to carry that much with you, I'd say the smartest thing would be to reach out to your insurance agent to write a rider for those specific items. They can appraise them and make sure you're covered if they are stolen.

Enjoy the trip!
 
Likes: jsn55

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#4
Several things to consider--any insurance payment will be for the current value of the electronic device, not the new cost. They want to receipt to prove you purchased the item, not to pay you the price as new. An iPhone 6 may only be worth $25.

You have listed 5 phones but realistically not all of these will be used for phone calls in Manila (at exorbitant prices/min). You can leave 2 phones at home and use the iPads which do everything the iPhone does except make phone calls.

If your MacBook is new you might consider buying a used older model that you would not be as upset about if it were lost/broken or stolen. Taking a less expensive laptop when traveling is a very good form of insurance. You might find that you can reduce the value of what you take with you by many $$$.

Also, anything electronic that you do not carry with you when out of your room should be locked in the room safe. Make sure you have plenty of chargers and plug adapters for the Philippines. A plug strip (or 2) is a good thing to take, preferably one that has several USB outlets built in..
 
Likes: jsn55
Jul 13, 2016
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#5
I can see that it would be a good idea to limit the number of electronics being taken, but asking a teenager to give up their cell phone? Parental suicide. If both parents work, they're going to need their phones as well. I travel with my iPhone (for texting, posting to social media, and emergencies), my iPad mini (entertainment), and sometimes my laptop so I can work. Maybe Op could give up the Apple watch, and 1 of the iPads, but nowadays, this many electronics is normal.
 
Likes: Rocpool

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#6
I can see that it would be a good idea to limit the number of electronics being taken, but asking a teenager to give up their cell phone? Parental suicide. If both parents work, they're going to need their phones as well. I travel with my iPhone (for texting, posting to social media, and emergencies), my iPad mini (entertainment), and sometimes my laptop so I can work. Maybe Op could give up the Apple watch, and 1 of the iPads, but nowadays, this many electronics is normal.
"Normal" may not be reasonable and prudent if the OP is worried about lack of insurance payments and is taking $5-7000 worth of electronics along. The kids iPhones will be in airplane mode and will simply be used as micro-iPads or iPods, which the iPads can do just fine. Wi-fi calling can be done on the tablets so why take a phone that is not a phone.

They also need VPN on all devices that will be connected to wi-fi while traveling.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
"Normal" may not be reasonable and prudent if the OP is worried about lack of insurance payments and is taking $5-7000 worth of electronics along. The kids iPhones will be in airplane mode and will simply be used as micro-iPads or iPods, which the iPads can do just fine. Wi-fi calling can be done on the tablets so why take a phone that is not a phone.

They also need VPN on all devices that will be connected to wi-fi while traveling.

iPhone very helpful if one has a plan that allows for international free texting and data — how else do people meet up later in the day— by texting each other —if going separate ways —- one can use an iPhone to look up addresses, contact UBER or something —- things that are tied to a telephone number even international.


Or perhaps look into a rider to cover all electronics, and do a cost benefit analysis.

I still find my phone to be helpful when traveling.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#8
First thing to grasp is that insurance company people come to work every day with a goal of paying out as few claims as possible. There is no fudging of their rules; if they say "aggregate limit for electronics is $XXX", that's what they'll pay ... less whatever they can use to lower that payout, such as age of the electronics.

I use a travel insurance broker in Omaha. I think it would behoove you to contact them to get the best coverage for the best price. You can talk with a real agent to find out if travel insurance will meet your needs. A family meeting might be in order to reduce the number of devices and limit your losses in case of disaster. Your personal insurance broker might also be a good source ... but you'd be subject to a large deductible, I'm sure. Good luck and please let us know what you find out.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
I agree with Neil — and if one does take a computer, tablet, smartphone have it backed up so if the device is lost the information is not.
 
Jan 19, 2018
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#11
Somewhat off topic but people should know that most insurance companies will insist on original receipts and pay out at a greatly depreciated rate (even if the item is only a few weeks or months old). Just like a car that loses value as soon as you drive off the lot. This summer we had a devastating house fire. A total loss, nothing salvageable. Insurance company wants to see receipts on just about everything, not just electronics. Uhhhh...everything was destroyed. Fortunately I had scanned receipts for remodeling work and major purchases, including some but not all, of our electronics and had the scans on a memory stick in our bank deposit box. Also, if you buy at certain stores, such as Best Buy, with their loyalty card (not a store brand credit card) they will have records of your purchases going back at least 18 months, could be more. But, fire aside, who keeps receipts on everything they buy?!
 
Sep 12, 2018
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#12
Here’s a way of maybe covering all your electronics - depends on your personal situation and whether it’s worth it to you. Since all the devices you mentioned are Apple products, could you get Apple Care coverage for them? A lost or stolen device is covered with a deductible, and the amount of coverage available through the trip insurance would likely cover most of that. In a worst-case scenario where everything was stolen, Apple Care will replace like-for-like, and all you’d be out is the difference, if any, between your deductible and the insurance payout. Others more familiar with both travel insurance and Apple Care may have something to add here, but it’s a thought.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#13
Here’s a way of maybe covering all your electronics - depends on your personal situation and whether it’s worth it to you. Since all the devices you mentioned are Apple products, could you get Apple Care coverage for them? A lost or stolen device is covered with a deductible, and the amount of coverage available through the trip insurance would likely cover most of that. In a worst-case scenario where everything was stolen, Apple Care will replace like-for-like, and all you’d be out is the difference, if any, between your deductible and the insurance payout. Others more familiar with both travel insurance and Apple Care may have something to add here, but it’s a thought.
"AppleCare is an extended warranty available to buyers of Apple devices including the iPhone. It covers repair and replacement for a range of technical faults and damage. However, it specifically excludes any coverage for a lost or stolen device. "
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#14
Here’s a way of maybe covering all your electronics - depends on your personal situation and whether it’s worth it to you. Since all the devices you mentioned are Apple products, could you get Apple Care coverage for them? A lost or stolen device is covered with a deductible, and the amount of coverage available through the trip insurance would likely cover most of that. In a worst-case scenario where everything was stolen, Apple Care will replace like-for-like, and all you’d be out is the difference, if any, between your deductible and the insurance payout. Others more familiar with both travel insurance and Apple Care may have something to add here, but it’s a thought.
This is probably the best option. It’s expensive but really the only way of any reasonable coverage.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#16
I think John's idea might be the only one that could work. Add a rider to your homeowners' policy and get coverage that way.

I totally understand why Apple Care excludes loss and theft. There would be all kinds of people "losing" their phones all the time.
 
Sep 12, 2018
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#17
"AppleCare is an extended warranty available to buyers of Apple devices including the iPhone. It covers repair and replacement for a range of technical faults and damage. However, it specifically excludes any coverage for a lost or stolen device. "
There’s a version available that does, although it’s a relatively recent offering, and it’s not clear to me whether it’s availa for iPads and computers: https://support.apple.com/iphone/theft-loss-claims
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#19
There’s a version available that does, although it’s a relatively recent offering, and it’s not clear to me whether it’s availa for iPads and computers: https://support.apple.com/iphone/theft-loss-claims
One has to buy this AppleCare plus theft and loss at the time of purchase of the device or no more than 60 days after purchase of device.

This is a relatively new product fall 2018, not for iPads, so likely not applicable to the OP with the 60 day purchase policy.

The best advice so far seems to be home insurance or travel insurance rider if devices are going to travel.