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Insurance Fails To Keep Up With Downloading
By: MarkJ - 12 July, 2007 (12:51 PM)

Here's an interesting question, if you legally download a commercial game or music track off the Internet via broadband, should it be covered by your household insurance?

The latest ĎWhich?í survey seems to think so, unfortunately not one of the 46 insurers they questioned would protect downloads in the event of hardware or mechanical failure. Thankfully some do provide a degree of cover:

Effectively this means that if a computer is hit by a virus, or the hard drive fails, there is no possibility of making a claim.

Just 22 out of the 46 insurance providers gave any sort of cover for music and other digital downloads. These applied in the event of fire, flood, storm or theft.

Many insurers seemed confused about downloads. For example, staff at Tesco Personal Finance were unfamiliar with the area, while at MoreThan the policy wording didn't reflect the fact that digital downloads were, in fact, covered.

On a positive note, those companies that are keeping up with the times insure a wide range of digital content including music videos, TV programmes, films, games and even mobile phone ring tones.

Computing Which? has the following tips to avoid digital download disaster:

* Check your policy documents, or call your insurer directly, to see if youíre covered.

* Keep any receipts or bank statements relating to digital downloads youíve bought.

* Make sure that your systems have anti-virus software, anti-spyware and a firewall installed as hardware or mechanical failure are rarely protected.

* Protect your digital content with a back up copy, particularly if youíre not covered by insurance.

* Consider switching insurance companies to avoid disappointment.

We must confess, itís not something that often crosses our minds, although thatís largely because itís so easy and cost effective to make a backup these days.


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