Hiscox Warns on Coverage for iPods, MP3’s; No Homeowner Coverage

December 22, 2005

Hiscox Plc, the U.K.-based specialty and Lloyd’s insurer, has issued a warning to music lovers that they could face a “double whammy” if their portable player is lost or stolen. They could lose not only the iPod or MP3, but also their music library.

Hiscox notes that the increasingly popular music players (Apple is expected to sell more than 9.4 million iPods during the three-month period ending December 31st) are “providing rich pickings for would-be thieves. Recent figures show that muggings and snatch thefts of iPods in London have increased more than fivefold since last November.” This is all the more “reason for owners to ensure they have adequate insurance.”

However, Hiscox explained, “most standard home contents insurance policies exclude portable electronic equipment and limit data reinstatement to fixed home computers.” Not coincidentally, Hiscox goes on to note that it “will not only insure portable computer equipment as a standard part of its all-risks worldwide contents cover, but will also pay up to £2,500 [$4350) towards the cost of buying back any irretrievable music if it is not stored on the hard drive of a computer.”

Kevin Kerridge, Head of Direct Business at Hiscox, commented: “Music fans stand to lose both their iPod or MP3 player and their music library if their player is stolen. Unless their songs are backed up on a PC, the cost could be huge. For example an iPod mini or nano can store 1,000 songs which can cost 79 pence [app. $1.38) each to download. This means a full library could be worth up to £790 [$1376]. To lose both an iPod and your own personal music library without any insurance is a frustrating and unnecessary double whammy. Consumers should make sure they are covered by their contents insurance.”

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