With music downloads fast replacing CDs, are you confident that your home insurance covers the cost of lost tracks? Many don’t, so losing your laptop could mean waving goodbye to your music collection too.
If you’re like me, fervently clinging on to outdated formats like vinyl and cassette tapes, the issue of music downloads insurance might not be much of a worry.
Meanwhile, everybody else is embracing the future – even The Beatles have now joined the digital revolution, releasing their classics onto iTunes just last week.
The growth of digital music
The total number of digital music albums sold in the UK recently smashed past the 50 million mark, meaning that our CDs and LPs are gathering dust at a faster rate than ever before. Right now, digital music is big business.
According to research from Sainsbury’s Finance, us Brits have amassed over £1.3 billion in downloads. That’s a whole lot of Goldfrapp, Gorillaz and Gaga now firmly ingrained in our laptops and MP3 players, with the average collection standing at around £85.
But if someone broke into your home and swiped your computer and MP3 player, could you claim for your lost tunes on your home contents insurance or would you just have to let it be?
Are your downloads covered?
Sadly, the answer from your insurer is likely to be ‘no’. A significant amount of home insurance polices don’t offer any cover for digital music downloads. Not what you might’ve assumed. Sainsbury’s research found that 23% of people expected their downloaded music to be covered by their home insurance policy, even though this is often not the case.
There are many insurers lagging behind the times. I recently researched this subject for Which? Money and found that many insurance companies offer absolutely no digital download cover at all.
Digital music stores don’t have a legal requirement to replace lost tracks, although some do allow you to re-download lost or damaged music a given number times. That said, some might not be as forgiving, in which case the cost of replacing your entire collection could prove very expensive.
So what can you do to protect your tunes? In addition to making sure you have the right insurance, you definitely need to back up your files, especially if you have a lot of music.
Whether you’re a fan of Bach, Backstreet Boys, or Bachman Turner Overdrive, remember to keep hold of email invoices or card statements when you buy music online as you’ll need proof of purchase to make a claim.
If you own a lot of digital music, check your home insurance policy to make sure downloads are covered. If they’re not, maybe it’s time to switch to a provider who’s embracing the digital age.