Are your downloads protected?
Research by moneysupermarket.com has found the average person has almost £1,200 worth of purchased music, movies and software downloads at home - totalling £46 billion worth of content between the UK's internet users.
Almost two million people (4%) have more than £5,000 worth of digital content stored on their machines, rising to 7% of 18 to 34-year-olds. However, despite its value, just three in 10 of the most popular home insurance providers – Halifax, Hiscox and LV= - cover digital content.
Julie Owens, head of home insurance at moneysupermarket.com, says, "Whether its Beyonce or The Beatles, people don't associate the same value to an MP3 player full of music as they do to a wall full of CDs or vinyl, but it is just as - if not more - valuable in terms of money, so people need to ensure they are appropriately insured."
Check your small print
She adds: "I recommend checking the small print of your policy to find out what you are covered for and to what value. Being underinsured is also a dangerous position to find yourself in - if in doubt, speak to your insurer to find out whether you need to increase your cover for downloaded material. For people with an especially high value of digital content it may be worth considering cover from a specialist provider. Hiscox, for example, will insure up to £2,500 worth of downloaded material."
In most cases it will be possible to add digital downloads to your insurance policy – how much it costs will depend on the insurer and the size and value of your digital collection.
Back up files
Whether you have insurance or not, it makes sense to back up digital files. Some broadband providers offer back-ups where your files are stored on your internet service provider's servers. For example, BT offers BT Digital Vault free with BT Total Broadband. Users get 5GB worth of capacity, enough for 2,000 photos, 1,000 music files, five video files and 500 documents. Back-ups are done automatically. Users with lots of digital files can pay more for extra storage space.
Alternatively, computer users can back-up their files and data at home. This could be on an external hard-drive, another computer or on CDs or memory sticks.
If you have photos you want to back-up, this can be done for free on the internet. Websites such as snapfish.com and kodakgallery.co.uk allow you to store photos online as well as share them with friends and order prints and other photographic products