Back-Up Needed – A Third of Leading UK Home Insurers Don’t Cover Digital Music Loss
Updated. Consumer protection advocate Which? warned UK music fans this weekend that a third of leading home insurers' standard policies don't cover the loss of digital information (e.g. music) on mobile phones, MP3 players, and other digital devices. In other words, if something happens to their digital music collection – stolen, damaged, lost, or otherwise – they're out of luck. It's just gone.
More than 100 million tracks are downloaded in the UK each year and many fans will find their collections wiped out if something happens to the device storing it.
Many leading insurers don't offer coverage of this sort and those that do will cost a little extra. That's why, before switching plans, it's important to compare costs, as it may be a cheaper route is to purchase an external hard drive or pay to a monthly fee to services like Carbonite, which back up files in the cloud.
Peter Vicary Smith, a Which? chief executive, said: "It's surprising that, at a time when the popularity of digital downloads is soaring, insurers aren't offering music lovers the protection they need. People who buy a lot of digital music should double-check their home insurance policy to make sure downloads are covered."
If not, they recommend switching insurance providers.
Additionally, Which? found that only four out of eight digital music download providers – HMV Digital, Play.com, 7digital and Tesco Entertainment – "allow customers to re-download lost tracks, meaning these customers won't have to rely on their insurance." Most notably, the consumer group reported, iTunes only allows products to be downloaded once and will not replace them for any reason.
These are odd times. Fan don't technically own their digital music collections nor do they have any right to resell them. Therefore, not only are libraries worth nothing in the market and cannot be resold on eBay, but with many insurance providers in the UK, they aren't covered on plans either. For all of its convenience and ubiquity, digital music does come with more than a few disadvantages.
The takeaway: Back up your files. No one else will.