Contents Insurance > Gadget Insurance > Video Game Insurance

It’s difficult to understand how society perceives gaming. On the one hand, you’ve got those people who see gaming as ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’, but there’s also a growing appreciation of the culture.

Think about a stereotypical ‘gamer’ and what image comes to mind? It’s usually a pretty negative stereotype; someone who doesn’t see much daylight or take care of themselves; someone who spends their days on the dark-web, trolling innocent people before scolding their eyes gaming through the night. But is this depiction correct? 

Well, no.

Despite stereotypes around gaming, we’re also a little bit obsessed with it. Head to any hip and trendy area in a hip and trendy town, and you’ll find a gaming bar full to the brim with young professionals, office socials and Tinder dates – all of them button-bashing their social awkwardness away while beating each other up on Street Fighter. 

The Value of the Gaming

Gaming is big business. The launch of a new game, or better yet a new console, is usually met with huge fanfare and anticipation. Just look at the FIFA gaming series. Every year, EA releases a new instalment, and while nothing particularly changes (other than players switching teams), it still sells in its millions, with EA selling 20 million units of FIFA 19 as of February 2019.  

Another example is Grand Theft Auto V, which came out in 2013 and has sold 110 million copies to date. Despite being six years old, the open-world game continues to chart, which begs the question: are we all secretly gamers?

It’s not just the sales figures for new games and consoles that show the popularity of the gaming industry. Gaming has gone the way of fashion, with vintage consoles and games becoming increasingly high-value and high-demand items. 

 

The Rise of Collectables

The rising popularity and growing market for rare games have been recognised by developers, who often release ‘limited-edition’ games to run alongside the general release of a game. The most ludicrous of these came from Deep Silver – the development company behind the Saints Row series.

To announce the arrival of the latest instalment of the game, the company announced a $1 million Saints Row IV “super dangerous wad edition,” of which only one copy is available. 

$1 million may sound excessive, and it is, but you did get more than just a disc in a plastic case.  

For that eye-watering sum of money, you receive the expected special edition of the game (of course), alongside some pretty extravagant extras. The extras included a trip into space on the Virgin Galactic, a “full day of spy training,” a plastic surgery operation of your choice, a Lamborghini Gallardo, and a seven-night stay at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC. There was also a hostage rescue experience available to the buyer. 

Money well spent? We’ll leave you to decide.

With vintage games growing in popularity and value, collectors have begun scrambling to grab hold of as many rare games as they can. And, if you are a bit of a games collector yourself, you might be sitting on a small fortune. So what should you do to protect your games? Well, insure them for a start.

 

Gaming Collections and Insurance

It may be unlikely that you’re sitting on a 1983 edition of Red Sea Crossing (which sold on eBay for $13,800 in 2013). It’s also unlikely that your collection is anywhere near the size of the record-breaking collection of video games which sold for $750,000, but you could be housing some valuable assets, so you need to keep your collection protected.

Games and game consoles are delicate items that can be damaged in the most innocent circumstances. Ask anyone about using the cartridge games of the N64, and they will tell you all about the perils of dust. Similarly, the discs used in modern consoles are prone to scratching and, in the worst-case scenario, falling through the floorboards. 

How to protect your collection

To keep your collection protected and its value intact, you should insure any high-value games or consoles that you own. For collectors, there are a few options available to protect your prized possessions. 

Contents Insurance

Whether your collection is stored in a rented property or you own the home, having a comprehensive contents insurance policy will protect your belongings from damage or theft. But, if you have a particularly valuable game, console or collection, a contents insurance policy might not offer the level of cover that you require.

When insuring your collection through your contents insurance policy, you must keep an eye out for the ‘single article limit’ and understand what this means. A single article limit refers to the maximum value of a single item on your policy. This means that the value of a single item can be no more than the specific amount set by your policy provider. 

While the value of your games is unlikely to be higher than the single article limit, certain consoles could potentially surpass this figure; leaving you out of pocket should something terrible happen.

To break down the single article limit into simpler, more relevant terms, let’s give an example of where contents insurance won’t give you the level of protection required for your games consoles. 

Let’s say, for example, you were one of the lucky people to get your hands on a Pokemon Championships Nintendo DSi. Due to the rarity of this console, you’d be sitting on a cool £4,000 – £5,000, but your contents insurance would not cover this. 

The majority of insurance policies contain a single article limit of around £1,500, so you’d only be able to claim for £1,500 should something happen to your beloved DSi. Of course, this is sum is much lower than the console’s value, leaving you (potentially) £3,500 out of pocket. 

If your contents insurance isn’t providing your belongings with the right level of cover, there are other options to explore. 

 

Gadget Insurance

Dedicated gadget insurance will offer you games console the right amount cover if your existing contents policy isn’t doing the trick. Even if your contents policy does work for you, it’s worth remembering that you will have to pay an excess if you claim on this policy – and the excess is likely to be much higher than on a dedicated gadget policy.

A dedicated gadget policy will protect your console against theft, accidental damage and loss. If you’re something of a tech-head, or you live in a family of tech-addicts, you can purchase a policy that covers all the gadgets in the property. However, be warned, some providers will not insure vintage or second-hand gadgets, so do your research and make sure that you pick the right provider for you. 

 

Collectors Insurance

If you can’t find gadget insurance that works for you and your collection, collectors insurance exists specifically to help hose who collect rare and valuable items.

Not only does collector’s insurance cover the value of your items in the event of loss, damage or theft, but it will also replace your items when possible. The perk of a specialised collectors policy is that your provider will understand the worth of your items, and offer the right level of cover for your belongings.

Valuing your Gaming Collection

Before you receive your policy, you will need to provide your insurer with a valuation of your collection to receive the right level of cover. It’s imperative that this is an accurate valuation, as you do not want to leave your belongings underinsured. Much like a contents insurance policy, collectors insurance will protect your games and your consoles from:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Lightning and storm
  • Flooding
  • Malicious damage
  • Earthquakes

 

Replacement Value: What to be aware of

Whether you decide to protect your belongings through contents, gadget or collector’s insurance, you should be wary of the term ‘Replacement Value’. 

Replacement value refers to the cost of replacing your lost item in its pre-loss condition. This is useful for items like cars, which decrease in value from the moment they are purchased, but it doesn’t work in your favour if your console or game is damaged. 

Like a fine-wine, games consoles often increase in value once they pass a certain age point, so if you items are protected by a ‘replacement value’ policy, you will not receive the actual market value of the item when you make a claim. If you are insuring your console, look for a policy that offers ‘actual cash value’ (ACV) when you make a claim. This means that your insurer will consider a fair market price of what the asset could have been sold for on the day it was lost, stolen, or destroyed. 

 

Protecting Digital Games and Assets

With the gaming world modernising by the day, digital downloads are becoming a popular option for gamers who don’t want to fill their living room with game cases. However, if you are a digital download fan, it’s worth noting that the majority of insurance providers will not protect you against the loss of digital data and online purchases. Although many play stores will allow you to re-download previously purchased content, backing up your files is always good practice and will prevent future panic. 

 

The gaming culture is often mocked and undermined, but the truth is that it’s a huge audience that carries a lot of value. If you are sitting on a console or some retro games, it’s worth exploring your insurance options to keep them protected from potential hazards.

No matter which insurance policy you choose, make sure that you spend some time doing your research and ensure that you have the right level of protection for your belongings. As always, ask for explanations on anything that is not clear, and don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if it’s not right for you. Other than that, enjoy your games!

Right, I’m off to go and play Tekken. 


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