Fans’ MP3 archives are at risk

Insurers won't pay out for lost digital music

A new study by Computing Which? magazine warns that most insurance policies fail to offer any cover for loss of digital music files.

It means that music fans who use MP3 players such as iPods risk losing their entire music collection, unless they have it backed up or have the files on another format, such as CD.

The study showed that only 22 out of 46 insurance companies examined offered any kind of cover at all.

Most of the 22 who did offer cover would only compensate against loss due to fire, theft or flood damage. Some insurers put a cap of £1,000 or £2,000 on claims for digital downloads.

The average value of most music fans’ MP3 archives is £257, the study found, but many fans, downloading at 79p a track from sites such as iTunes, will have collections worth thousands of pounds.

Abigail Waraker, editor of Computing Which?, called for insurance companies to realise that downloading is now the easiest way to buy music, and that they should offer cover.

“Music lovers know it, music companies know it, but insurance companies are determined to stay behind the times,” she said.