We have spent a staggering £3.1 BILLION on fixing or replacing broken gadgets in the last five years, a new UK study has revealed.

Mobile phones are the item most likely to meet an accidental end, with eight million of the fragile gadgets damaged in the last five years.

A survey of 2,000 homeowners revealed that 5.3 million laptops and PCs and 4.1 million cameras have also fried at the hands of their uncoordinated owners in that time.

Water damage is the greatest phone-killer, accounting for 23 per cent of mobile phone and seven per cent of laptop claims.

Kat Robinson, Head of TSB Insurance, said: “Now more than ever we rely on our gadgets to get through the day, so it’s unfortunate when they are taken out of action unexpectedly.

“The time and expense of dealing with smashed screens, sizzled monitors and defective equipment is a major gripe that many of us are needlessly suffering through because of having no insurance or picking inadequate protection.”

One unlucky respondent had their phone consumed by a hungry horse, while another had it slip out of their hands and into the toilet bowl while trying to take a selfie in the loo.

An over-enthusiastic fan totalled his phone at a football game after Gareth Bale scored the winning goal for Tottenham at White Hart Lane, and another had their TV destroyed when it was struck by lightning.

The study also revealed our typical ‘walking wealth’ – the cost of the gadgets we carry around with us on a daily basis – at an average of #288 per person.

Three quarters of home owners cover themselves with home and contents insurance while just one in ten covers their gadgets as well as their home and contents.

This is despite the average home containing over #2,500-worth of gadgets.

When asked to choose which gadget they consider most precious to them, a third chose their mobile phone, while just over a quarter chose their laptop or PC.

Almost a fifth of mobile users have experienced a smashed or broken screen. In the event of ‘the dreaded drop’, one in ten immediately returned to the provider they were insured with to get the screen fixed, while 6 per cent powered through with a broken display.

As for travelling, just one per cent of those polled thought that it was most important to have their gadgets insured abroad.

And while only five per cent have lost or broken a gadget abroad, almost a third said that the item in question was uninsured.

Kat Robinson, Head of TSB Insurance, added: “When it comes to insurance, having a flexible policy that works for you can really cut down on the hassle should you ever need to claim.

“Whether you want to protect the bricks and mortar of your home, the contents, or your latest piece of tech, it’s important to pick insurance cover that protects you and adapts to your needs.”

TSB launched a new, flexible home insurance earlier this year called Pick and Protect, that lets homeowners pay for the cover they want, when they want it – helping cut out unnecessary or overlapping cover.

TSB’s Pick and Protect gives homeowners the flexibility to select what they do and don’t want to cover. And if customers later change their mind, there’s no admin fee for adapting their cover to suit their new needs.

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