Do You Need Laptop Insurance?
I'm considering laptop insurance because my laptop was recently stolen in an airport. Fortunately, all my personal files were on a jump drive that I keep in my pocket, but I still had to replace my $2000 laptop. Do you think insurance is worthwhile? If so, how much should I expect to pay?
Laptop Insurance: Is It Right For You?
Over 800,000 laptop computers are lost at U. S. airports each year, and 65 per cent of them are never recovered or reclaimed. Laptops are vulnerable to loss or theft in coffee shops and many other venues, of course. They're also subject to damage from drops, spills, power surges, and other accidents. So do you need laptop insurance?
Many K-12 schools that lend laptops to students require parents to buy insurance if students plan to take the equipment off campus. This policy makes sense when dealing with kids and teens. Many college students are in the high-risk category, too, so insurance for their laptop, tablet or smartphone may make sense for some of them. Anyone who travels regularly with a high-end laptop or other expensive portable gadgets should seriously consider insurance. Most companies that offer laptop insurance will also cover iPads, iPhones, and as well as other tablets and smartphone brands.
But not all laptop insurance policies are created equal. Most policies cover only the replacement cost of hardware. Any software or data that is lost or damaged will not be covered. Coverage may include losses due to fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane, and other natural disasters; theft or loss; accidental drops, spills, etc. Losses due to viruses, normal wear and tear, corrosion, and manufacturing defects are generally not covered. Some of those things may be covered by a manufacturer's warranty, though.
How Much Does Laptop Insurance Cost?
The cost of laptop insurance is difficult to estimate without getting a specific quote from an insurer. Some insurers mention premiums "as low as" $50 per year, but you may find that buys only a couple of hundred dollars worth of coverage and assumes a $100 deductible. It may not be worthwhile to insure a laptop that costs less than $1,000.
I did a little poking around and found that Worth Ave Group (http://worthavegroup.com) offers online quotes for laptop insurance. (They do ask for a device serial number, but you can fudge if you don't know.) A policy with accident coverage for a MacBook Pro valued at $2500 was quoted at $94/year with no deductible. Removing the accident coverage (drops and spills) brought the price down to $60. Adding a $100 deductible reduced the price by another $7.
If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, you may find that it covers your laptop under certain circumstances. Adding laptop insurance to an existing policy is often cheaper than buying a separate, standalone policy.
Read all the terms of any policy before you commit to buying it. Some policies exclude claims for damages that you cause yourself. Others will cover a theft from a locked car but not from an unlocked car. Laptop insurance policies generally assume you are a reasonably responsible and careful owner, and exclude claims that arise from careless behavior. You should also check out the insurer with the Better Business Bureau to see if they are reputable.
The geographic coverage of a policy covering portable devices may also be limited. Before taking your laptop on a European vacation, make sure your insurance includes international coverage.
Claims procedures vary from one laptop insurer to another, and you should ask questions before buying a policy. Will you have to submit a receipt for the laptop or its repair? Is the laptop's serial number required? Are there restrictions on the service centers to which you can take a damaged laptop for repair? Can you get a loaner laptop while yours is being repaired? How long does the insurer take to pay claims?
While you are checking out laptop insurance, don't forget all of your other expensive digital devices. Insurance is also available for iPads and other tablets; iPhones and other smartphones; digital cameras; and other mobile devices.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 30 Sep 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Do You Need Laptop Insurance? (Posted: 30 Sep 2011)
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Most recent comments on "Do You Need Laptop Insurance?"
Mickey D N TN.
30 Sep 2011
Bob, I feel it would be in the insured's best interest to provide the insurance carrier with the correct VIN therefore removing any doubt as to ownership in in the event of a claim on that item. I was in the insurance industry for 30 years. Hope this helps.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sorry if I wasn't clear. If you;re buying a policy, absolutely provide the correct serial number. I only wanted to point out that if you just want a quote, and don't have your serial handy, then the form will accept any input.
01 Oct 2011
Office Depot also offers insurance on the laptop--but there is a catch as I found out. I purchased the protection and I am usually careful about my laptop as I do consulting work. Long story short, I dropped it in water. Sent it back and it takes 6 weeks to get the check to replace it. The insurance company "decides" whether or not it's repairable and then you have to magically know when they are through that process and apply for your check. NEVER again. I needed the laptop and the salesman made it sound so easy to just get another. But they give you an Office Depot card to purchase another. I had to buy another laptop to keep working. Who can wait 6 weeks. So my advice is to avoid this two year "good deal"