insurance

Do you need laptop insurance?

Your laptop can get stolen in a blink of an eye: Just try walking away from it for 30 seconds in a public place. The mobility of laptops also makes them prone to other losses: slipping out of your hands onto a hard floor, becoming drenched with coffee or being unintentionally left behind somewhere. If you can't function (personally or professionally) without your laptop, you should consider getting insurance for this vital piece of equipment that keeps your home life, business and schoolwork humming.

Stand-alone laptop insurance

For a minimal yearly fee plus a deductible, you can cover your equipment and sleep easier knowing that your laptop will be covered against theft, burglary, robbery and any accidental damage such as spills and drops. Stand-alone or floater policies also cover any flood, fire or power surge damage.

Homeowners policy can include laptops

Before you purchase a stand-alone policy, check your homeowners or renter's policy to see if your laptop is covered. You may want to purchase additional insurance if the coverage is too low to replace your laptop. Also check your homeowners policy for the amount of the deductible to make sure it's not too high. If you have a pricey laptop, your coverage may not provide the full amount you need to replace it.

Not everything is covered

Purchasing laptop insurance doesn't mean that anything and everything is covered. Items typically not covered include the following:
  • Viruses.
  • Wear and tear or corrosion.
  • Mechanical or electrical problems.
  • Software problems (some plans do cover this, but check first).

If you take your laptop on overseas travel -- including students studying abroad -- get a policy that covers international claims.

Before you purchase laptop insurance, make sure you have all the necessary documentation on your equipment including a sales receipt, make, model and serial number. You may even want to take a digital photo of your laptop for your files.

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