As technology and computer dependence is becoming increasingly prevalent, laptop insurance is essential now more than it has ever been. Laptop insurance is a type of insurance that provides protection in the event that your laptop/computer gets damaged or stolen. It is absolutely necessary to have laptop insurance if you are regularly using or carrying your laptop- from your house, to the office, to school, or out of town. Laptops are expensive to repair or replace without insurance or warranty. Every year millions of dollars worth of personal property are lost due to accidents like water-spillage, accidentally dropping the laptop on the floor and thefts. According to consumer reports, about one in three laptops and desktops breakdown on average within four years. Considering that most warranties last about a year, if you are lucky, in the remaining three years, your computer will not have hardware issues requiring maintenance, have any major software problems or crash.
Laptop insurance provides the coverage for accidental damages, vandalism, theft, fire and natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and power surges due to lightning.
HOW TO GET LAPTOP INSURANCE
1) Compare/contrast laptop insurance plans and the coverages provided in each plan. There are variety of coverages, one has to be diligent and understand what is covered under each plan. Some plans will provide you the option of choosing what you would like covered, so you don’t have pay for what you don’t need. If you regularly travel- for business or vacation- you may need to look into insurance plans that include international coverage.
2) According to eHow Tech, it is important to “compare the laptop insurance cost to the amount covered and factor in the amount of your deductible.” eHow Tech also indicates that the “laptop insurance doesn’t replace your existing warranty so it won’t cover normal wear and tear.” The types of insurance plans that provide protection against viruses and software are generally more expensive. It is best to be diligent, assess your needs, and shop around for the appropriate insurance.
3) It is important to understand the coverage that is provided in your laptop insurance policy. eHow Tech states that some laptop insurances provide coverage for computer peripheral equipments like printers and scanners. One should verify if their insurance provides the coverage for those additional computer equipments.
4) According to eHow Tech, before purchasing a laptop insurance, evaluate your deductible amount. Consider the cost of your laptop, if it is inexpensive then it is not advised “to pay a high deductible because it obviously would barely be covered at all after the deductible is paid.” The laptop insurance covers the difference, after the deductible is paid. In some cases, it is cheaper to buy a new laptop “than to pay the cost of laptop insurance premiums,” especially if your laptop wasn’t worth much to begin with.
STEPS TO TAKE TO PROTECT YOUR LAPTOP
1) Always back-up your computer data; Copy all important documents on your computer to a USB drive, cloud system, another computer or external hard-drive.
2) Keep your laptop in a safe place; It is best to avoid taking your laptop with you when you are traveling for vacation. Take your laptop with you only when it is absolutely necessary.
3) Keep copies of the license keys; Write down or copy the license keys on a planner/diary or on an electronic system. In the case that your laptop software crashes and you need to get a new laptop, it would be easier for you to re-install all the softwares on your new laptop. It will save you time and money.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is the difference between a warranty and an insurance policy?
A: According to Digital Trends, most technology products come with at least a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. If you bought a laptop that does not have a warranty then it is more than likely that it would start malfunctioning in less than a year’s time. The manufacturer’s warranty usually provides coverage for small glitches, hardware defects, tech support, “mail-in repair service, and the option to return and replace a machine that you received dead on arrival. Digital Trends also indicates that, “most basic warranty programs are good for replacing malfunctioning hardware, such as hard drive or keyboard, but will not take responsibility for defects you caused or accidents that are unrelated to the manufacturer’s design and craftsmanship.” That’s where insurance comes in. The insurance covers accidents and provides you with a longer term protection. Unless you opt for purchasing an extended warranty. When you are purchasing your laptop, you will be offered the opportunity to buy an extended warranty. Big box stores like Best Buy and Staples offer their “own versions of extended warranties.” If you do have a macbook or any of the Apple products, Apple offers their own special AppleCare protection plan which will cost an additional $250 for hardware/software coverage, tech and phone support. Apple’s warranty usually lasts up to three years. According to consumer reports, some credit card companies like American Express automatically provide a one-year additional warranty/protection for your computers when you purchase it (with the credit card).
Q: Who can apply for laptop insurance?
A: This insurance is not only limited to students and company employees. Anyone who is eligible and needs to protect their computer can apply for laptop insurance.
Q: Are other electronic devices covered by laptop insurance?
A: Ipads, tablets, Ipods, and computer accessories like printers, mouse, keyboard, and scanners are covered. Other electronic devices such as digital and video cameras, gaming systems and smart phones may require additional fees or separate insurance coverage.
Q: Is software on my laptop covered by laptop insurance?
A: Laptop insurance policies do not necessarily cover everything. Most laptop insurance policies don’t provide coverage for the following items: Viruses, General wear and tear, mechanical or electrical problems and software problems.
Q: Is the coverage limited to only one laptop/computer per household? Can I get insurance on multiple computers?
A: The coverage is not limited to one laptop or computer per household. You can purchase coverage for any of your electronic devices that can be covered by the plans. You can also purchase laptop insurance for your children in college. When your children move to a college dorm, they not only take their clothing, they take along all sorts of electronic equipment. iBooks, iPads, LED TV’s, Kindles and cameras are just some of the electronic equipment that represent thousands of your hard-earned dollars. All of this is packed into a shared dorm room located in a building full of strangers, protected by a door that may or may not be locked when he (or she) is at class or social event. Depending on your homeowner’s insurance policy, your dependent child’s possessions may be covered under your insurance policy. Some homeowner’s insurance policies are very specific about items covered and the various deductibles, you should meet with your local independent insurance agent to discuss the coverage for child’s possessions. S/he might suggest making an inventory of all the items your child will take with to college, including softwares. It will provide you a record of the items in case some of them disappear.
Q: Does Homeowner’s insurance cover laptop/computers?
A: Most homeowner’s insurance policy are very specific in the type damages that is covered. The Law Dictionary states that “most homeowner’s insurance policies are issued on a ‘named peril’ basis. In other words, they cover only hazards that are specifically named in the policy’s documents.” If your policy is a “named peril” policy, you will need to find out whether water damage is included. If water damage is included, you need to make sure that the “coverage provisions applies to water-damaged electronic devices.” The Law Dictionary also states that there are chances that your laptop may not be covered, “even if your policy extends coverage to water-damaged electronics within your home, your provider’s claims adjuster may argue that your laptop isn’t technically a “fixture” in your home.” If your policy does cover your water-damaged laptop or any other portable electronic device, you may receive its current market value. Don’t be surprised with the replacement amount you receive because the value of your electronic device depreciates over time. So you will not receive the same amount that you paid for when you bought it brand new.
Q: What is the average laptop insurance rate?
A: The laptop insurance rate would depend on the cost of your laptop and the deductible. The more expensive your laptop, the higher the insurance rate.
What is the refund policy for canceling laptop insurance? Is there a specific timeframe for the refund? If you cancel your laptop insurance policy within 30 days….?
Claims process: Insurance companies don’t follow same type of claims process. They vary widely from company to company and from policy to policy. If you have any questions about the claims process, please consult with your local independent insurance agent.
Find out from your local independent insurance agent about the details on your laptop insurance policy to find what is covered and what is not. You may need to pay additional fees for some items that you would like covered.
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Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.
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