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What is Laptop Insurance (And Do You Need It)?

Published February 18, 2021

5 minute read

Devon Taylor

By Devon Taylor

Laptop insurance is, as the name implies, simply extra insurance coverage for a laptop computer. You’ll pay a monthly (or annual) premium to have your laptop insured against theft, loss, or damage. If anything happens to your laptop, the insurance company will pay to repair or replace it.

While many insurance companies sell laptop coverage separately, computers of all types are often covered as part of a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Those typically provide a replacement value of a home’s contents, including computers. Most insurance policies will replace a laptop computer that is damaged by fire, water, or a natural disaster. Buying separate laptop insurance would cover your machine when it’s outside the home.

One important note we wanted to cover right away. Laptop insurance is not the same thing as those extended warranties that most big box retailers try to sell you. Those are almost never worth it, so don’t confuse the two.

Do You Need Laptop Insurace?

There is no question that laptop are expensive. They can cost as little as $500 for something basic or a few thousand dollars for prestige brands with high end specs. Throw in a pricy video card for a gaming laptop, and your portable PC could be easily worth $3000 or more.

Considering how expensive a replacement would be, insurance coverage could definitely be worth it. Laptops are among the most expensive items some people own (beside their house and car). They are a big part of our everyday lives. Self-employed people and students are extremely reliant on their laptop to be productive and earn a living. Since the onset of the pandemic, more of us are working from home than ever before. Additionally, laptops are always primary targets for thieves. Having laptop insurance could be a huge life saver for you.

That said, not all insurance plans are created equal. Some insurance plans are better and more legitimate than others. For this reason, it is important for you to select a laptop insurance plan carefully. Make sure you know exactly what is covered by the policy and what isn’t. Many insurance plans have built-in policy limits and an array of exclusions to the coverage. For example, are you covered if your laptop is stolen out of your car? Or if your cat managed to knock it off the table? Knowing what your monthly premiums are covering, exactly, is therefore very important. As always, it is advisable to shop around and compare laptop computer insurance plans.

What To Look For in Laptop Insurance

When evaluating laptop insurance plans, be sure to look for companies that have consistently high customer satisfaction ratings. Peruse various reviews and comments around the web. Then select an insurer who has good rankings across the board. Make sure you choose a policy that covers the widest range of perils possible. A standard insurance plan should covers a wide range of perils such as theft, vandalism, power surges caused by lighting, cracked screens, natural disasters, and liquid spills.

It’s also important to pick a policy that is available nationwide and covers all laptop models, including new or used ones. Many policies only cover certain makes and models. Many insurers won’t even cover a computer that is more than three years old. Don’t be shy about calling the company’s customer service line or asking questions via a live chat option. Be blunt and direct with your questions. It’s the best way to find out exactly what is (or isn’t) covered on your potential plan.

You need to be aware that the premiums need to be paid every month. The monthly cost can vary greatly depending on the insurance company, the type of policy, the value of your PC, and even here you live. The length of the policy term and total coverage amount will also impact the cost. Like many other insurance policies, laptop insurance often comes with a deductible. It’s typically about $100. You’ll need to pay that out of pocket if you ever find yourself in need of a repair or replacement.

Most of this information should be readily available on an insurance company’s website. If it’s not, consider that a bit of a red flag.

What To Avoid in Laptop Insurance

There are many things you should look for when choosing laptop insurance. There are also many things that should be avoiding. The biggest concern is that you’ll end up with an insurance provider who collects you monthly premiums, but then finds a reason to avoid paying you in the event of a disaster. The last thing you want to do after your laptop is stolen or damaged is fight with an insurance company about it. To avoid this costly scenario, be sure to read the fine print of any insurance policy you are considering signing. Check to see what’s excluded in the policy, of if there’s any language the insurer could use to get out of paying a claim.

Watch for premiums or deductible amounts that get bigger as a laptop ages. That hardly makes sense, since laptops decrease in value over time as new technology replaces them. Don’t even bother getting insurance policy on a laptop that is older. You’d be better off making those premium payments to yourself, saving them up, and buying yourself a new machine in the near future.

What Laptop Insurance Costs

Typically, laptop insurance costs between $20 and $40 a month. The average deductibles is about $100 per claim. If an insurance policy costs more than these amounts, be skeptical. On the other hand, laptops come with a wide variety of values. Your brand new Macbook Pro or Alienware gaming laptop will cost more to insure than a $500 Chromebook, for example. As with any other kind of insurance, make sure you shop around a bit. Different providers will likely offer slightly different quotes.

A Note About Warranties

Keep in mind that almost every computer comes with a basic manufacturers warranty. They typically cover any hardware or software issues with a laptop for the first year. While these warranties won’t cover theft, fire, or accidental damage, they will cover many standard repairs. You might not really need laptop insurance until you manufacturers warranty expires. If you bought your laptop with a credit card, you might even get an extra year of warranty as a perk. Check the details of your credit card agreement.

As already mentioned, your homeowners insurance will cover your laptop in the event of a major disaster in your house. On the other hand, you may want to consider extra laptop insurance if you’re travelling with your PC a lot. Whether you’re taking it to meetings, classes, or simply find yourself working from a lot of coffee shops, laptop insurance can cover your financial losses in your precious machine breaks or goes missing.

The Bottom Line

Whether you need laptop insurance comes down to one question: Can you afford to replace or repair your laptop if it is lost, stolen, damaged, or becomes otherwise unusable? If the answer is no, then taking out an insurance policy can be a more affordable way to protect the investment you have made in your PC .

The urgent need for a functioning laptop computer can be much higher for anyone who is self-employed or a full-time student. In the end, you should shop around for a reputable and reliable insurance provider that offers a range of policies and coverage to suit your unique circumstances. Remember, knowledge is power. Doing your research is the best way to get the laptop insurance you need without overpaying for it.

Man With Broken Laptop

Shutterstock

Devon Taylor

Managing Editor

Devon is an experienced writer and a father of three young children. He's simultaneously trying to build college funds and plan for an eventual retirement. He's been in online publishing since 2013 and has a degree from the University of Guelph. In his free time, he loves fanatically following the Blue Jays and Toronto FC, camping with his family, and playing video games.

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