Monday, February 19, 2018
Articles

Laptop Insurance: Pros and Cons

Modern life has, overall, improved our lives immeasurably. We can stay in contact with people all over the globe without racking up a huge bill or needing to wait until specific times of the day. Technology dominates our lives, and this is not necessarily a bad thing: it keeps us connected and up to date. However, there are some downfalls to having our devices with us all the time. These include loss, accidental breakage, and theft.

This is where gadget insurance comes in, specifically insurance designed to cover high value items outside of the home. This is an important point: many home contents policies cover these items while they are in the home, but any cover ends as soon as the item is taken off the property. Ensuring that expensive gadgets (which can include mobile phones, laptops, cameras, satnavs, tablets and many more) are covered at all times is a good way to ensure peace of mind that the physical items are covered and can be replaced without a large outlay of funds being necessary.

A survey found that a staggering 5.3million laptops have been damaged, lost or stolen in the past 5 years. Appallingly, one third of these people make no effort to find their device; only about half of those who do look for them find them, and a mere six per cent have their devices insured.

Assuming you decide to go the way of an insurance policy, there are several factors to consider. It can be tiresome and hard going, but do read the fine print on your policy. Some policies need specific devices to be identified with their make, model, and serial numbers noted in the paperwork, while others may include exclusions or conditions that might nullify the policy: for example, if you take the device abroad, use it in or near water, or fail to take steps recommended by the insurers (using a cover on a phone or tablet, keeping camera in a padded, secure case, etc.). Do ask questions before you agree to a policy, and do not hesitate to rephrase a question if you feel you are being fobbed off or not answered properly. Think of as many daft scenarios as possible, asking if you are covered: it is better to feel a little bit silly before you commit yourself to a policy that might turn out to be wrong for your needs.

The physical laptop or device is usually the most expensive part, but the contents can have enormous sentimental value: important documents, precious photographs, software and apps that you have paid for and have been saving work or scores or so on, some of which could be irreplaceable. Information contained on laptops, too, can put you at risk of identity theft, providing criminals with enough data to open accounts or create mischief in your name…

As always, prevention is better than cure: keep a strong password on your laptop, back-up regularly to an online digital vault and always be mindful of where your belongings are in relation to those who may have felonious designs on them

Ultimately, choosing whether to opt for a good gadget insurance policy is your choice, but it cannot hurt and the coverage might help – after all, a thief only needs a few seconds to grab your goods and be on their way, and accidents can happen to anyone, at any time.

Bob Buskirk
the authorBob Buskirk
About 10 years of computer experience. Been messing around with electronics since I was 5, got into computers when I was in highschool, been modding them ever since then. Very interested in how things work and their design.
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