Understanding Computer Insurance

Does your home insurance policy include laptop insurance or computer insurance?

Check email and social networks. Work remotely. Browse photos. Check finances. Watch TV and surf.

For many of us, our desktop and laptop computers are now part of our daily lives. Losing a desktop or laptop computer to fire, theft or even a virus represents more than an inconvenience. It can be a life-altering event when photos, financial information and other data are inaccessible, lost or compromised.

That’s why it’s essential to understand whether your home insurance or renters insurance policy includes computer insurance or laptop insurance. Use this checklist to understand your coverage.

  • Devices — Determine the specific types of devices that are covered under your policy. Some policies cover desktops and laptops, but not tablets. Ask whether computer peripherals like printers, scanners and external hard drives are covered.
  • Coverage Amount — By knowing the maximum coverage amounts your home insurance includes, you can determine whether you need additional coverage. Figure out the total coverage that is provided under your policy.
  • Exclusions — Your home insurance policy may restrict your coverage to specific types of losses. For example, if you drop your computer down the stairs, is that covered? What about if you spill water on your laptop? Review your policy to determine whether your computer is covered in the event of a fire, theft, virus or other event.
  • Use — Some home insurance policies will only cover computers used for personal purposes. Other policies will provide some coverage for business use. If you work from home on a personal computer, understanding any use distinctions is particularly important to make sure you are covered.
  • Deductible — If your home insurance policy includes computer insurance, check whether your deductible applies if something happens to your computer, laptop or peripherals.

If your homeowners insurance policy does not provide the coverage you need, you may be able to schedule your computer equipment. Scheduling allows you to increase and broaden the coverage you have through your policy. To do so, you will typically need to provide an itemized list of all computer equipment you own. You can then select a coverage amount. And, you may even be able to choose all-risk coverage, which will cover most losses regardless of the cause, except those specifically excluded from your policy.

Your renters or home insurance company may also offer special insurance packages that cover devices like desktops, laptops or other electronic devices as a group.

Check with your home insurance provider to determine your policy coverage. That’s the first step in determining whether scheduling your computer equipment is the right move for you. Knowing you have adequate computer insurance or laptop insurance  is one more way to ease your mind and know that you can work or surf, worry-free.