It may be hard to imagine life without your laptop, especially if you use it every day for work or school. But laptops, like anything else, are susceptible to damage and theft, and having to repair or replace one can cause stress and financial hardship.
A laptop insurance contract can help by providing a measure of security against life’s unforeseen incidents. Below, we explore how laptop insurance can be different from other coverages you have, its potential costs, and if you need it.
- You likely already have certain protections under home and renters insurance policies or a manufacturer’s warranty, but they might not be sufficient or include the coverage you want.
- Laptop insurance can cover theft, loss, accidental damage, and component failures. However, it probably won’t cover things like computer viruses and blatant neglect.
- Laptop insurance is generally designed for personal computers, so if you need coverage for a work laptop, it’s best to check if your device will be covered before you buy.
- If your device is a company laptop, your employer likely already has insurance coverage for it.
Do You Need Insurance for a Laptop?
You may already have some coverage for your laptop if you have a homeowners or renters policy. The personal property coverage in these policies typically covers damage and destruction to your personal belongings if it’s from a covered peril, such as fire and some types of water damage. It may also provide coverage for theft, regardless of whether your laptop was swiped from your house or a café. But home and renters insurance policies typically don’t cover accidental damage from spills and drops.
Before coverage kicks in, you’ll need to pay your deductible, which, depending on the value of your laptop, may be close to or more than what your payout would be.
Plus, it’s not always to your advantage to file small claims with your home or renters insurance because:
- Depending on your policy, you may only get the current market value (actual cash value) for your laptop when it was lost or stolen (minus the amount of your deductible). This may not be enough to purchase another computer of the same quality.
- Your premiums could increase because insurers may see you as higher risk.
- You could have trouble finding home insurance if you’ve had two or more claims in the last five years.
A laptop’s manufacturer’s warranty may also repair or replace your laptop but usually only covers manufacturer defects on hardware or software components.
Because of these limitations, home and renters policies and manufacturer’s warranties may not provide enough coverage or the type of protection you need. If that’s the case, it’s worth considering additional coverage through a standalone laptop insurance policy.
“Laptop insurance” is usually referred to as such when it covers loss and theft in addition to accidental damage and component failures. A “laptop warranty” or “laptop extended warranty” may only offer parts and labor coverage, while a laptop warranty with accidents adds coverage for screen cracks, spills, and more. Be sure to read the fine print to know what kind of coverage you’re getting.
Does Insurance Cover Your Work Computer?
Most laptop insurances specify that they cover personal property, and therefore may not cover a computer you use for work. If your laptop belongs to your employer, damages and other incidents are likely covered under its business owner’s policy—you would turn to your employer if you have any issues. If you use your laptop for a home-based business, you may want to consider getting your own business owner’s policy.
Personal home and renter’s insurance policies also may not cover a computer you own but use for work, as these policies aren’t designed to cover business-related use or activities. Some homeowners policies provide limited business equipment coverage while others provide no coverage for business property at all. It’s crucial to review your existing policy to understand what coverage you already have, if any, before buying a laptop-specific protection plan.
What Does Laptop Insurance Cover?
Exact types of damage or incidents covered vary by provider but may include:
- Water damage
- Damage from drops and liquid spills or submersions
- Breakdowns resulting from normal wear and tear
- Personal accidents, such as stepping on your computer
- Screen cracks
- Damage caused by someone else
- Theft and other perils
- Mechanical, electrical, and screen failures
- Speaker, sound, and remote failures
- Power supply burnout
- Power surge by lightning
However, laptop insurance typically won’t cover damage related to:
- Computer viruses
- Software problems
- Blatant neglect
When buying laptop insurance, some companies may only provide a single coverage option with varying coverage thresholds, such as for laptops that cost $500-$700 or $700-$1,000. Others let you pick between deductibles and choose your desired coverage tier: The most basic tier may only cover certain component malfunctions or failures, while more expensive levels may protect against accidental damage, theft, loss, and more.
Some large insurance providers like Progressive work with third parties to deliver laptop insurance, while others like Allstate have a company in their portfolio to provide a warranty. These offerings are unrelated to the insurer’s home and renters policies.
What Does Laptop Insurance Cost?
Laptop insurance costs vary not only by company but by the type and amount of protection you get and your deductible. The cost for a laptop insurance policy is commonly paid in full upfront. Protection plans with a three-year term and $1,000 coverage can cost as low as $69.95 for the most basic plan to $270 or more for more comprehensive coverage that includes accidents, theft, and loss. Companies typically have deductibles ranging between $0 and $100.
On lower-priced tiers or policies with shorter terms, you may see a monthly payment option. But for higher-priced protection plans, you usually have to pay in full.
Finding the Best Option for Laptop Insurance
There is no standard laptop insurance plan. Whatever protection you’re looking for, be sure to read the fine print to see what coverages are included. Many laptop insurance companies also insure other types of electronics. By comparison shopping, you can find the best package deal for your items.
If you want a more affordable plan, consider going with a higher deductible (if available). If you’ve broken or lost other laptops in the past or know you have a tendency to let things slip from your hands, laptop insurance is probably a very worthwhile coverage to have.