How do I find the best insurance for my laptop, iPhone and smartphone?

Understanding why you need insurance is the first step to finding the correct insurance product. You will only find what you are searching for if you know what you are searching! In an earlier post we discussed the topic “Do I need to purchase insurance cover for my laptop, IPad or tablet?” In this post we would like to discuss the process of finding the correct insurance product as well as the potential pitfalls you will need to avoid!

Search and Compare Insurance Products

Those able to be in lawful possession of a laptop, Notebook, iPad or smartphone are not new to insurance. It is safe to say that they will also be in possession of home and household insurance- and most probably car insurance as well!

They will already be aware of these basics:

  • That there are a wide range of providers and a wider range of products in the market
  • That these products differ significantly in nature, price and even how they can be acquired.
  • That both product and price comparison are essential.
  • That these products can be acquired through a broker or directly through a direct insurer.

Household insurance or Separate Insurance Policy

It is best to consider the insurance for your laptop, notebook, tablet or smartphone whilst also taking into account your existing home and household insurance. You are most likely to travel with these devices and often use them away from home – this portability requires specific attention!

You may decide to include this insurance in the contents section of your household insurance – or decide to insure them on a separate policy. The choice is up to you and might well be decided by your skills in negotiation and your attention to finer detail and price.

Keep in Mind:

  • Never assume that these devises are automatically covered under your household / content insurance – You will need to specify these devices on your policy.
  • If you travel regularly with your laptop, iPad or tablet it would be advisable to cover it under specified all risk insurance which would cover the laptop when away from home.
  • Your smartphone should also be covered under specified all risk insurance.
  • This is also sometimes referred to by insurers as Portables Insurance or Portable Possessions Cover.
  • You must provide the insurance company with the make, model and serial number of the laptop, iPad, notebook or smartphone.
  • Insure your laptop for the replacement value, not the current market value.
  • Some insurers may only provide the cover if you have household insurance with them – other allow you to insure these devices in a stand-alone policy.

Fine Print and Exclusions in Your Insurance Policy

Exclusions or specific conditions are those nasty little surprises you will not be covered for. Too often do we refer to them as the “fine print” in policies – and yet they are the exact same font and size as the other stipulations in the policy!

Make sure that you understand the cover provided clearly, there may be a number of exclusions listed in your policy document.

These could include:

  • The value and loss of data or the costs of replacing or retrieving lost data – Do your backups regularly.
  • Individual component failures under normal usage.
  • Cost of software -only hardware is covered. Avoid carrying your software with you unless absolutely necessary.
  • Some policies might specify that your laptop is not covered when transported and stolen from your vehicle.
  • Damage caused by carelessness – such as damage caused by ironing, moth or vermin.
  • If insured for personal use and the laptop is used, lost or damaged because of business use, it might not be covered.
  • “Soft vandalism” like viruses, worms, or network based security breaches resulting in loss of data or usability are not covered by common laptop insurance policies – it remains your duty to invest time and money in security products and processes.
  • Other gadgets that are used in conjunction with the device such as a wireless card, a bluetooth adaptor, and a Skype enabled headset etc might not be covered

Conclusion

It is well worth the time and effort to compare insurers, products and pricing. When comparing products you need to compare exclusions as well. Never assume that you are covered. We would also like to advise the following:

–          Talk to friends or colleagues who have had to submit claims for loss or damage to their laptops, notebooks, iPads or smartphones.

–          Write down all the potential hazards you would like to be covered for.

–          Ask your broker or direct insurer to confirm that you are covered for this and to provide such confirmation in writing.

–          Keep a file with all the documentation, communication and correspondence along with your documentation identifying the device, purchase price [receipt] etc.

Remember that insurance claims are the last resort – maintaining and guarding your laptop, notebook, iPad or smartphone is the best protection!!

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