If my laptop gets stolen, will my homeowners insurance policy pay to replace it?
UPDATED: Apr 24, 2015
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Asked April 24, 2015
Part of your homeowner’s insurance package is coverage for personal possessions. The problem that many people run into is that the personal property protection is for a relatively small value, even though it is intended to cover everything you own. Because of this, some companies have begun excluding personal electronic devices because of the increase in claims for increasingly expensive equipment. The laptop is part of your personal property, and might be included on some policies, but using your home insurance to replace a stolen laptop works against you more than it helps.
If you did decide to file a claim for laptop theft on your homeowner’s policy, you might find out that the insurance company is not much help even if the device is covered. If you consider that the average homeowner’s deductible is $200 or higher, most of the cost of the laptop would be absorbed by your own deductible payment. To complicate this even further, the insurance company may only pay a depreciated amount, reducing their involvement even more.
For better protection, you might want to consider buying a dedicated personal property policy. This would give you better coverage than your homeowners policy provides, and makes it easier to modify the policy if, for example, you decide to upgrade your machine. By having dedicated coverage, you are also preserving a majority of the property coverage in your home policy for situations such as a total loss, when you need all the coverage the policy has to offer.
Some companies offer policies tailored specifically for laptop computers. These policies tend to be inexpensive while offering you a range of coverage designed around owning a portable machine, including theft and damages. An important aspect of the policy should be Full Replacement Value coverage, which replaces the device regardless of depreciated value. Actual Cash Value coverage is less inexpensive but leaves you paying a larger portion of the replacement cost.
Answered May 3, 2015 by Anonymous