For many laptop users, a mobile computer represents the freedom to take work and entertainment almost anywhere. However, it also creates new risks since a laptop that leaves the confines of your home is much more likely to experience damage due to accidents or environmental factors. Laptop insurance will help pay for repair or replacement to your computer if you have the right type of coverage.
Laptop computers are subject to many of the same accidental damage risks as desktop computers, along with some of their own due to their mobility. At-home accidents including spills and drops can cause damage that would be costly to repair. Outside the home, these risks increase. Exposure to extreme temperatures can damage a laptop, particularly its LCD screen. Closing the laptop with an object inside, even something as small as a pen, can crack the screen, which is among the most expensive components to replace. Dust and debris can also clog a laptop's fans, vents and open ports, leading to corrosion. These risks, coupled with the high cost of many laptops, creates the need for insurance.
Most new laptops come with insurance in the form of a manufacturer's warranty. This warranty does not usually cover accidental damage, such as drops or spills. Warranties from retailers extend manufacturer warranty coverage and can add additional coverage for different types of accidents but for a price. Warranties cover mechanical failure more so than accidental damage, so read the fine print before purchasing a warranty extension or relying on a manufacturer's warranty as your only form of protection.
One of the most affordable options for insuring your laptop against accidental damage is through a private insurance policy. You can get discounted rates by buying a laptop policy from the same company that already supplies your homeowner's, renters or auto insurance. Instead of costing several hundred dollars, like most retailer warranty extensions, a private insurance policy will likely cost less than $100, depending on the value of your laptop, and provide enhanced accident coverage. Choose limits that are high enough to pay for a new machine if your laptop is involved in an accident that results in a total loss.
Besides accidental damage, laptops are subject to theft due to their small size and portability. If you routinely use your laptop outside the home or office, make sure your insurance policy covers theft as well as accidental damage. In addition, even a policy that pays for a new computer cannot retrieve your valuable data. Back up your laptop regularly and store data on a secure external drive or upload it to a digital locker.