It has been said that taking out an insurance policy is planning for an emergency you hope never happens. Insuring your laptop is the same – you hope that it will never be stolen or lost, but you insure it just in case it happens. Based on the hope that a disaster is unlikely to come about, some people decide not to insure their laptops. But then the unthinkable happens to them!
What should you do? Should you insure your laptop? It is a personal decision, which must be based on various factors.
Is insurance compulsory for you? In some cases the scheme under which you obtain the laptop demands that the laptop is insured – in this case you do not have a choice. If you purchase the laptop on a hire purchase plan, insurance may be required, but in some cases insurance is included in the finance plan. If the laptop is provided as part of your remuneration package at work, the employer may insure the laptop, or expect you to insure it.
Will you be able to afford a replacement if you lose the laptop? Once you start working with the machine you may become dependent on it and would find it difficult to operate without it. If you can’t afford to replace it with your own funds, an insurance policy makes sense.
Have you read the small print? Insurance policies contain specific conditions. For instance, it may exclude cover if the laptop is stolen from a vehicle. Make sure that the policy covers you for the most likely risks that you are facing.
How old is the machine? The older the machine, the lower the value and the closer you are to the time when you would want to replace it. For many laptop users the greatest value lies in the data on the machine, rather than the machine itself. If you have good backup copies of your data, and you lose the laptop, it may not pose such a big problem to you.
What needs to be insured? It is not just the laptop that has value – upgrades to the machine and peripheral devices increase its replacement value.
Insurance for your laptop may be included in your household insurance, or could be negotiated as a separate policy. Find out which option will be the best deal for you.
After considering your personal circumstances, you will be able to reach a decision whether to insure your laptop or not. But remember that the best form of insurance is to take sensible steps to safeguard it.
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