insurance

If I insure the technology in my classroom, which risks must I consider?

Saturday, December 25th, 2010 | Sustainability, technology | Comments Off

Once you’ve decided that you need to insure your technology, you must decide against what disasters you want to insure it.  Insurance companies calculate insurance premiums on the basis of risk – the higher the risk, the higher the premium.  You can bring your premiums down by excluding some of the risks – those you believe to be minimal or not relevant to your situation.

Your computer room faces different risks than your classroom and you need to bear these differences in mind when you determine your insurance strategy.

The greatest risk you face in the computer room and your classroom is theft.  We live in a crime-ridden society.  A ready market exists for technology items – they can quickly be converted into cash.  Of course, theft is also a high risk to the insurance company – be prepared that this may account for a big portion of the insurance premium.

The equipment in your computer room has great worth – in financial terms, as well as in educational benefits to your learners.  A thief who manages to break through all the security barriers stands to get away with loot of high value – and you stand to lose something that is perhaps impossible to replace if the equipment is not insured.

The equipment in your classroom is valuable too but since you have less of it, breaking into your classroom is not all that attractive to a thief.  It is also easier to lock up some of the items – such as a laptop, data projector or camera – when you can’t personally supervise its use.  These facts may influence your insurance decision.

With learners around, you are also facing the risk that you will accidentally damage a technology device.  You may drop it, or a learner may knock it off the table.  What is the likelihood of this happening?  This risk is greater in your classroom than in the computer room, where computers are usually installed in fixed positions.

Cover for fire and water damage can also be included in your policy.  Perhaps you feel that these are unlikely disasters to hit you, but you must consider the environment in which you live. 

Discuss the options with a reputable insurance consultant – ask for quotes with different risk inclusions.  If you believe that you can take personal responsibility for some of these risks, you may be able to settle for a more affordable premium, while still being protected against the most likely risks.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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Should I insure the technology in my classroom?

Sunday, December 12th, 2010 | Sustainability, technology | 1 Comment

In high crime areas, insurance can be a life-saver of the technology in your classroom.  You lock up all your devices or you bolt them down, and just when you think you’re safe, your classroom becomes a target of criminals.  For many schools this could be the end of technology.  No funds may be available to replace the stolen items – unless your insurance company replaces them.

Some schools decide to take the risk and don’t insure their technology.  What should you do?  Should you insure your equipment?  It is a personal decision, which must be based on various factors:

How great is the risk?  The risk of theft is higher in some areas than others.  Some classrooms are more vulnerable than others.  You must consider all environmental factors to inform your decision.

Will you be able to afford a replacement if you lose the equipment?  Once you start working with technology in your classroom you may become dependent on it and you may find it difficult to operate without it.  If you can’t afford to replace it with available funds, an insurance policy makes sense.

What is the school’s view on insurance?  Some schools follow a strategy of self-insurance, which means that they’re willing to take the risk and are saving money for a contingency.

If you do decide to insure your classroom technology, there are more questions to consider:

Have you read the small print?  Insurance policies contain specific conditions.  Make sure that the policy covers you for the most likely risks that you are facing.

What needs to be insured?  Decide whether some or all of your technology devices must be insured.  Your insurance premium can be reduced if you insure against only certain disasters – flooding and fire may be excluded if you believe that theft is your greatest risk.

Can you include your classroom technology in your school’s insurance, or must you negotiate a separate policy?  Find out which option will be the best deal for you.

Whatever you decide regarding insurance, remember: the best form of insurance is to take sensible steps to safeguard your equipment.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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Should I insure my interactive whiteboard?

Monday, February 1st, 2010 | IWBs | Comments Off

It has been said that taking out an insurance policy is planning for an emergency you hope never happens.  Insuring your interactive whiteboard 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 equipment.  But then the unthinkable happens to them!

What should you do?  Should you insure your interactive whiteboard?  It is a personal decision, which must be based on various factors.

More is involved than the board.  Keep in mind that the interactive whiteboard is only one part of the technology that transforms your room into an interactive classroom.  The board is the most unlikely item that will be lost, whereas the computer and data projector are more vulnerable.

Will you be able to afford a replacement if you lose the equipment?  Once you start working with your interactive whiteboard you may become dependent on it and would find it difficult to operate without it.  If you can’t afford to replace it with available funds, an insurance policy makes sense.

How old is the equipment?  The older the components, the lower the value and the closer you are to the time when you would want to replace them.

What is the school’s view on insurance?  Some schools follow a strategy of self-insurance, which means that they’re willing to take the risk and are saving money for a contingency.

If you do decide to insure your interactive whiteboard, there are more questions to consider:

Have you read the small print?  Insurance policies contain specific conditions.  Make sure that the policy covers you for the most likely risks that you are facing.

What needs to be insured?  It is not just the interactive whiteboard, computer and data projector that have value – peripheral devices increase the total replacement value.

Can you include your interactive whiteboard in your school’s insurance, or must you negotiate 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 interactive whiteboard or not.  Remember: the best form of insurance is to take sensible steps to safeguard it.

Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.

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Should I insure my laptop?

Sunday, May 10th, 2009 | laptops, security | 8 Comments

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.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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If I insure my laptop, which risks must I consider?

Sunday, May 10th, 2009 | laptops, security | Comments Off

Insurance companies calculate insurance premiums on the basis of risk – the higher the risk, the higher the premium.  You can bring your premiums down by excluding some of the risks – those that you believe to be minimal or not relevant to your situation.

What are the risks that you must think about? 

The greatest risk you probably face is theft.  We live in a crime ridden society.  A great advantage of a laptop is its portability – this also makes it vulnerable.  A thief could carry a laptop away with ease.   Since there is a market for laptops they are quickly converted into cash.  If you think you will frequently carry your laptop around with you, or leave it unattended, theft should be the number one risk to include in an insurance policy.  Of course, theft is also a high risk to the insurance company – be prepared that this may account for a big portion of the insurance premium.

You are at risk of losing the machine.  You may forget it on the bus or in the coffee shop.  This risk is also related to the frequency with which you will take the laptop outside of your home or place of employment. 

A smaller risk is that you will accidentally damage it.  You may drop it, or someone may knock it off the table.  What is the likelihood that this may happen?  Are you accident prone by nature?  If you use it in your classroom there is always the danger of a clumsy child bumping against it.

Household insurance policies often cover fire and water damage risks.  If you live in an informal settlement, these may be high risk items – in other cases you may conclude that fire and flooding are unlikely to happen in your home.  But keep in mind that dropping a cup of coffee on your laptop also constitutes water damage – how likely is it that this will happen to you?

If you insure your laptop against all of these risks, expect a heavy insurance premium.  But if you are sure that you can take personal responsibility for some of these risks, you may be able to settle for a more affordable premium, while still being secure against the most likely risks you are facing.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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