According to the research firm Gartner, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds, so protecting yours should be at the top of your list of reasons to get contents insurance. Also, you may (wrongly) assume your warranty covers your favourite device. Should you care that your warranty doesn’t include theft? It’s not like theft is going to happen to you, right? Don’t wait until your laptop is nicked to realise you should have had insurance all along.
Is it worth getting laptop insurance for things like hardware damage? What about liquid damage? Will a manufacturer’s warranty cover laptop theft? Should you care that your warranty doesn’t include theft?
We’ll answer all of these questions and more:
- What kind of insurance do I need for a laptop?
- Is my laptop’s warranty as good as insurance?
- What if my laptop is a work computer?
- My laptop was destroyed, is it covered?
- How do I insure my laptop with contents insurance?
- If you have contents insurance, your laptop is covered as a part of your ‘contents’ cover—but only for theft from inside your home. If you want to be covered for worldwide cover as well as for cracked screens, you’ll need Theft and Loss, and Accidental Damage to Mobile Device cover.
- Additional warranties from manufacturers will usually cover certain damages, but won’t cover theft—so, it’s not a replacement for insurance.
- Some insurance companies offer laptop insurance (also known as gadget insurance), but their unlimited plans tend to be expensive and don’t include any personal liability cover.
What kind of insurance do I need for a laptop?
Here’s some good news: contents insurance covers your laptop, and basically everything else you own. So, your laptop is covered for the ‘perils’ listed in your policy: that’s the bad things that could happen to your stuff that insurance will cover, like vandalism, burglary, and fire. That means if you’ve included Theft & Loss cover, and your laptop is nicked from a cafe, or while you’re travelling abroad, you’re in luck.
Here’s a list of ‘perils’ covered by your contents insurance:
|Collisions by vehicles
So, if lightning strikes or a volcano erupts, and your laptop is damaged or destroyed, you’re covered, which is a huge relief since you want to protect one of the most valuable items you own.
However, if your claim is approved to repair or replace your laptop, you’ll need to pay the excess as part of the replacement cost. An excess is an amount of money you choose when purchasing a policy that will be subtracted from any future insurance claims payouts. So, if your £1,000 laptop was stolen, and your excess was £250, your insurance provider would pay you £750. Think of an excess as your participation in the damage or loss. You’re saying, “I commit X pounds to any claim, and my insurance provider will cover the rest.”
With your standard cover, your contents insurance will reimburse your covered perils, up to £2K. But what about your pricier valuables, like engagement rings or gadgets? With Lemonade, you can add them to your policy as high-value items (HVI), increasing the level of cover above £2K, up to the full value of the item. So, if your laptop is worth more than £2K, you’ll want to add it as an HVI.
Is my laptop’s warranty as good as insurance?
Your computer probably came with some kind of manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee for its first year. A warranty will typically cover things like defective keyboards, hard drive failures, and mechanical breakdown caused by faults in the product.
Your warranty is pretty limited, and won’t cover you if, let’s say, you accidentally fall and trip on your laptop, cracking your screen. That’s because, as far as the warranty is concerned, accidental damage is considered ‘negligence’ (you shouldn’t have left it on the floor), and the manufacturer is only willing to take responsibility for issues from the manufacturing process.
However, if you’d had the smart sense to purchase the Accidental Damage to Mobile Devices add-on, you’d be sorted because that’s exactly the type of damage you’d be covered for.
Still, you’ll want to check the details of both your laptop warranty and insurance policy to understand exactly when and how you’re covered.
Let’s say you’re a Mac user. Any new Macbook purchased from a certified Apple retailer includes a limited warranty, which offers a year of ‘hardware repair cover’, plus 90 days of technical support. But Apple also offers a premium protection plan.
A new 13-inch Macbook is eligible for AppleCare+ within 60 days of purchasing for £189. This addition includes three years of service cover, technical support, two incidents of accidental damage, and battery service if your computer doesn’t charge past 80 percent. There’s an excess fee (your contribution to your claim) of £79 for screen damage or external enclosure damage, and a £229 excess fee for other accidental damage.
But, the plan is expensive, subject to high fees, and doesn’t cover theft.
“Here’s why I don’t buy AppleCare: statistically, you won’t need it. Apple only sells AppleCare because people will buy it, and it’s virtually free money for them.” says Bradley Chambers, a blogger at 9to5Mac, a Mac support blog.
Popular PC laptop manufacturers such as HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, and Asus have a similar limited warranty to Mac. These companies typically offer a 12-month warranty, which covers repairing or replacing defective hardware. Basically, if your laptop is a lemon, the laptop company has you covered, but if anything bad happens to your laptop out in the wild, you’ll need some more cover.
So, while a manufacturer warranty may protect your laptop from the cost of repairs, even the premium protection programs won’t cover you for the all-too-common likelihood of theft.
Lemonade Contents insurance policies start at £4 a month, so when deciding the best way to protect your laptop from the most common perils, keep in mind what it costs to protect it, and the level of cover. Don’t forget though, you might want to include high-value item cover or the Accidental Damage to Mobile Devices add-on to be fully covered, and understand your premium might cost a little more.
Is my work computer covered with contents insurance?
No, your company’s computer wouldn’t be included in your contents policy.
Well, because you don’t technically own it.
A few months ago, a Lemonader (let’s call him Tom) had his backpack swiped while perusing the shops on Shoreditch High Street. Lemonade reimbursed him for his Apple watch, sunglasses, and backpack, but his laptop was replaced by his employer, as most companies will have their own separate insurance policy for their employees’ devices.
My laptop was destroyed, is it covered?
Solid question, but the answer is complicated because it depends on how the laptop got destroyed.
If you accidentally spill water across your keyboard and the whole thing stops working, and you didn’t include Accidental Damage to Mobile Devices add-on, you can expect your insurance claim to get denied. But, if you included the add-on, your laptop is eligible for reimbursement.
Keep in mind, the Accidental Damage to Mobile Devices add-on includes all your devices or gadgets. Yes, that includes mobile phones, games consoles, all included.
Now let’s say a burst pipe damages everything in your living room—laptop included. In this case, it will likely be covered, even if you didn’t include an add-on because flooding is considered one of the basic perils you’re covered for in your policy.
Believe it or not, if you spill water on your friend’s laptop, their insurance policy could cover the replacement of their computer—so make sure your friends have insurance too!
Lemonade Contents insurance for your laptop
If you decide to protect your laptop (and the rest of your stuff) with contents insurance, getting a policy with Lemonade is easy.
All you need to do is get a insurance policy, which takes less than 2 minutes:
1. Download the app
2. Answer a few hassle-free questions
3. Get your insurance (and the peace of mind that comes with it) in seconds
To make sure you’re getting enough cover for your laptop (and everything else), double-checking your ‘contents cover’ will give you a clear picture of your policy. Otherwise, you could be left high and dry when disaster strikes. Also, if your laptop is worth more than £2,000, make sure you’ve added it as a high-value item.
Here’s how to estimate the value of your stuff:
1. Take 2 minutes, walk around your flat, and take a video (or pics) of everything you care about (pets and partners aside).
2. Make a list of the stuff you just filmed/snapped and estimate how much each item costs.
- If you have receipts, save a pic in case you ever have to replace the stuff under warranty, or have to make a claim.
- For electronics and more expensive items, it’s important to know the make and model, as well as when and where you bought them.
3. For shoes, non-electronic kitchen items, and other stuff you own in bulk, just estimate what it would cost to replace everything in the same category, all together.
4. Add this up, and voilà! That’s the value of your stuff(and how much contents cover you’ll need).
The best practice when choosing your cover amount is rounding up to the nearest £10K.
So, if your laptop (£1,250), mobile phone (£1,000), bike (£1,000), furniture (£5,000), and clothing (£7,000) add up to: £15,250, you’ll want to get at least £20k in contents cover.
If you have any additional questions about laptop insurance cover, feel free to check out our FAQs, and if you’re ready, go ahead and take Lemonade for a spin – it’ll take you less time than restarting your laptop.