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Insuring a laptop

Travel Forums Travel Gear Insuring a laptop

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1. Posted by Wardsan (Travel Guru 14 posts) 9y

I'm heading off to SE Asia from the UK and I want to take my laptop. The problem is that travel insurance usually covers valuables up to a max of 250 quid or 500 quid (ie pounds sterling, formally). My laptop is worth a lot more than that (it doesn't weigh much, and less costs more...).

I tried calling the manufacturer but they just tried to sell me a warranty, which would not cover theft.

I can't put it on home insurance because I won't have a home to insure, since I'll be travelling.

Any ideas?

2. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

Check out some of the comparison websites - moneysupermarket or whatever. There are plenty of policies that cover up to £2000 worth of personal items.

3. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

I've had to purchase an extra laptop travel insurance before. That would also cover it year round for theft which I find/found quite handy. I just went with one of the bigger travel insurers here in Norway but couldn't really tell you how it's worked out since i've never had to actually use it (good thing!).

4. Posted by LusciousLu (Budding Member 72 posts) 9y

I am looking too and just found a year long for international Laptop with Worldwide Insure for £50! Its covers the cost of the machine and other stuff such as external hard drive and digital camera. Not bad.

5. Posted by Wardsan (Travel Guru 14 posts) 9y

Thanks to all. I've done a lot more research and found the following:

1. Most travel insurance companies just don't want to insure laptops. A £2,000 personal item limit is no use if the maximum single item payout is £250. So Moneysupermarket is no help here (but thanks anyway).

2. You can increase the maximum single-item cover to £750 at STA Travel. But this costs £120 and still does not cover the value of my laptop.

3. Prompted by LusciousLu's post, I googled "laptop insurance" (why didn't I think of it before?) and found policies from Worldwide Insure, Laptop Guard UK, Laptop Insurance UK, Insure and Go, JS Insurance, Cheap Laptop Insurance, Laptopshop and CUSC.

One problem with most of these policies is that they don't cover theft in any likely situation! If the laptop is stolen from your personal possession, many companies require the use or threat of violence before paying. If stolen from any unattended premises, evidence of forced entry is usually required. Seems to me that the most likely theft situations in reality are (a) you leave some valuables in a hotel safe and they disappear or (b) after 24 hours' travelling you're not at your sharpest and someone distracts you at a bus station. Neither of these is covered by most policies.

Another problem with some of them is that the equipment must be less than 3 months old, which is no use to me as I tend not to replace my computers every 3 months (call me eccentric).

The policies from Worldwide Insure and Insure and Go do not require evidence of forced entry, as far as I can tell. And they will insure equipment up to 12 months old. They will not cover equipment that is unattended in a public place, meaning outside your sight and control, but do not require the use or threat of force before coughing up. Both cost roughly the same (£85 for mine) and I suspect it's actually the same policy with the same underwriter. Receipt or proof of purchase is required. One other thing to note is that they do not pay cash: they will only replace equipment. In my circumstances these policies seem to be the best of a bad bunch. (This is not, of course, intended to constitute financial advice to anyone.)

Laptopshop seems to offer similar cover if your laptop is less than three months old.

4. The alternative is to check my parents' house insurance, and to give one of them the laptop and then borrow it for the trip. I'm not convinced theft in Laos will be covered, but we'll see.

5. I'm forced to the earthshatteringly original conclusion that insurance companies basically suck.

6. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Quoting Wardsan

5. I'm forced to the earthshatteringly original conclusion that insurance companies basically suck.

Haha, too true! Great research and you bring up some very good points regarding theft insurance not really being very valuable if in 90% of the cases your specific 'theft' case is not going to qualify anyway

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4929 posts) 9y

What I have to insure my laptop is "business travel" insurance (which covers personal travel as well). It's with a Dutch company, so naming it won't do you any good, but I assume the concept would exist in any country. It covers a laptop up to €1360 or €1815, depending on which policy you have (and a camera up to the same amount, in a separate category, so they're really both insured for that full amount). There's some requirements in the case of theft, but they mostly make sense (they won't cover theft/damage when the items were present in an unattended tent, unlocked room, or public transport where you didn't carry it along as carry-on item - and you have to immediately inform both the hotel (if applicable) and the police of theft), but otherwise coverage seems fairly complete. (I say "seems", as I luckily have not had to test this insurance yet.)
The laptop is insured for its full value for the first year after I've bought it, and thereafter that value will decline due to age-ing.

Oh, and this is "ongoing" travel insurance, which only covers trips up to 180 days in time. It costs me €170 a year iirc - but that also includes rather comprehensive medical insurance. (Useful, say, if I were hospitalized in the USA; my regular medical insurance at home wouldn't be enough for the insane rates they have in the USA. Also good just for minor costs which would otherwise fall under the personal liability of my regular medical insurance. I've benefited from that last already.)

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 22, 2008, at 5:13 AM by Sander ]

8. Posted by Wardsan (Travel Guru 14 posts) 9y

Sander wrote:

What I have to insure my laptop is "business travel" insurance (which covers personal travel as well).

Yep, I think this is the answer for shorter trips. I haven't been able to find business cover for a year-long single trip, though. So I'll be buying backpacker traveller insurance and insuring the laptop separately.

9. Posted by LusciousLu (Budding Member 72 posts) 9y

Still got to sort my laptop insurance, thanks for the extra advice about the theft issues. Kinda makes me think is there actually any point then as the most likely reason for a laptop to be insured for IS theft surely?!?!?!

Heyho...back to the drawing board for me then.

10. Posted by Squarabara (Budding Member 58 posts) 9y

Geez, what a PAIN!!!

You'd think that they would have something like that for people with laptops!!! I mean, it's pretty universal. A lot of people have them. I'm getting a new one pretty soon and I have to have it with me when I travel. I mean, there is no question. Why is there not something like that available???

You know, that really grinds my gears.

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