MacBook & Laptop Insurance Guide

Read our impartial guide to find out the questions you need answers for before you buy a laptop insurance policy

Who would have thought that the invention of a portable computer could make such a difference to our lives? No longer are we tied to one place to use our computers. Now we can work from a beach in the Caribbean whilst also ordering next week's shop.

There are downsides to carrying your connection with the outside world around with you in a bag. Apart from needing a bigger bag, there's more risk of you losing it, or someone stealing it.

Things to consider before taking out laptop insurance

  • Would you need a near immediate replacement for the laptop should you lose it?
  • Whether you tend to be accident prone and have a history of damaging and losing your laptop. If so, then insurance might be the right option for you.
  • Is your laptop protected by your home contents insurance? You don't want to spend money unnecessarily if you already have your laptop(s) covered, so check out your home contents policy to find out if they are protected. The important point to note is that while they may indeed be covered, they may not be covered outside the home or in the hands of younger family members. They probably won't be covered for mechanical breakdowns and malfunctions, either. So if this is a concern you'll want to consider getting alternative protection.
  • When taking your laptop abroad - would you be covered by your travel insurance? Check the excess and how much they are insured for. How about children travelling alone on school trips? Are they protected should they damage it while on their trip? Again, these are policy details you should check before deciding to take out a laptop insurance policy.
  • You may also be covered with inclusive insurance with a packaged bank account or certain credit cards - again, check this out before taking out stand alone laptop insurance, as doubling up on insurance can lead to lots of complications should you need to make a claim. Doubling up on insurance doesn't mean double the pay-out, it can mean double the administrative headache.

What does laptop insurance cover?

As with all insurance policies, the more you pay for one, the more features and benefits you'll get. A basic policy will cover you for:

  • Accidental damage
  • Liquid damage
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Cracked screen
  • Overseas use

Our top tip is always check the policy documentation to see what's included in the policy. The last thing you want is to find out you're not covered for loss when you try and make a claim after you've accidentally left your laptop in the local coffee shop.

What they typically won't cover you for

Most laptop insurance policies won't protect you from:

  • Loss or theft due to carelessness
  • Unauthorised data and downloads if there has been a delay in reporting the device lost or stolen

Our top tip is always check the policy terms to see what's included in the policy. The last thing you want is to find out you're not covered for loss or theft when you try to make a claim.

Things to look out for when buying a policy

Excesses
An excess is the contribution you are asked to make towards a claim. There may be different excesses for different types of claim, so check the policy summary to see what they are (we make this information really clear on our policy details pages).

14-day exclusion period
While some policies provide instant cover, others stipulate that you can't make a claim for the first 14 days after your policy starts. Again, this is something we highlight on the quote page and policy details pages.

Purchased in the UK
Some insurers will only insure UK purchased devices, so if you got a bargain on your business trip to the States, you may find you can't get cover for it.

Purchased from auction sites
Gadget insurers stipulate that the device must have been purchased either as new from a manufacturer, network provider or retail outlet (high street or online) OR refurbished and directly from a manufacturer or network provider. If you do make a claim you will almost certainly be asked for details.

Wear and tear
Policies won't pay out for normal wear and tear, or cosmetic damage like scratches.

Virus damage
If your system gets wiped out by a virus, you won't be able to claim to get the damage repaired, or for any other loss relating to the virus.

It's not all about insurance...

For most people the most valuable thing about their device is not the physical device itself but the data that's on it.

Protecting this needn't cost you any money at all.

Ensure that you frequently back up your music, files, photos, videos, contacts and other data. Consider cloud storage options for your data as well as physical backups such as home computers or hard disk drives.

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