YOU ASK:

Does homeowner's insurance cover laptop theft?

WE ANSWER:

If your homeowners insurance has protection for personal property, then a stolen laptop will be covered under this section of your policy, subject to certain limits and conditions. This portion of the homeowners insurance policy will cover your house's contents and personal items you and the persons in your household owns.

However, some terms and conditions may apply:

  • The laptop will not be covered if it is not a "home" laptop but a laptop that is used for business.
  • The laptop will also not be covered if it is a business laptop and the theft happened in a place outside of your home. Remember, the homeowners insurance will only cover the contents of the home and a business laptop stolen away from the house will not fall under this definition.

You must note that the personal property insurance coverage may be too small to cover the full value of a laptop, especially if the laptop is expensive. You can consider adding an endorsement to cover your laptop and other expensive equipment and property.

When your laptop is stolen, you should do the following:

  • Let the police know about the theft. You need to file a police report that you can present to the insurance company when you file a claim. It is also important to have a police report since this can protect you if a problem regarding identity theft ensues as a result of your laptop being stolen.
  • Change all the passwords you have for all your accounts in the internet - email, online banks, social networking sites, work-related sites and so on.
  • Cancel all credit cards you have used for online transactions.
  • File your claim with the insurance company. When claiming, first look at your deductible for this. If your deductible is big enough to cover the cost of the laptop, then you may consider not filing a claim anymore, since you will end up paying the deductible after all. When you file a claim, you must remember that this will adversely affect your claims history and may raise your premiums as a result of the claim.
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