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Laptop insurance - Find out if you’re covered or not


July 18, 2022

Laptop insurance - Find out if you’re covered or not


The past 24 months have shown us that Covid-19 has permanently changed the South African workplace. A recent survey reveals that over 82% of respondents are working more flexible hours than before and that 71% believe that working from home is becoming more important[1].


Whether you’ve gone fully remote or spend some days in the office, you’re likely to work on a laptop — either provided by your workplace or that you personally own. You might always have worked this way if you’re a freelancer! However, you’ll want to invest in laptop insurance whichever category you fall into. This is where things can get murky. Who is responsible for this insurance? Are you already covered or do you need additional coverage? If you’re asking yourself: “How do I insure my laptop?” — keep reading to find the answers to your questions.


If you have home contents insurance you may already be covered

Does homeowners insurance cover laptop damage? In most cases, homeowners insurance will cover and replace everything within your home that gets accidentally damaged or stolen. If you’re using your own laptop, you’ve probably included it in your home insurance coverage. However, you might not have done so, especially if you’re using a business laptop. 


H2: If your laptop is for work, their policy might cover you


It would be a good idea for you to contact your employer to determine if your laptop is covered under their business insurance and, if it is, whether there are any terms and conditions you should observe. For example, they might cover the loss of the laptop if it’s stolen or damaged from your personal residence, but not any theft or damage that takes place if you decide to work in a coffee shop. 


If your laptop isn’t covered by them, you should contact your current home contents insurance provider to determine if they’ll cover your work laptop. You will need to provide them with details on the device. In this case, you might need a formal document clarifying who owns the laptop to ensure you and your workplace are on the same page.


If your laptop is in warranty, you might not be covered


Whether you’re dealing with a personal or business laptop, it’s important to distinguish between laptop insurance for wear and tear (usually covered by the manufacturer’s warranty) and coverage for theft or damage (requiring a relevant and valid insurance policy). In most cases, your laptop malfunctioning or breaking down due to age or mechanical failure will not be covered by your insurer. 


If your laptop isn’t brand new, you might want to think about the fact that it might stop working without notice and set aside money to replace it. Your workplace should also be aware that they might need to replace the laptop at their cost.


When portable possessions insurance is useful


If you travel frequently or spend long hours commuting, you’re probably wondering how you can protect your laptop when you aren’t in the office or at home. Portable possessions insurance can be helpful here. 


Again, it’s important to specify who is going to cover this if you don’t personally own your laptop.  Portable possessions insurance will also cover the cost of replacing any other items you keep on your person or in the car, such as your cellphone, handbag and more.

When is your laptop covered and when is it not?

If you live in South Africa, laptop insurance can come with certain terms and conditions. There are a few specific cases you should be aware of where you might not be covered or not get the coverage you expect. Firstly, you should cover your laptop for its current replacement value, as under- or over-insuring it can result in your claim being rejected. 


For example, if you have the third generation of a certain laptop, you’ll be insuring it for what it costs to get another laptop (of any make or model) that can perform the same functions as your original one. You won’t be able to replace it with a newer generation of the same laptop.


You also need to be completely transparent about the circumstances surrounding its damage or loss, because omitting anything can result in a rejection of your claim. If it’s found that you didn’t take necessary measures to prevent the incident (such as not locking your door) you might also find your claim rejected. 


If you choose to supplement your home contents insurance with portable insurance, you’ll need to name your laptop specifically as an item to be covered. Failure to do this means that you might be expected to recoup its cost from a lump sum that doesn’t come close to covering a replacement.


Finally, you’ll need to treat any laptops you’ve purchased for business purposes separately, especially if you have a dedicated workplace or office space. For coverage of a laptop stolen or damaged in this situation, you might need specialised business insurance.


Where to get laptop insurance in South Africa?

If you don’t think your current coverage is sufficient, it’s time to take a fresh look at laptop insurance and select a policy that offers you peace of mind. If, after reading this blog, the question uppermost in your mind is: “How can I insure my laptop?” you should know that Auto & General can offer you customised insurance that covers your home contents, portable possessions and even your business’s belongings. 


For more details and answers to any questions you still have, request a quote today and one of our experienced team will help you. The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or medical advice.

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