Laptop travel insurance

Does travel insurance cover my laptop? Find out what you're covered for and for how much.

Whether you need it for work or watching Netflix, you might need to take your laptop on your trip overseas. Unfortunately, there is a risk of it being lost, stolen or damaged during your time away.

Travel insurance can compensate you for the costs of repairing or replacing your laptop. However, there are some potential pitfalls to watch out for when taking out a policy.

Are laptops covered by travel insurance?

These days we tend to take every gadget we own on holiday, whether it’s our camera or phone, a tablet or laptop. Thankfully most travel insurance policies will have you covered for your laptop if it’s lost, stolen or damaged.

However, if you have a Mac or a really expensive laptop like that, the chances are you’ll need to take out extra gadget cover. Insurers often impose limits on the amount you can claim for a single item.

If, for instance, a policy has a single item limit of £300, then that’s the maximum amount you’ll get should you need to fix or replace your laptop.

Should you be using your laptop for work it might not be covered by a standard travel insurance policy either. You will have to look into getting a specialist business travel gadget policy if so.

What isn’t covered?

There is a whole host of reasons why the insurer will refuse to pay out when someone has made a claim for a lost, stolen or damaged laptop, such as:

  • You leave your laptop unattended in a public place or in an unlocked building.
  • Your claim is a result of your reckless behaviour.
  • Your claim arises as a result of you being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • You do not report the loss or theft to the police or relevant authority within 24 hours. You need to obtain a written copy of that report, this is essential in supporting your claim.
  • You can’t provide documents proving that you were the owner of the laptop, such as an original receipt.

Other valuables you can get covered

  • Tablets and mobile phones. iPhones, iPads, smartphones and tablets are covered by most insurers.
  • Cameras. Whether you have a simple point-and-shoot camera or an expensive DSLR camera with several lenses, you can get cover. But beware of single-item price limits.
  • Jewellery and watches. You can take your stylish fashion accessories safe in the knowledge you’ll be covered should they get damaged, lost or stolen.
  • Other items. It’s worth checking with your insurance provider to find out what other items can be insured.

Tips for before and during travel for expensive items

  • Home and contents. If you have home and contents insurance in place, your laptop may already be covered against theft and damage anywhere in the world. Check with your insurer for more details.
  • Keep your receipts. Store receipts for high-value items safely, as they can be essential when you need to make a claim for a laptop or other expensive gadget.
  • Photograph your valuables. Taking some photos can help prove your ownership of any items that are lost or stolen.
  • Keep your laptop on you. Don’t put your laptop in your checked luggage, as it is much more likely to be damaged or go missing, while your insurer might even refuse to pay out.
  • Report any theft to the local police. Tell the local authorities within 24 hours of the incident and keep a written copy of the report to help when it comes to claiming.
  • Check the cover limits. Before you sign up to any policy make sure you know exactly how much the provider will cover your laptop for. Should you have an expensive gadget, then a cover limit of £200 or so simply won’t cut it, and you’ll be left heavily out of pocket. In which case you may need to increase your level of cover.
  • Read the fine print. Go over the handbook with a fine tooth comb and look at the list of general exclusions on a travel insurance policy. This will show when your expensive items will and won’t be covered.
  • Find out the excess. Work out how much excess you’ll have to pay towards a claim before the insurer starts helping. With some policies, you have to foot most of the bill before the insurer helps out with fixing or replacing your laptop.

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