Laptop insurance

With the most expensive laptops retailing at thousands of pounds, it’s well worth thinking about how you can protect them against damage, theft and more. We take a look at the options.

With the most expensive laptops retailing at thousands of pounds, it’s well worth thinking about how you can protect them against damage, theft and more. We take a look at the options.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 22 FEBRUARY 2021

What is laptop insurance?

Laptop insurance can help cover you financially if your laptop is stolen, lost or damaged.

It can be included as part of your home contents insurance or you can buy standalone laptop insurance to cover it – however, the latter isn’t something Compare the Market offer.

Including a laptop in your home insurance cover is typically cheaper than taking out a separate policy. But there are a few things to think about when deciding on the best laptop insurance for you.

Insuring your laptop as part of your home insurance

A home contents policy can cover your laptop if it’s stolen or damaged in your home – by a fire, for example. You might find that your laptop is already covered by your existing home policy, but there are a few things to check:

  • If you’ve got a top-of-the-range laptop worth more than a certain amount, it may exceed the single item limit – the maximum amount your policy will pay out for one item. The single item limit is often around £1,500, but do check each policy to confirm. If your laptop exceeds the single item limit it will need to be listed separately, likely at an extra cost.
  • Your laptop may not be covered for accidental damage, for example, if a cup of tea was spilt on the keyboard and broke it. If it isn’t, you may be able to add accidental damage to your policy at an extra cost.

Insuring your laptop with separate gadget insurance

As with home insurance, separate gadget cover could protect your laptop against loss, a broken screen, breakdowns and mechanical failure, as well as theft and damage. Some policies will include cover for accessories and taking your laptop abroad.

But policies vary and you’ll need to check carefully to see what’s covered, and in what circumstances. You should also check whether your home insurance policy already offers you enough cover – you don’t want to end up paying for the same insurance twice.

Is my laptop covered when I’m out and about?

If you like working in cafes, or you need to take your laptop to and from work, you’ll want to be sure it’s protected.

Most home-insurance policies will only cover items when they’re inside your home. If you want financial protection for your laptop when you’re out and about, you can add cover for possessions outside the home at an extra cost.

Do I need laptop or computer insurance if I’ve got a warranty?

New laptops and computers will come with warranties, but these usually only cover mechanical failures. They won’t cover you if your laptop is stolen, lost or damaged.

What won’t laptop insurance cover?

Policy limits and exclusions vary from provider to provider. But, even with possessions-outside-the-home cover, you probably won’t be covered if:

  • your laptop is stolen when you’ve left it unattended – in a cafe, for example
  • your laptop is stolen from a car, unless it’s locked away and out of sight

You also won’t be covered for:

  • wear and tear – if your laptop gets a bit scruffy or the keyboard fills up with crumbs, you won’t be able to claim for the cost of a new one
  • mechanical faults while your laptop is still under warranty

Does laptop insurance cover computer viruses?

It depends on the policy. Some won’t cover any lost data, some will offer limited cover, say if the music you keep on your laptop is lost, and some will cover repairs if your laptop is harmed by a virus. If you’re a malware magnet you might want to look for a more comprehensive policy, but in any case, always check the details carefully.

Is laptop insurance really necessary?

Laptops are often valuable, so they’re attractive to thieves. Plus, we all know how fragile laptop screens can be.

But whether laptop insurance is worth it will depend on its value – both in real terms and to you personally. Each insurance policy has an excess – the amount you pay towards a claim. If you have a machine that’s not financially valuable, the excess might be more than it would cost just to replace it. Be aware that the excess on a home-contents insurance policy might be higher than on a standalone gadget insurance policy.

Can I insure any laptop?

Unfortunately not. Some insurance providers won’t insure older laptop models. There’s usually a maximum gadget age of around three years, and many insurance providers are hesitant to insure second-hand laptops or computers.

Also, if you do a job that’s considered ‘risky’ in the eyes of insurance providers and use your laptop for work, you might find it tricky to get insurance.

Where can I find computer/laptop insurance?

Keen to find a home insurance policy that covers your laptop? Compare the Market’s simple comparison tool can help you compare quotes from a wide range of UK insurance providers. Just tell us a little bit about yourself and the computer/laptop you want to insure, and we’ll do the rest.

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