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Laptop insurance

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

Written by
Helen Phipps
Insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Rachel Lacey
Insurance and money expert
Last Updated
17 FEBRUARY 2023
4 min read
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What options do I have to insure my laptop?

Insuring your laptop gives peace of mind that if your device is stolen or broken, you can get it repaired or replaced without ending up out of pocket. There’s a couple of laptop insurance options:

Laptop insurance is a specific type of gadget insurance that you can buy as a standalone policy. You can buy insurance just for your laptop, but it’s often bundled together with insurance for your smartphone, tablet, PC or MacBook and other valuable devices. Specialist laptop insurance typically offers high levels of cover for your laptop and other devices.

But you don’t necessarily have to buy a separate insurance policy for your laptop. Insurance for your laptop may already be included as part of your home contents insurance. Or you might be able to add on cover for any gadgets and valuables, such as your laptop, that aren’t covered under your standard policy terms.

What does laptop insurance cover?

Standalone laptop insurance offers specialised protection for your laptop. Policies vary but you can expect to see the following features in a basic or comprehensive policy.

Basic laptop insurance may cover:

  • Theft
  • Accidental damage
  • Liquid damage
  • Travelling with your laptop abroad – check if it’s worldwide or Europe only
  • Mechanical failure once your laptop’s out of warranty
  • Accessories.

 

Comprehensive laptop insurance may also cover:

  • Replacement if your laptop is lost
  • Cracked screen
  • Unauthorised usage if your laptop is stolen or lost
  • Malicious damage
  • E-wallet protection in case of fraud
  • Fire damage
  • Family cover so you can pool your gadgets under one policy.

What won’t laptop insurance cover?

Policy limits and exclusions vary among providers, but laptop insurance generally won’t cover:

  • Loss or theft of a laptop that’s been left unattended and in clear sight
  • Viruses and malware – unless you have a comprehensive or cyber policy
  • Claims made in the first 14 days of a policy
  • Refurbished laptops – unless they have a 12-month warranty
  • Old laptops – typically over 36 months
  • Scratches, scuffmarks, cosmetic damage and general wear and tear
  • Mechanical faults while your laptop is still under warranty.

Is my laptop already covered by my home insurance?

Yes, potentially. Home contents insurance typically covers theft of your laptop from your home, and loss or damage caused by certain insured events, like a fire.

Including a laptop in your home insurance cover is typically cheaper than taking out a separate policy, but there’s a few details to consider to make sure your laptop is properly insured:

  • If you have a valuable, top-of-the-range laptop, it may exceed the single item limit. This is the maximum amount your policy will pay out for one item, typically around £1,500.
  • If your laptop exceeds the single-item limit, it will need to be listed separately on your policy and there’s likely to be an extra cost for covering it.
  • Your laptop might not be covered for accidental damage. That means you wouldn’t be able to claim if you, for example, spilled a cup of tea on the keyboard and it no longer worked.
  • If it isn’t included, you may be able to add accidental damage insurance to your policy at an extra cost.
  • Your laptop may only be covered while it’s inside your home. Check your policy to see if it includes personal possessions cover. This can protect your gadgets and any other valuables that you take with you when you’re out and about.

If personal possessions cover isn’t included in your policy, you may be able to add it on for an extra cost.

Do I need laptop travel insurance?

Cover for your laptop should be included in a standard travel insurance policy, but single item limits can be quite low. If your laptop is worth more than £200, it might be worth getting travel insurance with laptop/gadget cover as an add-on.

Travel insurance with gadget cover offers a higher level of protection with higher limits, not just for your laptop but for other expensive devices you’ll be taking with you, such as your smartphone, camera or wearables.

If you have standalone laptop insurance, it may already include cover for your laptop abroad. If it does, look out for any exclusions. For example, check you’ll be covered in the destination you’re travelling to.

Is there dedicated laptop insurance for students?

Yes, some insurance providers specialise in gadget insurance for university students. Student laptop insurance will cover you for the specific risks you face as a student, living in halls or student accommodation. It can help replace your laptop quickly so you can get back to studying (or watching Netflix).

Before you rush off to sign up for a student gadget insurance deal, it’s worth seeing what cover you already have. Check if your laptop will be covered by your parents’ home insurance while you’re at university. If you have student contents insurance for your halls or shared house, check that policy to see if you’re covered or if you need additional laptop cover.

Where can I find laptop insurance?

At Comparethemarket we don’t compare quotes for standalone laptop or gadget insurance. But we can help you find a great deal on home contents insurance – or student contents insurance – that can include cover for your laptop. Our simple comparison tool can help you compare quotes from leading home insurance providers in minutes. 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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Frequently asked questions

Do I need laptop or computer insurance if I have a warranty?

New laptops and computers come with warranties, but these typically only cover mechanical failures. They won’t cover you if your laptop is stolen, lost or damaged. Check the details of your warranty so you know exactly what’s covered.

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

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

Does laptop insurance cover computer viruses?

It depends on the policy. Some won’t cover any lost data, some will offer limited cover on lost downloads 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 more comprehensive computer insurance with cyber cover.

Can I insure a laptop that’s over three years old?

You should be able to find insurance that covers older laptops and gadgets, but your choices will be limited. Many standard laptop insurance policies will only cover your laptop if it’s under a certain age, often 36 months. That’s because as your laptop gets older, it’s more likely to have mechanical faults and breakdowns.  

Do I need proof of ownership to claim on insurance for my laptop?

To reduce fraud, insurance providers may ask for proof of ownership so they can be certain that the gadget you’re claiming for is yours.

Make sure you keep receipts or have proof of purchase via a bank or credit card statement. If you’ve been given your laptop as a gift, then you might need a gift receipt.

Will I get a new laptop if I make a claim?

It depends on the policy. Some pay out in cash, while others provide an equivalent replacement.

If it’s not possible to replace your laptop with an identical version of a similar age, you’ll get one with the nearest specification. However, it won’t necessarily be the same colour or possibly even the same manufacturer as the original item.

Will I need to register my laptop on Immobilise?

Some insurance providers may ask you to register your device on Immobilise – the UK National Property Register. It helps police identify the owners of recovered property and might help track down a missing laptop. Check your policy to see if you need to register.

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Helen Phipps - insurance expert

Having worked in both sides of the industry, Helen’s a real insurance expert. She’s worked directly with several insurance providers and now Compare the Market. She’s always searching for the cheapest prices for customers and is passionate about saving people money. Being married with two kids, Helen knows all about the cost of living and the benefits of having the right products and insurance for the whole family.

Learn more about Helen

Rachel Lacey - Insurance and money expert

Rachel’s a self-confessed money nerd who’s been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She spent 17 years writing for Moneywise, including a few years as Editor, and likes making complicated subjects like insurance, pensions, investing and tax, easy for people to understand.

Learn more about Rachel

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