Insure my laptop -- against myself?
June 11, 2016 7:24 PM   Subscribe

Can I insure a computer against my own foolishness, e.g. spilling a glass of water on it?

I own a high-end laptop that I use constantly. Can I insure it against damage caused by me?
Note this Q is not about redundancy; I have plenty of automatic offsite backup, and I can buy a cheap replacement in 15 minutes if need be.
posted by LonnieK to Technology (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Lenovo offers this for their laptops.
posted by Comrade_robot at 7:35 PM on June 11, 2016

Yep, Geek Squad does this.
posted by deus ex machina at 7:37 PM on June 11, 2016

Yes! State Farm does this, ask for their personal articles insurance (I'm sure there are a bunch of other insurance companies that do this too).
posted by arnicae at 7:38 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

My renters insurance (from USAA if it matters) covered the cup of tea I spilled on my laptop.
posted by olinerd at 8:05 PM on June 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Most insurance companies offer personal articles policies (sometimes referred to as inland marine for some reason). You can also usually get a rider to your renter's or homeowner's insurance. I suggest a separate policy, since many insurers cancel policies for "excessive" claims, which can be as few as one. You don't want your homeowner's getting canceled because you claimed a laptop.
posted by kindall at 8:16 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Squaretrade does this, the coverage is limited to 3 years max and you have to apply for coverage within 90 days of purchase. They also have a shorter term insurance for used items.
posted by jamaro at 8:49 PM on June 11, 2016

My sister in law bought a MacBook with an American Express card which covered a new laptop after she spilled a glass of wine on it.
posted by kat518 at 9:02 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

You may also want to consider the cost of paying for insurance (or a rider on an existing policy) against just putting X amount per month away in case of Laptop Destruction. If you don't break it, you've saved that much money and if you do, that's what the money was there for.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:24 PM on June 11, 2016 [7 favorites]

My renter's insurance said that they would even cover something as dumb as my putting the laptop on top of my car and driving off.

We did the math and it worked out considering that we had 4 laptops and a few other valuable things. I didn't drive off with it on top of my car, but the laptops did get stolen out of our house.
posted by wintersweet at 10:20 PM on June 11, 2016

Check coverage limits before assuming your renter's or homeowner's insurance policy will actually pay anything out on this sort of claim. The good news is that an add-on is cheap. We have a $1500 deductible on our homeowner's policy, and a $200 deductible (I think) on the computer add-on*. That said, when our house was broken into, I had trouble convincing Amica the particular computer the burglar dropped (when he was interrupted) wasn't even worth the deductible. ("You could take it for repair!" "No, really, it's eight years old and it's dented, and it still works. It is worth no time or expense." "Let us know if you change your mind and you'd like to file a claim.")

* Personal rule: deductibles should be high enough to hurt but not so high we can't afford them. Your comfort level, feelings on the subject of opportunity cost, and willingness to pay a higher premium for a lower deductible may vary.
posted by fedward at 1:24 PM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'll join in the chorus noting that the type of policy, at least in the US, is called a Personal Article Policy. Some carriers will only offer these if you're already carrying other significant lines (e.g., homeowner's), because they're zero-deductible "all-hazard" policies.

The most common application is, apparently, jewelry. I have a couple fancy watches I cover this way, plus my camera equipment and my current laptop. If literally ANYTHING happens to these items -- loss, theft, damage, etc -- I'm covered for the insured amount. N.B. this is NOT what your homeowner's does; that'll pay out a depreciated amount on a covered loss. If my year-old Macbook is stolen or destroyed tomorrow, though State Farm will pay me my purchase price.

Insured appraisal matters a lot more for the watches, but the upshot is that mine are insured for new replacement value as of 2012 even though the watches in question were purchased initially in 1977 and 1998 for much, much lower prices. This isn't uncommon for watches, but covering this situation is entirely normal for a PA policy.

Finally, you'll be delighted to hear that such coverage is entirely affordable.

tl;dr: ask your insurance agent.
posted by uberchet at 7:44 AM on June 13, 2016

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