So if you're a digital nomad how do you do renter's insurance?
January 23, 2023 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Basically I haven't had more than a UPS box since 2001 at this point. I do a lot of airbnb's but mainly chain hotels. But i've been worried if my laptop went missing or something. I do have a car and car insurance? Does THAT cover it? Or is there a renter's insurance for someone who doesn't actually have a lease?
posted by rileyray3000 to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Have you talked to the agent who administers your car insurance? I use one of the big remote insurance companies (USAA), and the few times I've wanted insurance for some situation that seemed weird to me they've been good about providing it. My impression is that individual agents are even more happy to bend over backwards for things you think are oddball.
posted by straw at 1:24 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


In addition to checking out a renter's insurance policy, you could also look at getting a specialized insurance just for your laptop if that is really the only risk item that you are worried about. (If everything else burned up but your laptop would you be OK in terms being able to afford to get your life back on track?) I would be curious to see the cost difference for a generalized renter's insurance plus technology and a specialized laptop insurance plan. Also insurance rates are often tied to the location so you may need to shop around to find renter's insurance that is flexible enough for your needs.

As a starting place, here is one review of some of the laptop insurance providers.
posted by metahawk at 1:40 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


You probably want some kind of personal umbrella policy, tailored for someone who doesn't have homeowner's or renter's. I don't know for sure, but I'd imagine it exists. I'd call one of the big brokerages to identify the appropriate product and get a quote, then use that to shop.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:13 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Car insurance does not cover items in the car, no. So your laptop, if stolen from the car, would not be covered.

Source: I worked in property/auto/renters insurance for a long time.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 2:50 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


I think a “personal articles” policy is probably what you’re looking for, though I agree with meta hawk that it would be interesting to compare the cost against renters’ insurance. I see State Farm has a personal articles option so it can’t be too far outside the mainstream.

That said, I do just have to plug that generally, if you can afford to replace your laptop or whatever else you’re insuring without financial hardship, buying insurance is generally a losing proposition (it has to be, right, otherwise insurance companies wouldn’t be able to stay in business). Insurance is great to hedge against unaffordable outcomes, but not necessarily for affordable-but-inconvenient outcomes.

Also wanted to point out that while umbrella insurance may be a good idea, it generally insures you against liability if you’re sued - it doesn’t have anything to do with replacing your own stuff or paying your own medical bills.
posted by exutima at 3:09 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Typically it doesn't, but I wasn't sure what a policy like this would be written as, except some kind of variant of an umbrella that does have a rider for some amount of property coverage (b/c no homehowners or renters). Unless someone is selling 'digital nomad' policies. 'Articles' policies are new to me, so hopefully that's suitable if that's all that's needed.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:13 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


if you can afford to replace your laptop or whatever else you’re insuring without financial hardship, buying insurance is generally a losing proposition (it has to be, right, otherwise insurance companies wouldn’t be able to stay in business). Insurance is great to hedge against unaffordable outcomes, but not necessarily for affordable-but-inconvenient outcomes.

I mean...my renter's insurance (which covers way more than my lousy laptop, so probably costs more than a personal articles policy would) costs ~$120 a year. My current laptop would thus cost 20 years of premiums to replace. Could I pay for it out of pocket? Sure, but yuck. Just because it wouldn't break the bank to suffer a loss doesn't mean insuring is a bad idea.
posted by praemunire at 4:55 PM on January 23


The back door way to do this would be to find a trusted family member or friend and ask to add yourself to their homeowner/renter policy and offer to pay a portion of the cost. I've never seen a cost increase when doing this with a roommate or partner, at least when a single person adds a second person. Of course if you do this, you'd need to align it with your official residency address for tax purposes.
posted by veery at 11:08 AM on January 24


If you use the laptop for business purposes, perhaps it could be covered by a tool insurance policy for tradespeople.
posted by are-coral-made at 12:16 PM on January 24


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