All I want for Xmas is my PowerBook Back!
December 15, 2006 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Merry Christmas, Your personal laptop's been stolen at work. Now... how do you handle replacing it? But wait... there's

It's the first time I've ever had anything stolen.

I hav... err had a 17" PowerBook that was stolen out of a shared office yesterday. The person who took it seemed to know what they were after as they opened my bag, took the computer and the power cord, zipped the bag back up, and replaced it. They didn't touch other things in the bag, like my camera or my cell phone.

The theft was reported to the police as soon as I found out, I included the serial number so that if It's pawned it should get caught, I've changed all the passwords (email, IM, etc) that I can remember, and the director of our company seems to be in the mood to polygraph everyone in our building at the company's cost.

The laptop was purchased via credit card and some have said it may be insured by that. They also suggested home owner's insurance may cover it. The thing is, the credit card and the insurance are both in my grandmother's name. I don't know if I'm covered by either. (The laptop was a "gift" for getting into the honor society, I'm paying for it though)

Where do I go from here? I can't afford to replace it, I still have to pay this one off! Anyone have any tips on handling this situation?
posted by aristan to Law & Government (14 answers total)
It may be covered by your employers insurance--particularly if it was required for your work. It is also possible it is covered by homeowners insurance--I do not think it should make any difference whose name the insurance carries. If you come up cold please remember that a rider can be added to your homeowners insurance that specifically covers a laptop against theft, loss or damage (and they are very inexpensive)--My heart felt thoughts
posted by rmhsinc at 2:52 PM on December 15, 2006

thanks, rmhsinc... It wasn't required for my work, I'd often use it to complete class work while I was on a break or lunch.
posted by aristan at 3:14 PM on December 15, 2006

A labmate recently got his laptop ripped off (from a 'secured' location) from his desk at the lab. His homeowner's (well, renters, actually) insurance covered it less a smallish fee.

Now he has something about 3x as spiffy as his old laptop.
posted by porpoise at 3:23 PM on December 15, 2006

This happened to me recently as well. Homeowner's insurance (which I *now* have) covers it. A word of working, though, requiring employees to take polygraphs is illegal in most states, I believe.
posted by proj at 3:30 PM on December 15, 2006

Will I need to have receipts for the laptop to file with home owner's insurance? I don't think I have these anymore.
posted by aristan at 3:34 PM on December 15, 2006

I, and I think we, are assuming you live with your grandmother. I really hope you can resolve this in an ethical and satisfactory way. If your grandmother purchased for you (as a gift) and you live with her I do not see a problem. If she purchased it and you do not live there--well?????
posted by rmhsinc at 3:36 PM on December 15, 2006

Well, for all purposes this is her address, as she owns the house and the insurance is in her name. She doesn't actually live here as she moved into her sister's house to take care of her a few years back. I'm living here while I'm in school.
posted by aristan at 3:44 PM on December 15, 2006

Depends on your insurance company. If you can get a copy of the relevant credit card statement, that'll probably work. If you bought it online and have an email receipt or confirmation, that's even better. If you don't have any receipts they may still cover it anyway.
posted by phoenixy at 4:26 PM on December 15, 2006

there's what?

I'll just point out that refurbished MacBook Pros are real cheap at the Apple Store. 17-inchers are $2000 instead of $2800. Maybe that will help if you get partial coverage from insurance...
posted by nicwolff at 4:31 PM on December 15, 2006

For future reference, a cable lock costs about $50.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:23 PM on December 15, 2006

If you know where and on what date the laptop was bought, it's not hard to call up the store you bought it from and have them look in their record and make a copy of the receipt.

I did this through futureshop (like, a bestbuy) for a warranty thing. Said labworker did the same (mom&pop shop) to cover his laptop theft.

The bloody thief snapped off the $80 lock he had plugged into his laptop. Unfortunately the Acer he had only had a little bitty plate stuck in the plastic chassis. My laptop was within a couple of meters, also locked, but the slot the lock went into was integral to the magnesium alloy chassis.
posted by porpoise at 11:05 PM on December 15, 2006

Many times you don't need a receipt when you file with homeowner's insurance. Call them and explain the situation. They may ask if you have a photo of it, but I filed once and had no receipts and no photos of several items, but they replaced them anyway - just took my word for it.

I'm sorry for your loss. That really sucks.
posted by forensicphd at 6:22 AM on December 16, 2006

You said you have the serial number. Apple can provide proof of purchase, if you purchased it through them.
posted by drstein at 9:19 AM on December 16, 2006

Well, for all purposes this is her address, as she owns the house and the insurance is in her name. She doesn't actually live here as she moved into her sister's house to take care of her a few years back.

You may want to be bit vague about the living arrangements with the insurance company. If they find out she's not living there and you are, they may try to tell her she isn't eligible for homeowner's insurance and cancel it.

This happened to me under similar circumstances; you may want to consult someone who knows a whole lot more about this than me.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 12:10 PM on December 16, 2006

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