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Laptop Travel Insurance

Does travel insurance cover my laptop? Find out what you're covered for and for how much

Technology is omnipresent. Unfortunately, that means we are always connected to the world even when we’re on holidays. If you’re heading away with your laptop, you face the risk of it being lost, stolen or damaged during your journey.

Travel insurance policies can provide financial protection for the cost of repairing or replacing your laptop if it’s lost, stolen or damaged on your trip, but there are a few potential pitfalls to be wary of when taking out cover.

Are laptops covered by travel insurance?

Along with cameras, phones and other electronic gear, laptops and tablets accompany many of us when we go on holidays. Happily, most travel insurance policies will provide some level of cover for your laptop if it’s lost, stolen or damaged, but it’s always a good idea to check whether you are covered and for how much.

For example, one insurer’s definition of "damage" may not be the same as another insurer, and you won’t be covered if you leave your laptop unattended in a public place.

How do insurers cover laptops?

BrandLaptop insurance maximum benefit for damage or lossApply
1-cover-new1$3,000Get quote
AMEX Travel Insurance$3,000Get quote
AIG$3,000Get quote
Budget Direct Travel Insurance$3,000Get quote
Citibank Travel Insurance$3,500Get quote
Columbus DirectYou are covered up to the amount stated in the scheduleGet quote
CoverMore$2,500Get quote
Downunder$3,000Get quote
Easy Travel Insurance$1,000Get quote
Fast Cover$3,000Get quote
Go Insurance$4,000Get quote
InsureandGo$3,000Get quote
iTrek$3,000Get quote
MultiTrip Travel Insurance$3,000Get quote
Simply Travel Insurance$3,000Get quote
Skiinsurance.com.au$3,000Get quote
Southern Cross$3,000
STA Travel Insurance$3,500Get quote
Tick Travel Insurance$4,000Get quote
Travel Insurance Direct$4,000Get quote
Travel Insurance Saver Logo$6,000Get quote
Travel Insuranz$2,000Get quote
Virgin Money$3,000Get quote
Woolworths Travel Insurance$3,000Get quote
Worldcare Travel Insurance$3,000Get quote
youGo$2,000Get quote

When won't I be covered?

When it comes to electronics and travel insurance, one area that regularly catches travellers out is the limitations that apply to cover. The first limit you need to consider is the overall maximum amount your insurer will pay for lost, stolen or damaged personal belongings. There are also individual sub-limits an insurer will pay for any one item, which means you might still end up out of pocket if your laptop is stolen.

Some insurers allow you to increase the insured limit for specified items by paying an additional premium. If you’re taking an expensive laptop with you on holiday, this extra cover may be well worth considering.

Insurers also factor in depreciation when assessing the value of your laptop or other electronic device. Read on for more details about how this can affect your hip pocket.

What is travel insurance depreciation?

When you make a claim for a lost, stolen or damaged item, an insurer will take into account the item, its age and any wear and tear it may have experienced when determining its worth. Insurers pay claims based on the laptop’s current value, not what it was worth at the time of purchase.

Insurers also apply an asset life to the items you take with you on holiday, and the asset life of a laptop is three years. If your laptop is more than three years old, your claim will only be worth the item’s residual value, which is 25% of its purchase price.

Your insurer will decide whether to offer new-for-old replacement for your laptop, cover the cost of its repair, or provide you with store credit or a cash payment.

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What isn’t covered?

There are situations when your claim for a lost, stolen or damaged laptop will not be paid, such as if:

  • Your laptop is left unattended in a public place. Some insurers won’t cover your electronic items when they’re simply not with you
  • Your claim arises due to your reckless behaviour
  • Your claim arises as a result of you being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • You do not report the loss or theft to the police or relevant authority within 24 hours. Obtaining a written copy of that report is also essential to support your claim
  • You can’t provide documents to prove that you were the owner of the laptop, such as an original receipt

Other valuables you can get covered

  • Tablets and mobile phones. iPhones, iPads, smartphones and tablets are covered by many insurers.
  • Cameras. Whether you have a simple point-and-shoot camera or an expensive DSLR camera with multiple lenses, you’ll be able to find cover.
  • Jewellery and watches. Cover is available for those expensive fashion accessories you simply can’t travel without.
  • Dental prostheses. Some insurers also cover dentures and other dental prostheses.
  • Other items. Check with your insurer to find out what other items can be insured.
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What you pay

If you’re looking to take out additional travel insurance cover for a specified item such, as your laptop, you’ll need to pay an additional premium. The extra amount you have to pay is usually calculated based on the value of your item and how long you are travelling for. The longer you travel, the more you need to pay.

For example, if you want cover for your $3,000 laptop for a three-week holiday, your additional premium could be worked out by multiplying $3,000 by 5% of that amount, which would equal $150. But if you wanted to insure the laptop for a three-month holiday, the multiplying percentage might rise to 6%, so your extra premium would equal $180 ($3,000 by 6%).

What you normally can’t find cover for

If you want to take out cover for a specified high-value item, that item must be owned by you and taken with you on your trip. You’ll need to be able to provide proof of ownership and cover is usually only available for belongings that are designed to be carried around with you at all times or worn on your person.

As a general rule, you won’t be able to take out cover for the following items:

  • Bicycles
  • Watercraft (except surfboards)
  • Musical instruments
  • Antiques
  • Firearms
  • Perishable items
  • Items intended for commercial use
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Tips for before and during travel for expensive items

  • Home and contents. If you have home and contents insurance in place, your laptop may already be covered against theft and damage anywhere in the world. Check with your insurer for more details.
  • Keep your receipts. Don’t lose the receipts for any of your high-value items, and gather them together before you depart so they can be easily accessed if needed.
  • Photograph your valuables. This can help you provide proof of ownership if any of your items are lost or stolen.
  • Don’t put your laptop with your checked luggage. Not only is it at greater risk of being damaged or going missing along with your luggage, but there’s also a good chance your insurer will refuse your claim.
  • Report any theft to the local police. Do this as soon as possible, within 24 hours,  and keep a written copy of the report to help you come claims time.
  • Check the sub-limits. Make sure you’re aware of exactly how much cover will be provided for your laptop. Double-check how much your valuables are worth and how much cover your policy provides. You may need to increase your level of cover.
  • Read the fine print. You can learn a lot by reading the list of general exclusions on a travel insurance policy, which will help you understand when your expensive items will and won’t be covered.
  • Examine the excess. Check the amount of excess you’ll need to pay if you make a claim. In some cases, by the time you’ve paid the excess, you’ll barely get any money back for your laptop.

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Richard Laycock

Richard is the senior insurance writer at finder.com.au and is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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