Insuring Your Desktop or Laptop Computer
You have a computer. So who doesn’t? According to the latest reports, the vast majority of Americans have at lest one personal computer at home. And many count themselves among the “multi-wired” households, with one or more PCs, handhelds (such as Palms or pocket PCs), set-top boxes, Internet access, and a fast-growing minority have enough equipment to have installed home networks to tie everything together. Add in a few beepers and cell phones and we are talking significant value!
With this much money tied up in such items, can you count on your homeowners insurance to step in if you suffer a loss?
Looking at a standard policy, the answer is affected by several factors.
Perhaps the major question is how much do you use these devices for business purposes? A typical homeowners policy limits coverage to $2,500 total for items used primarily for business purposes. Note the key word is “primarily.”
Doing your taxes or bringing home some work is not enough to make your PC subject to the business property limit. But for the many people that have set up a home-based office, either for regular telecommuting or for an in-home business, the $2,500 limit will kick in. And also note the limit applies to all such property. Include your filing cabinets, office furniture, printer, fax machine, bookshelves or whatever else makes up your business at home and the $2,500 limit is usually met rather easily.
But here’s the real kicker – if you use that business notebook (or “laptop”) computer while away from your home, the business property limit drops to $1,500 (if you have a car accessory to power the device). That limit also includes any accessories to be used with the computer, such as a portable printer, projector, external drive or zip disks.
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