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theksmith

FYI - you're insurance doesn't cover your gadgets

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a friend of Aimee's recently purchased a brand new laptop only to have it stolen out of her car a few days later. she didn't realize that her comprehensive car insurance would not cover it. i'm guessing a lot of people might not realize that in general car insurance only covers items that are "permanently attached" to the vehicle. some cut-rate "full coverage" insurers don't even cover aftermarket stereos.

 

some home owners insurance plans will cover personal electronics used outside the home but often they must be itemized ahead of time and even then a deductible will likely still apply.

 

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after doing some research, i decided to purchase insurance for my new tablet through Worth Ave Group. they were one of the few major players that covered theft in addition to accidental breakage. note they do not cover plain out loosing a device, not many companies do. i paid just under $75 for 2 years of $500 insurance on the tablet, full coverage (accident + theft), $0 deductible.

 

if you have a $200 tablet or an older laptop in your rig, insurance probably isn't worth the cost. however, if you're rocking a new iPad or other pricey phone/laptop/etc., you might want to look into it. i felt the cost of my device coupled with the fact that it will be out-and-about most of the time warranted the insurance.

 

one thing i found from my limited research was that at least 50% of the companies offering portable electronics insurance are a scam IMO. when you add up the monthly cost of getting insurance through a cell phone carrier plus the deductible and/or processing fees, most plans aren't worth it. also be aware of the "no deductible" lure. disreputable companies just charge an "incident fee" or "processing fee" instead to make up for the deductible, some as much as $100.

 

so think about the total you are paying for the insurance plus the deductible/fees, and subtract that from the value of your device - that's all you are actually netting in the event something happens. compare that to what it would cost to just replace the device yourself a year later with a refurbished one from eBay for example.

 

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finally, if you do consider insurance for a portable device, be sure to read the fine print for exclusions like power surge or other things that happen in the real world.

 

there is a good article on LifeHacker comparing these type of insurance providers: http://lifehacker.com/a-detailed-guide-to-cell-phone-insurance-in-the-us-1446544729

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I've often wondered that my ham radios. There's times where I'm hauling around $2-3000 worth of gear.

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