Is that iPad Covered? Electronics and Travel Insurance

With the Internet boom, it’s harder to break the office umbilical. Professionals travel with laptops, iPads, and smart phones to stay in contact with their office and their clients, and, let’s face it, to look for the best local restaurants, check their stocks, make hotel reservations, and placate the kids with their favorite movie. Whenever you board an airplane, everyone seems to be plugged into their iPhone, reading an eBook, or working on a laptop.

Are all those electronics covered by your travel insurance plan?

Some insurance plans will cover up to $2,500 for lost or stolen baggage. However, if you read the terms of the plan, most plans specifically exclude electronic equipment. Other policies don’t exclude electronics, but they limit their coverage to one item with a maximum reimbursement of from $300 to $500, an amount which won’t cover a new laptop.

Portable electronic gear is easy to steal and easier to lose. Have you ever left an iPad in the seat pocket of an airplane?  Or left your iPhone in a cab? Or maybe you have been unfortunate enough to have had your smart phone stolen while traveling. So what can you do to protect yourself and your electronics on the road?

Check your homeowner’s policy. Many homeowners and rental policies cover stolen electronics. Make sure the coverage extends to your travels, especially if you are traveling outside the country, and be sure you understand the requirements for a claim, such as filing a police report. If you have a high deductible, though, you should realize that the cost of a laptop may not exceed your deductible.  There also are a number of companies that specialize in covering electronics, at home and abroad, with a $50 deductible.

When you are traveling, there are some routine precautions you can take. Electronics are typically safer in the trunk of a rental car than in a hotel room. When in transit, never leave your bags unattended. When on an airplane, never leave a laptop, iPad, or Kindle unattended. It’s common to leave a laptop or iPad behind when you get up to use the restroom and find it missing when you return. Your best defense is always common sense. Make an effort to avoid tempting thieves with your electronics.

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