Insuring iPods, Cell Phones, Stereos, and Other Car Electronics
We’re bombarded with information everywhere we go. Whether it’s a GPS, a BlackBerry, an iPod, an iPad, or a netbook, we expect our mobile devices to send information and receive it instantaneously.
Mobile technology is just that—mobile. You probably bring your gadgets everywhere you go, including the car.
Unfortunately, these items are probably not covered under your auto policy. Transportable belongings can be covered under your renter’s or homeowner’s policy only if you have off-premises theft coverage. These items would also be subject to a deductible.
How Can I Insure My Mobile Devices?
Insurance is mainly for catastrophes. You want to protect the ones you love (with life insurance) and your home (with homeowners insurance) and possessions (with contents insurance). If you want to protect from overall liability, you might buy an umbrella liability insurance policy.
With that in mind, small electronics should not be left in your vehicle if losing them would be a financial hardship. The premium might not be worth it for easily replaceable items.
Sometimes what’s more worrisome than losing the mobile device is losing the data on it—especially if it’s sensitive information that could compromise the identity of someone in your address book or hard drive. If your mobile device is owned by your company, check with your IT person on how your data can be encrypted in the event of a breach.
Having your data backed up is the only insurance you can have in these situations. There is no insurance that can help pay for lost data.
When Is Insurance for Mobile Devices a Good Idea?
Other circumstances do warrant paying for mobile equipment insurance. For example, a photographer or a musician whose livelihood depends on transporting expensive equipment will want to make sure that a business insurance policy also covers off-premises theft. Again, the claim would be subject to the deductible.
Deductibles usually range from $250 to $5,000. To figure out the best deductible for your needs, determine the total value exposed to potential loss as well as the values of each piece that could be exposed to loss at any time. Your insurance agent can help you value your mobile devices.
The deductible is set to make sure each policyholder self-insures or co-insures some part of the policy. The insurance company can then be comfortable knowing that you will take care to protect your mobile devices to insure against a loss.
Linda Rey is a licensed insurance agent at Rey Insurance with a broad spectrum of expertise in life, accident, health, property and casualty insurance as well as retirement planning and college funding strategies.
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