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How to protect and insure your electronic devices

How to protect and insure your electronic devices

Smartphones, laptops, tablets and other electronic devices lighten the load of our daily routines, provide expertise at our fingertips and satisfy our thirst for the occasional diversion. For many of us, these devices are our lifelines. That makes it all the more important to educate yourself about how to protect these gadgets from damage, loss or other mishaps.    


Do

Do steer clear of liquids

In one respect, electronic devices are akin to oil; they don’t mix with water. Keep your electronic devices at a distance from water and other liquids that can destroy them. Threats include sinks, bathtubs, showers, and too-close containers of your favorite beverage or meal.

Do invest in a screen protector

Is there anything worse than a scratched screen? Yes — a cracked one. Some devices are more prone to shattering than others. Reduce the chances of that happening by using a screen protector and increase the likelihood of maintaining a scratch-free screen that doesn’t crack if the device is dropped. 

Do choose sturdy covering

Secure your device with a case or cover ready to battle the elements and the inevitable collision. Fashionable skins offering only a thin layer of protection may fall short. Instead, consider hard-shell covers that can shield your device from dust, water and shocks.

Do keep it close

As devices become smaller, they become easier to misplace or lose – and thieves stand at the ready to assist in that regard. Keep track of your devices, especially in public spaces, and double check that they are with you before you leave.

Do consider third-party protection

Insurance is a sound investment considering the hundreds of dollars required to replace a device. Reputable insurance plans cover cracked screens, liquid submersions, fire, flood, theft, vandalism, and earthquakes and other disasters. In addition, insurance protects the policyholder for the entire coverage period and not merely limited protection for a single device.  


Don't

Do not rely on manufacturer warranties

Don’t rely on manufacturer warranties to cover possible damage or loss of your electronic device. Understand the terms. Usually warranties cover only manufacturer defects and may not cover other kinds of damage. In addition, a warranty applies to only one device; after a claim is settled, another warranty must be purchased for the new item.

Do not confuse warranty and insurance

Consumers may think warranty and insurance are synonymous, but provisions of each may differ. Device purchasers usually must buy warranties on the spot or soon after purchase, raising the likelihood that they will discover loopholes only until after it’s too late. Electronic device insurance can be purchased at any time and covers a spectrum of damage and loss scenarios.

Do not leave devices unguarded

Being careless about your electronic devices while traveling is a sure way to guarantee a lighter load later. Electronic devices are too expensive and popular to leave in the open and unguarded. Before arriving at your destination, make sure your gadgets are in eyesight; if possible, stow them under a seat in front of you. Later, secure your gadgets and other valuables in an in-room safe or deposit them in the safe at the front desk.

Do not assume homeowner's insurance will cover gadget damage

Your homeowner’s insurance may extend to personal property but leave you exposed in the event of loss or damage to your electronic devices. For example, a homeowner’s policy may not offer worldwide coverage, replacement costs or accidental damage coverage. Filing a claim with homeowner’s insurance also could trigger an increase in premiums. In addition, deductibles are usually high ranging from $500-$2000 which in the majority of cases wouldn't allow a policyholder to be fully indemnified for their loss.


Summary
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Smartphones, laptops and other electronic gadgets that organize and enhance our lives are worth the time investment to learn how best to protect them. Keep gadgets safe by taking precautions, such as avoiding liquids, sheathing devices appropriately and avoiding behaviors that could lead to theft or loss. In addition, consumers should be aware that manufacturer warranties may fail to offer the same level of coverage protection as third-party electronic gadget insurers. 


More expert advice about Home, Auto, and Theft Insurance

Photo Credits: iPad. iPhone 3G. © @cdharrison - Flickr.com; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Gretchen CatheyOperations Manager

Worth Ave. Group, providers of “Insurance Solutions for a Digital World.” ...

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