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Are my Electronics Covered by My Renter’s Insurance Policy in NYC?

Posted on September 24, 2010

New Yorkers Love Their Electronics and Need to Insure Them

Apple Laptop

Apple Laptop

Most of us don’t realize how valuable our electronics are until they’re lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed. Think for a second about what you have in your home: computers, smart phones, cameras, mp3 players, printers, DVD players. We’re talking thousands of dollars in equipment, and your renter’s or home owner’s policy may cover only a fraction of what it’s worth.

You’re probably covered if your electronics are damaged or destroyed by fire, lightning, wind or flood, or if someone breaks into your home and steals them. But you should check with your insurance broker to see how much your policy would reimburse. Often, it doesn’t add up to the value of the equipment. Check to make sure your policy pays replacement value, not cash value, which would net you far less if something happened.

Computers, especially laptops, raise a whole series of insurance issues: How often do you travel with your laptop to places such as JFK , or even a Midtown hotel conference room, where it is at risk for theft or damage? Would your policy reimburse you in full for your laptop? Is it protected against accidental damage, theft or power surges (most of which aren’t covered under manufacturer warranty)? Does the policy protect against damage or loss during travel?

Insurance policies often treat computers, cameras and other electronics differently whether they are used primarily for business or personal reasons. Business-related equipment may need additional coverage.

Whether you are a freelance graphic designer or simply treat electronics as an extension of your personal life, keep an inventory that includes receipts, photographs and serial numbers not only of the computers and cameras but accessories, even seemingly small ones such as USB cables and external hard drives. The smaller pieces may not seem significant, but the cost can add up quickly. An up-to-date inventory can help you determine how much coverage you need and makes the claims process smoother should the worst happens.

Read your policy. Ask your broker what your policy covers and what it doesn’t. Fill out our quote request form or give us a call at the number above to learn more about how we can help you protect your electronics.

Jeff Schneider, President, Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc.

Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc. is a family run insurance brokerage serving New Yorkers for over 50 years. We specialize in the insurance needs for those living in the city and provide a full range of insurance products designed specifically for the city.
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