Secure Your Tech Gear

What to Do When You Lose Your Tech Gear

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Insurance Assurance

Technology can be expensive. Fortunately, many homeowner's and renter's insurance policies cover lost, stolen, or damaged electronics. But cutting through the red tape and getting full value for your lost equipment takes some effort. Here's what you need to know.

First, be sure to keep records of all of your expensive purchases. Whether it's a shiny new laptop or a portable projector, any device whose value exceeds your insurance deductible is worth recording on your insurance policy.

At a minimum, keep your original purchase receipt in a safe place, and record the product's serial number along with it. You might want to take a photo of the device, too, and keep that picture with the receipt and the serial number. That way, even if you can't locate exact model information later on for some reason, you'll have a clear record of what it is you've lost.

For an industry that constantly deals with unforeseen events, insurance companies hate surprises. So call your insurance agent and arrange to add your devices to your policy. Giving the insurance company information about the date of purchase and the amount paid, as well as the model and serial numbers, will streamline the process of getting reimbursed if the device goes the way of the laundry sock.

If your equipment gets lost or stolen, you'll have to do some legwork before the insurance company will cut you a check. In particular, you may need to file a police report about your loss and provide a copy of that report to the insurance company. Though the police are unlikely to find your laptop (or even care that it is gone), the paperwork will demonstrate to your insurance carrier that you've tried to recover it. If you don't present it up front, your agent will probably contact you weeks after you file your claim to ask for one--and that will mean a longer delay before you get your money.

Do the work early, and you'll take a lot of the hassle out of the process of obtaining reimbursement for a stolen gadget.

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