We use computers and other electronic devices throughout the day, and with this heavy usage, the chances of accidentally damaging them are high.
Even though the design of many devices has become much more rugged, many computers will stop working due to damage caused by accidents. The statistics show that the three main causes of damaged and/or broken laptops are: being dropped while carried (72%), liquid spills (66%), and falling off a desk or table (55%).
Many retailers offer additional accidental damage coverage when a new or refurbished computer is purchased. Unless the price is unrealistically high for the protection plan, it is generally a good idea to add this protection. Most individuals do not change their devices on an annual basis but rather keep them for several years, so having a computer accident protection plan is a good thing to cover the most common issues that pop up.
3 Tips For Selecting an Accidental Protection Plan
- Not all plans are created equal, so select a store that offers great plans
Look for plans that not only include accidental coverage, but also extend the general warranty of the device (malfunction, wear and tear). This will make for very reasonable, predictable computing cost for years ahead.
For example, calculated over the duration of a policy of three years, a computer that initially was costing around $1,250.00 can have coverage for as reasonable a $7.50 monthly.
- Choose a computer store with great reputation of product quality
Why is this important? Accident protection plans are often based on the repair rates of the store. If a store has high repair rates, the accidental insurance policy will be higher than in a place that has high quality standards.
Typically computer stores do not receive financial benefits from offering protection plans. Protection plans are offered as an additional level of service to the client.
- Great customer service
Anytime when your computer is down it will be a hassle to deal with getting it fixed. Choose a plan where you can file a claim 24/7. Some plans will have the original computer store where you bought the product from to assess and fix the computer. This can shorten the timeframe that the computer is offline, as the computer store might have special configuration ordered at the time of purchase
Things You Can Do To Avoid Computer Damage
Accidents happen – but by taking the following steps, you might be able to avoid or reduce the impact.
- Back-up your data regularly. It is one thing to lose a computer, but losing your data will be even worse. Which is why creating backup files for projects, images, etc. is prudent.
- Know your password. If a computer gets damaged and you only store this information on your computer you can suddenly be looked out, not able to retrieve your data. This happens more often than one would expect.
- Pet-proof your device. Working from home comes with its particular challenges: think pets. One of the most crucial tips is to avoid any open beverages (cans, mugs, etc). Choose closable beverage containers as even a small spill is enough to cause liquid damage to your device.
- Encase them in a protective casing. Macs4U ships every laptop with a hard-shell case. We have found that damage to computers from accidental falls is greatly reduced by having a case around the computer. The case will act as a “buffer” and give an extra level of protection.
- Invest in a keyboard cover. Keyboard covers can protect laptops from accidental liquid spills, especially in an environment where exposure to liquid is more likely like travel, in a dormitory, or in a coffee shop.
Common questions and tips about accident protection
- Does the standard warranty cover accidental damage?
Almost exclusively, accidental damage is not covered by a standard warranty.
- Do I have coverage for accidental damage through my homeowners insurance?
As a computer is part of your belongings, most policies will have your computer or other electronic devices covered (check with your insurance agent though on your specific policy).
The problem however is the question of deductible. If you have a higher deductible (which most policies have), the deductible will be higher than the price of a computer ☹.
Tip - Many policies allow you to have a ‘scheduled item’ on your policy (like for a piece of jewelry or anything else of greater value). You will have to pay additionally for this (pennies on the dollar) but a scheduled item will either reduce the amount of the deductible or none at all.
- Is my computer covered by my credit card’s device insurance policy?
Many credit cards offer a protection plan for a few weeks and some up to a year for purchases made on that card. If a computer was damaged, check with your card issuer – you might be in luck.
- Why are computer repairs so expensive, they used to be cheaper?
Within the last 10 years, most computer manufacturers have changed their internal design from individual part assemblies, to embedded (soldered) storage and memory into the logic board. Technically a great way to improve performance, but more expensive to fix as you now need to change out the entire circuit board should a damage occur. So newer computers are more expensive to fix.