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  Computer insurance  
Almost by definition, laptop PCs are at greater risk of being damaged than ordinary desktop PCs. After all, your desktop PC just sits there month after month, never moving from its cosy spot in your office or back bedroom. 


Laptops, however, are constantly on the move, being carried from room to room at home or even from continent to continent if you are a business traveller.  And, of course, there is the classic laptop disaster scenario of having someone trip over the power cable and send the machine crashing to the floor.


Repairing a broken laptop is expensive - sometimes so expensive that you're probably better off just buying a completely new one (especially if your laptop is more than a couple or three years old, as the latest models will provide greater performance and additional features).  There are many companies offering laptop repairs, but it is never cheap due to the high cost of parts and the complex labour involved for anything but the most basic repairs.  


The best way to save money here is to make sure that the laptop is properly insured.  This can be a tricky area.  If the laptop is intended purely for non-commercial use - that is, for home users who just want to surf the net, play games, or do a bit of video editing - you may find that the laptop is covered by your existing home contents insurance policy.  


Remember, though, that laptops are expensive and some insurance policies impose something known as an 'individual item limit'.  This is the maximum amount that they will pay to replace expensive individual items, such as jewellery or laptop computers.  If the laptop cost 1,500 and the policy's individual item limit is f1,000, then you'll be 500 out of pocket.  You should therefore contact your insurance company to find out if your policy provides adequate cover for expensive electronic items such as your laptop.  


If not, or you want specific types of cover, then you will need to find a separate policy.  For example, at www.laptopguard.co.uk insuring a 2,000 laptop will cost you 99 for a year's UK cover, or 129 for worldwide cover.  Similarly, www.burnett.co.uk charges 100 a year with no excess for worldwide cover.  But be sure to check the small print: Burnett's policy, for example, only insures against theft 'accompanied by forcible and violent entry', so forgetting your laptop in a taxi or train is not covered.


If the laptop is used for work, you may find that it is not covered by your ordinary household insurance policy.  This is a particularly important issue for home workers, as damaging your laptop can completely disrupt your work schedule, causing additional financial losses on top of the basic cost of the laptop.  There are insurance companies, such as Icon Insurance (www.icon-insurance.com), that specialise in insurance policies for home workers and small businesses, and their policies can include additional cover for 'increased cost of work' or loss of fees due to damage to your laptop or other home office equipment.


The above was thought to be accurate at the time of writing, but any statements must be confirmed before being relied upon.