Use it, don't lose it: Get insurance for your computer

crashed computer screenThe storm season is rapidly approaching for my part of the country, and that got me thinking. Because our locality seems to be rather prone to lightening strikes, we had better make sure we have proper insurance coverage on our computers.

I've already had one modem fried by lightening. Luckily enough the manufacturer's warranty covered that one occurrence. But now, we have two rather expensive computers which are each used for generating income. You can bet that I'll be making sure they're protected by proper insurance before storm season hits.

Generally, homeowner or renter's insurance will provide adequate coverage for the average personal computer in the event of damage or theft. However, it's a good idea to check to see if the policy covers actual value or replacement value. Computers depreciate very quickly once we put them into service. In my own case, I'll gladly pay the modest up-front charge for a policy which provides replacement of my machine at current market prices for new equipment, if something unsavory should happen.

Give your insurance agent a call to schedule an insurance checkup. It's a good idea to review your coverage every couple of years anyway. When you get to that appointment, make it a point to get a clear explanation of your coverage extents and values. I recommend paying particular attention to coverage provided for collections, electronics, guns and of course your computers.

One final note: You can't buy insurance coverage for those family videos and pictures on your computer, so back those up onto a CD every month or so and keep well identified copies in a safe deposit box or with trusted family members. It may seem like an inconvenience at the time, but if tragedy strikes and you lose everything, those family memories are often the one thing that most people wish they had invested a little extra effort to protect.
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