Posted : 01/01/2011
If your company has insured the laptop, the company's policy will pay out. However, ask your boss how to handle the situation – it's possible that your company did not insure the laptop. If that's the case, the company will need to decide if it wants to dip into its own coffers to replace it.
The rules would be different if you were the employer. For example, small business owners and self-employed contractors or freelancers should not assume their home insurance policy necessarily would cover the cost of replacing a stolen laptop or other item used for business purposes.
Typically, a home insurance policy only covers business equipment up to $2,500 if it's in your home and just $250 if it's off the premises, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). So, if you are on a business trip and your $700 laptop is stolen from your rental car, you may be responsible for at least $450 of the replacement cost.
To avoid such a mishap, talk to your insurance agent about adding a rider to your home insurance policy that covers stolen business property. There are restrictions on such riders, but if you qualify, the rider may cost less than $20 annually and could double your business-item coverage, according to III.
In-home business policies and business owner policies also are available. Talk to your insurance agent about which option is best for you.
For more information, see "Home insurance: How much is your stuff worth?"
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