Today we look at some of the fine print surrounding insurance policies when it applies to the IT field. Firstly, what is an IT related insurance claim? Many house & contents insurance policies will cover a range of IT mishaps such as accidental damage and liquid ingress. Accidental damage can occur when you stand on your precious laptop that the kids left lying under a blanket on the floor, or alternately when an expensive desktop gets knocked off its shelf by an inquisitive cat.
Liquid ingress can be the result of an unexpected shower of rain through an open window or simply a glass of wine or a tin of coke knocked over onto a laptop. Many of these types of mishaps can lead to extensive computer problems which necessitate the replacement of the device. Although there will be an insurance excess involved, it is surprising how many home contents policies will cover the above mishaps to some degree.
The other common PC mishap is PCB burnout due to electrical surge. The majority of these are from lightning strikes, however a car hitting a power pole or an Ergon transformer blowing up lead to the same result. Ergon themselves, will sometimes cover certain costs related to the above problems but so will many insurance policies.
The next thing to look at is what costs will get covered. The first expense is that of getting a repairer to do up a proper report that you can present to your insurance company. We have done hundreds of these and charge according to their complexity. In the very least we document model numbers, serial numbers and the extend of the damage. We also like to include previous PC specs and when available (cost) as well as offering a suggested replacement model and price.
The cost of this report is borne by your insurance company. When you have an IT mishap there are often other initially unforeseen costs. If a replacement PC is needed there is often the cost of data recovery (getting all important user data off the old PC) as well as the cost of data restitution (correctly placing it back onto the new device). Some insurance policies cover these costs, and some don’t.
Next to consider is the possible cost of on-site delivery / setup of the PC. Again, this can be a very valid expense – especially if you have needed to have a tech on-site previously to correctly setup the PC on your network. Some policies cover this, and some don’t.
Finally, in the case of a PC replacement there is often the cost of OEM software titles such as Microsoft Office. Many people run OEM Office installs such as Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 or 2016 which costs $299. This licence dies with the death of the old PC – it cannot be reused on a new PC and hence it can be another valid cost in a like-for-like PC replacement scenario.
Consumers and businesses alike need to be cautious as we have seen a constant tightening up of insurance companies’ willingness to pay out a reasonable amount. In particular we often see the customer being offered a ‘cheap and nasty’ replacement PC from Brisbane based chain store – even when their previous device was an expensive business grade or corporate grade device. It is this area in particular where we specialise in helping to get a fair result.
We have more information available via our website but in the main, IT insurance claims can be way more complex that what is initially considered. Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.
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