What are portable electronics?

Portable electronics are defined in N.D.C.C. § 26.1-26.7-01 as personal, self-contained, easily carried by hand, battery-operated electronic communication, viewing, listening, recording, gaming, computing, or global positioning devices, including cellular or satellite phones, personal global positioning satellite units, portable computers, portable audio listening, video viewing or recording devices, digital cameras, video camcorders, portable gaming systems, docking stations, and accessories for any of these devices with a retail value of less than $5,000.

What is portable electronics insurance?

Portable electronics insurance may provide coverage for the repair or replacement of a portable electronic device due to one or more of the following reasons: loss, theft, inoperability due to mechanical failure, malfunction or damage.

What is a service contract?

A service contract is a contract or agreement valid for a specific time frame that may cover the cost of repair, replacement or maintenance of new or used property if an operational or structural failure is due to a defect in materials, manufacturing or normal wear and tear.

How do I know if I’m buying a service contract or an insurance policy?

There is a fine line between a service contract and an insurance policy. In order for the policy to be an insurance policy there must be an unexpected event for coverage (e.g., house burns down or car is stolen). A service contract takes effect when there is a defect in the materials or a gradual deterioration (e.g., your tablet's touch screen stops working or the software is not working correctly). 

What is covered under a portable electronics insurance policy?

The most common coverage in a portable electronics insurance policy includes direct physical damage, theft, loss, mechanical failure or electrical failure. Direct physical damage is any physical damage to the portable electronic not excluded in the policy. It is important to read through your policy for specific exclusions as each policy is different. Mechanical or electrical failure is an operation failure of your portable electronics due to a faulty part or workmanship or normal wear and tear when operated according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Again, not all of these examples are covered under every policy so read your policy carefully.

How can I get portable electronics insurance?

The most common way these types of policies are purchased is at the same time you buy the device in a store or online.

Can I get coverage for portable electronics under my homeowners or renters policy?

Yes, you can. In fact, all your portable electronics are covered under your homeowners policy under personal property. However, most homeowners policies only cover personal property for specifically named perils such as fire, wind, smoke, vandalism or theft, rather than direct physical damage. So, if you drop your portable electronic and it cracks or if it is run over by a car there is no coverage. Also, the standard deductible is more than the value of most devices. You can also ask your agent about scheduling or adding a rider to your homeowners insurance to cover your portable electronic for direct physical damage.

What are the advantages of scheduling or adding a rider under my homeowners insurance?

Normally, there is no deductible, and you'll be reimbursed the full insured value of the item in the event of a loss, which is not the case when you insure your portable electronic through the business where you bought it.

What are the disadvantages of insuring portable electronics under my homeowners insurance?

Not all companies that insure homes offer riders for portable electronics coverage. If you do have a loss, your rates may go up when you renew the policy. Companies can use claims history to decide whether or not to renew policies.

If my device is broken or lost, do I get enough money to buy a new one?  

Depending on the policy, the insurance company may have the option of providing a substitute that would either be of like kind and quality, new or refurbished, may contain original or non-original manufacturer parts or might be a different brand, model or color. So be aware of what type of policy you are buying.

If I buy portable electronic insurance when I buy my device, can I cancel it?

Yes, if you either schedule your portable electronic under your homeowners or if you buy a policy at the point of sale you have the right to cancel the insurance at any time you wish.