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Computer claims jump as laptops gain favor

If you've dropped your laptop lately, or had a computer stolen from your home or workplace, you're not alone. 831,000 personal computers were lost or damaged in 2000, according to computer insurer Safeware of Columbus, Ohio.

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Ninety-five percent of those computers were laptops. "The number of laptop computers is on the rise; people are replacing desktop PCs with laptops and dragging them all over," says Safeware President Donald Strejeck. "Accidents are the No. 1 cause of loss. Your average homeowners or business policy excludes this type of loss."

Among the survey's findings:

  • Accidents — such as dropping a computer — account for 58 percent of all notebook-related claims. The next highest category for loss is theft, accounting for 28 percent of claims.
  • Power surges, lightning, water, and other problems comprise the remaining 14 percent of notebook computer claims.
  • Among desktop PC claims, accidents are the most common, accounting for 34 percent of all claims. Power surges were second-most common, accounting for 31 percent of desktop claims.
Notebook computer losses in 2000
Cause of loss
2000 dollar amount of claims
2000 percent of total
Accident
$793,000
58%
Theft
$387,000
28%
Power surge
$84,000
6%
Lightning
$33,000
2%
Damaged in transit
$12,000
1%
Water/flood damage
$25,000
2%
Other
$24,000
4%
 
Desktop computer losses in 2000
Cause of loss
2000 dollar amount of claims
2000 percent of total
Accident
$38,000
34%
Theft
$16,000
14%
Power surge
$35,000
31%
Lightning
$11,000
11%
Damaged in transit
$3,000
3%
Water/flood damage
$3,000
3%
Other
$7,000
6%

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