New PC Loss Survey Shows Accident Claims Outpace Thefts

March 18, 2003

Personal computer owners who filed loss claims in 2002 were nearly five times more likely to have experienced accidental damage than theft, according to a survey released by Safeware, The Insurance Agency Inc.

Accidental damage accounted for 72 percent of PC loss claims in 2002 in the company’s annual loss survey, versus 59 percent in 2001. Losses due to theft dropped to 15 percent of total claims from 25 percent in 2001.

Safeware President Donald F. Strejeck attributed the 13 percentage-point increase in accidental damage claims to the popularity of notebook PCs among students and business professionals.

Thefts accounted for 27 percent of PC claims in 2000. Claims for power surge and lightning represented only 1 percent each of total claims, down from 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively, in 2001.

Based on its claims experience, Safeware estimated that PC owners in the United States filed over 4.1 million loss claims in 2002, including nearly 3 million claims for accidental damage and 620,000 claims for thefts.

The company’s analysis is projected from actual reported claims by the company’s national client base. Due to a systems change in 2002, the company was unable to separate notebook PC claims from desktop PC claims. However, the majority of Safeware’s insureds are laptop and notebook PC owners.

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