I am looking at travel insurance for a longish trip at the start of next year. Ideally I would like to take my macbook air along with me but looking at World Nomads travel insurance, they only let you add 'high value' items up to Â£400 per item. The laptop cost me about Â£1200 6 months ago.
Is there a recommended policy/company that will allow you to cover these higher value items?
I was faced with the same predicament almost a year ago, also with a new Macbook Air, and I went with the insurance offered by STA Travel. I never had to file a claim, so I can't say if they perform well or not in the case of a problem, but the policy I bought covered me up to US $2000 for lost/stolen baggage, including any electronics, jewelry, even cash and passport replacement. I'm American, not sure if it's available to other nationalities or not.
Keep in mind that you'd need the receipt for your computer purchase and a signed police report to make a claim for a lost computer.
Re: Keeping a receipt.... Take photos of receipts for electronics, plus one of your pack and contents, and email them to myself. That keeps them handy if you DO need to make a claim while on the road.
Or consider wearing the risk? What is the cost of extra insurance compared to the cost difference between the Nomads payout and replacement cost - can you wear that difference if the worst case happens? Your capacity for risk may be determined by the type of accom that you will be choosing. Dorms and cheap budget accom options are perhaps a bit riskier than 'flashpacker' accom.
Your question about taking a laptop or not? Depends on what you see yourself using it for. I take mine for several reasons: photo backup, blog writing, travel research and bookings, etc. Having a laptop for online access as you can do it when it suits (as opposed to using an internet cafe often have slow connections, crappy equipment and full of mosquitoes!). Also, your laptop is more secure for online banking, etc.
For me, the cost of the insurance (think I paid a little over US $500 for 7 months of insurance, including full health coverage) was worth it for the potential $2000 pay back in case I lost my bag, which also contains a couple cameras, some cash, etc. $2000 wouldn't have covered everything, but it would softened the blow considerably. And actually, world nomads was only slightly cheaper but doesn't cover any of those valuables. My feeling is that since you need insurance anyway, might as well find a policy that suits your specific needs. However, adding an extra policy or addition just for the computer will probably up the price considerably.
Like Lizzy says, up to you on bringing the lap top or not, but a Macbook Air isn't too heavy. It's light enough that it hasn't been a huge deal for me to stick it in my camera bag and carry it around if I don't feel my accommodation is secure enough to leave it there. But it's small enough to usually fit in lock boxes when they're available. I've been very impressed with the 11 inch Air both in terms of general performance and mobility.
Just to be clear on my original comments, I would never suggest foregoing insurance . I was only referring to the additional insurance cover that you mentioned in order to get the FULL cost of your laptop covered.
Just to pipe in late on this -- as we do specifically recommend World Nomads. Whenever I travel I use them, but the prime reason I get insurance is for medical care/air-evac purposes.
I don't purchase extra cover for pricey stuff I lug around (generally a MacBook Pro, an iPhone, an iPad and a Nikon D90) partly because I couldn't be asked to fill in the extra details (you need receipt numbers etc), but also because when I'm buying insurance, I'm primarily doing so in case the crappy plane crashes (so my family get a cash bonus!) or if I have a motorbike accident and need air evac (I ride bikes a lot).
While I realise this isn't the criteria for everyone, this is what it is for me/us. Unfortunately we've had a number of friends killed in plane crashes and maimed in bike accidents, so that is what informs our decisions -- you can always buy another MacBook
Realise I'm not really answering your question here -- assume you're in the UK -- very very competitive travel insurance market there -- shot around and you'll probably find someone who'll cover what you need ... or just do what I do -- hold onto it really tight!