A Boston businesswoman realized too late that neither her homeowner's policy nor her automobile coverage would offer much help when her $2,000 laptopwas stolen from her car. She was awarded a settlement of only $250. She also found out that her homeowner's policy covers only $2,500 of home businessproperty, which is typical. Until recently, adequate protection for a home office generally meant the purchase of a more costly commercial policy.

See if your insurance company offers additional coverage for your home office equipment. One benchmark: Utica National Insurance Group,in Utica, N.Y. (800-274-1914) offers a rider to its homeowner's or renter's insurance that coversbusiness computer equipment in the home for up to $25,000, at a premium of $5 per $1,000. The policy is all-risk, replacement-cost, and includes a paymentof up to $1,000 for expenses incurred in re-creating lost data. The policy will also pay $2,500 for equipment stolen off premises, which would have helpedthe aggrieved businesswoman, who had to shell out her own money to replace her laptop.