Life isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes our recently purchased smartphones can end up faulty, damaged or stolen – it’s a part of life. This is why smartphone insurance is important, especially if you don’t plan on spending hundreds of pounds replacing that iPhone which decided to head screen first into the concrete.
But as is the case with any monthly expenditure, there are plenty of questions that are worth asking. Do I need phone insurance? How much should I spend on phone insurance? What does smartphone insurance cover?
Here’s our smartphone insurance guide to help you out…
For those of you not entirely sure about the concept, mobile phone insurance is basically a way of guaranteeing that if your phone is broken, lost or stolen that you’ll get a replacement device (or cash value of the handset).
To get this kind of service, you’ll pay a monthly cost (mobile insurance premium) to your insurer over the course of the deal, and then if you make a claim you may need to pay an excess as well – a lump sum cost of making a claim.
There are a number of companies that can insure your mobile phone, with networks, retailers and purpose built providers all on offer. This means that you should compare mobile phone insurers more than you might have thought if you want to find the best deal.
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Depending on who your mobile phone insurer is and which handset you’re covering, you’ll obviously be paying out varying amounts of cash. However, there’s still a fairly simple range of prices you should be looking at.
For the latest iPhone 6s insurance, you should expect to pay between £7-£15 per month to cover the device from loss, damage and theft. On top of this, an excess will likely be set at around the £50 mark, if you want this lowered you’ll likely have to deal with a higher monthly outgoing.
Many smartphone insurers help you out by offering bundle deals, so if you plan on insuring multiple items you might end up getting a good deal by making a saving.
Depending on the cover, you can get numerous different types of cover for your mobile phone. The most common areas that are covered include damage and theft – although some insurers may list theft as an optional extra.
Loss is also included in most mobile insurance plans, but can also be an extra in some policies. On top of this, there’s also a limit that can be put in place that allows you to make only a couple of claims through loss each year. This should be more than enough for most people, but for the very forgetful it could be an issue.
Other issues can come with water damage, with some insurers not covering this kind of problem. However, other policies can include the water cover as well, so it pays to do your homework if this is a kind of damage you need protecting from.
On top of all of this, many insurers won’t take a claim within the opening period of a policy, stopping sneaky customers who have lost their phone before taking out their insurance from claiming. Also, older handsets can also be harder to claim for faults or damage, with some companies not covering devices over 18 months old.
Whilst mobile phone insurers aren’t exactly ‘sneaky’, there are some common ways that they can avoid making pay-outs.
We touched on this previously. Whilst some insurers cover damage caused by water or other liquids, others don’t, so you’re always best off double checking with individual insurers before taking out a policy. Of course if you have a waterproof phone this is less of an issue.
If you lose your phone because you thought it would be a good idea to throw it out of your window, it’s unlikely that any insurer will cover you. This is because when you agree to a policy you also promise to take decent care of your device throughout the process.
Like ‘lack of care’, if you leave your phone on a park bench and somebody steals it, you probably won’t get a claim for theft covered. This is because you haven’t protected your phone efficiently, and many insurers need your phone to be stolen under threat for you to be covered. Pickpocketing is more likely to be covered despite the lack of threat, but is still a possible ‘get-out’ for insurers.
The moment you’ve lost your phone or had it stolen, you should contact your insurer. If not you can risk losing the phone and your claim – as some insurers have a 12 or 24 hour claim period after loss, theft or damage. So instead of hunting down a new plan or SIM only deal after losing your device, report it first.
Got an old mobile phone you need to get rid of? Maybe you should recycle it.
Mobile phones are no longer an extra accessory for most of us, with their importance now paramount for day to day lives – especially when business is involved. So, if you happen to have your phone stolen, lost or damaged, getting it back in quick-fast time is of real importance.
Unfortunately, not every insurer runs on the same schedule, with plenty of variance between companies that can be a pain to navigate. This is also affected by the manner of the claim, with new phones often sent out faster than phones which are being repaired.
Typically, most providers promise to have a phone back in your pocket within a week, regardless of the type of claim. However, some can take longer or shorter periods of time, depending on the cover you pay for.
Some insurers offer a fast paced replacement service than can get you a phone sorted with next day delivery, whilst others are slower paced, but can save you money. Each policy will have these details included when you pay for the deal, so a little bit of research should answer your questions.
Over the long run, mobile phone insurance is best off invested in. In may cost you a couple of extra pounds from your pay packet each month, but it will save you countless pounds if you do happen to lose the phone without it being covered.
Also, there’s peace of mind to be had thanks to the constant coverage which can’t be provided in any other way – ensuring that even if the phone is to befall an untimely fate that you can get it fixed or replaces in no time.
Written by Luke Hatfield