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What is mobile phone insurance?

Mobile phones are becoming ever more sophisticated and valuable, and mobile phone insurance protects you if your phone is lost, stolen or damaged. 

Depending on the policy, you may be covered if your phone breaks down, you drop it, smash the screen or it is lost or stolen.

Some mobile phone insurance policies will protect against the cost of repair if your phone stops working after the first year, or after the manufacturer's warranty period runs out.

In return for a monthly premium, mobile phone insurance covers you if your handset breaks, is lost, or is stolen. The insurance will cover the cost of repairs or a replacement phone of the same type within a couple of days.

Commonly, mobile phone contracts for more costly devices run for two years, and under the terms of the contract you will still need to keep paying, even if you no longer have the phone.

How does it work?

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Do I need mobile phone insurance?

Taking out mobile phone insurance is a good idea if you have a very valuable mobile phone, or if you're tied into a long contract with a provider. That's because even if your phone is lost or broken, you will have to continue paying your monthly instalments as set out in the contract. The more expensive your mobile phone, the more you will have to pay for insurance.

Think about how much you use your mobile phone, and how you would cope if it stopped working or was stolen.

If you are now working from home and do not take out your phone much from the house, then you may have sufficient cover under your Home contents insurance cover. However, it is best to check exactly what is covered.

An alternative to standalone mobile phone insurance cover is Gadget Insurance, which covers electronic devices in your home such as phone, laptops, gaming consoles, tablets and wearable technology.

Mobile phone insurance can ensure that your phone is replaced quickly, so that you're not paying for data and texts which you cannot use.

Your policy features could cover:

  • Theft

  • Loss

  • Accidental damage

  • Liquid damage

  • Cracked screen

  • Unauthorised calls up to £10,000

  • Accessories up to £175

  • Mechanical breakdown

  • Worldwide cover

How do I make a mobile phone insurance claim?

You'll need to notify your insurer as soon as possible after your phone is damaged, lost or stolen. Be aware that in the case of a loss or theft you will likely have to file a police report in the location the phone was lost or stolen and provide the report number before your insurer will consider a claim.

If this occurred abroad you will still need to obtain this report from the local authorities. This can be difficult, time-consuming and frustrating depending on where you are abroad and if there are language difficulties. Allow plenty of time and patience to obtain this, and if it is in a foreign language you may need to have this translated back into English before the insurer will accept it.

What does mobile phone insurance not cover?

Not everything is covered by phone insurance. Your mobile insurance policy document and IPID, Insurance Product Information Document will list the exclusions and conditions you aren't likely to be covered for:

  • Theft due to negligence

  • Intentional damage

  • Manufacturer's defects (this may be covered by your phone manufacturer’s warranty)

  • Dents and scratches (everyday wear and tear)

  • Lost SIM cards

  • Older phones (there are insurers covering phones up to 36 months old, but usually insurance covers phones up to 6-12 months old).

Make your claim straight away

Avoid the temptation to wait until you return home to file a report for convenience. If your insurer discovers you have been untruthful they will deny the claim instantly.

You should also be completely truthful in your insurance claim. Some insurers will only allow you to make one claim per loss/theft.

So if you claim the phone was lost and the insure denies the claim, perhaps because they considered you to be careless in the way it was lost, you can't then change this to a theft in hopes the claim will be approved and paid out.

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