If you've just spent hundreds of pounds on a new phone, it's a good idea to get insurance.
This will mean you're covered it it's lost or stolen, or you drop it in the bath.
But where do you get insurance from? How do the options differ? And do you even need it if you have home insurance?
Read on and find out.
Where can I sign up for phone insurance?
You have four main options when it comes to buying mobile insurance.
You can buy it from your network, or from a dedicated insurance company. Alternatively, you can get it with your bank account, or through your home insurance.
Let's take a look at these one by one.
From your phone network
This is usually one of the pricier options.
However, instead of giving you a cash payout, most policies offered by networks will replace your phone in just a day or two, so it's worth considering if you can't stand to be without a phone for long.
EE's Full Cover offers a replacement handset the next day, and nine out of 10 claims don't require any paperwork.
It also offers Damage Cover if you just want to protect against cracks, smashes and spills.
O2 offers a range of insurance options, with prices ranging from £3 a month to £12.50.
Three calls its insurance offering Three Rescue, and the price varies depending on which handset you have. Insuring an iPhone 6S, for example, will cost you £12.50 a month, while an LG G4 is £10.50 a month.
Vodafone offers two tiers of insurance: loss, theft and accidental damage costs £12 a month for tier one and £8 a month for tier two. Opt for accidental damage and you'll pay £7 a month for tier one (which covers cheaper phones) and £5 a month for tier two (for more costly handsets).
As with all insurance policies, make sure you read the small print so you know exactly what's covered before you sign up.
From a dedicated insurance company
This is usually cheaper than buying it from a mobile network, but prices vary depending on what kind of cover is offered.
Some policies let you insure a certain monetary value of gadgets, such as laptops, phones and tablets, for a set fee every month. So you could insure all your personal tech for less than a mobile network would charge for just your smartphone.
Some of these policies also cover items belonging to other members of your family, as long as they live at the same address as you.
Or you can go for a dedicated phone insurance policy. Cover for most phones from Protect your Bubble will set you back on average £6.99 per month.
Find out more with our dedicated guide to mobile phone insurance.
Think you might need gadget insurance? Get up to speed with our guide.
From your bank
Some current accounts include mobile phone insurance, though it's usually the ones you have to pay for.
For example, TSB's Silver Added Value Account comes with AXA travel insurance, AA breakdown cover and mobile phone insurance, among other benefits. It costs £9.95 a month.
Yorkshire Bank's Signature Current Account has similar benefits and costs £13.50 a month.
These are about equal to what you'd pay for mobile insurance from a network, so are worth considering if you need a new bank account.
Through your home insurance
But wait! You might not need to pay extra for mobile insurance at all. That's because it might actually be covered by your home insurance.
Standard policies only cover you if your phone is stolen from inside your home, but more comprehensive ones also cover damage, theft or loss when you're out and about.
However, the excess on home insurance policies can be the most expensive. So sometimes it's worth buying a new phone rather than losing your no-claims bonus.
If something goes wrong with your phone, you might be covered by the warranty.
However, the warranty only cover repairs for issues that aren't your fault. So if you drop your phone and the screen breaks, you're on your own.
So what is covered? In the main, it covers problems with the phone, like it refusing to turn on or continuously crashing, will be covered. However, it's vital to note that you will invalidate the policy if you've unlocked the phone or installed unofficial versions of your handset's operating system.
Most phone companies' warranties last 12 months, but some are two years. You're also covered under the Consumer Rights Act, which states that the phone must be of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose.
If you do have a problem, it's important to know who your argument is with. If you bought your phone on contact, you'll need to claim against the service provider (i.e. the mobile network). If you bought your phone outright and without a contact (i.e. SIM free), then the retailer is responsible for dealing with your complaint.
Look at your circumstances
These are just guidelines. Your best option will depend on your circumstances.
If your phone is already old and in bad repair, or you bought a cheap handset just for calls and texts, it might not be worth insuring it.
Instead, you might be better off putting some cash aside for a new phone fund should the unthinkable happen.
Similarly, cheap insurance might not be worth it if it doesn't cover all eventualities.
Think about the risks, how much your phone is worth and how badly you'll suffer if you have to go a few days without it. And always read the small print so you know exactly what you're buying!
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