If, like most of us nowadays, your mobile phone has become a permanent extension of your hand, mobile phone insurance is probably a necessity. As many learn the hard way, theft, a cracked screen on your smart phone or accidental water damage from tweeting in the bath can become costly mistakes, but with the right insurance you can be covered for many eventualities. If you’re someone who has had the same phone for years without damage or ever letting it out of your sight then mobile insurance may be an unnecessary expense, so first assess whether or not its worth including this type of cover into your budget. If you find yourself repeatedly buying new phones and dropping yours on pavements then it will probably work out cheaper in the long-term for you to take out insurance.
Before seeking out a policy, check that you’re not already covered without realising it. If you’re paying into a packaged premier current account, your phone may already be covered, just be sure you’ve registered your handset as most banks require this as part of the service. If you’re looking for a new current account as it is and would also be interested in mobile insurance then this is something to consider when shopping around for your bank. Nationwide’s Flexplus account currently offers mobile insurance as part of its package for £10 per month, along with travel insurance and various other perks. If you’ve already bought home insurance cover you may also find that your phone is included in this, however it’s worth checking the limitations and excesses to be sure that separate cover for your phone may not be worthwhile. Most home contents insurance only covers phones that are lost through burglary or fire, and if you claim it will harm your premiums and may lose you your no-claims discount, so it may not be as reliable as separate phone insurance.
If you decide that taking out a new insurance policy is for you, then work out how much cover you need. Policies will usually have a maximum amount of cover offered on them. With some mobile phone deals costing £500+ its important to get the correct level of cover. Before you sign be sure to check the cost of a replacement for your phone without insurance to be sure the policy will cover you completely. Also check that your specific handset is covered by the insurer, particularly if your phone is a shiny new model that may have features not included in the policy’s cover. If speedy replacement is really important to you in the event of losing or breaking your phone, then your best option may be to go with your network’s own cover. These tend to be more expensive options but the network can replace the handset with a brand new one within a day or two so if you can’t live without your phone in the meantime this could be worthwhile. If you’re going with a separate policy from your network, then make sure you check through certain points before handing over your money.
Be clear as to whether the insurer will repair your phone in the event of damage, replace it with a new handset or send you a cash equivalent to organise for yourself. Check the excess on the policy so that you know exactly how much you’d be expected to pay out if you make a claim. If your phone gets stolen and the thief racks up a huge phone bill calling all his mates, you’ll want to know whether or not the insurer will cover the extra costs. This usually requires that you report the phone as missing within 24 hours and file a police report so be aware of what’s expected if you hope to claim back the costs.
Once you’ve picked out your policy, be sure to report any dodgy dealings if you feel your insurer isn’t living up to its promises. If you have claims unfairly rejected or are not receiving the service you expected then don’t just sit back and accept it, make sure you report it to the Financial Conduct Authority as they’re in the midst of cracking down on bad practice amongst mobile insurance companies.