With top end smartphone’s now costing over £500, the prospect of breaking or losing one is enough to make you break out in a cold sweat – especially if you have only recently upgraded.
If you have a long time to run on your current contract, it can be a very costly struggle to replace a smartphone – and considering recent industry statistics that a phone is stolen, damaged or lost every four seconds in the UK, it’s an increasingly common problem.
The obvious form of protecting yourself against losing a smartphone is to take out a phone or gadget insurance policy, but before you rush to your search engine to find the best deal it’s important to check if your smart phone is already insured.
Almost all home insurance policies include at least a basic level of cover for smartphones, and many ‘package bank accounts’ include perks like mobile phone insurance.
Therefore a specific policy just for your smartphone may not be the most sensible course of action, so before you take out smartphone cover use the tips below to check if your phone is already insured.
This would be the best place to start, some contracts include cover for your phone but can have limitations on the value and conditions on what the insurance will pay out on. Normally you would have been told about insurance in the contract as its a separate entity to the line rental, but as we have seen before this doesn’t always happen.
Apple has its own insurance policy called Apple Care+, which provides cover for accidents, although not if you lose your phone or are a victim of theft.
Apple Care+ offers cover for any iPhone, iPad, iPod or Apple Watch, and includes cover for a maximum of two accidental damage claims per year
The Apple insurance policy costs between £89 – £119 depending on the value of your device. However, some Apple users who have used their upgrade scheme could find that they are already on the Apple Care+ scheme – so it’s always worth double-checking.
Most home insurance policies will cover your phone, and other devices like laptops and tablets, while they are in the home, but it is important to check the details of your policy to see if there are any exclusions or limits on the value of the contents.
If your phone is stolen from your home then it is highly likely that your home insurance will cover it as long as there are no exclusions, however accidental damage is not quite as clear-cut. According to recent research 15% of policies were found to pay out for repair or replacement of a mobile phone, while 66% include the option to extend your policy to cover accident damage of a smartphone.
There are some insurers who will simply exclude damage to smartphones from their home insurance policies, so as always it is worth reading through all the policy small-print or picking up the phone to your insurer/broker who will be able to clarify this.
If your phone is lost, stolen or damaged while out the house, then you will need to have personal possessions cover as an extension.
This option typically protects things like smartphones, tablets and laptops – as well as other valuables like jewelry and clothes – and is not too expensive. There are options on this so make sure you have the right limits and if you travel abroad make sure you have specified the territorial limits such as UK, Europe, USA, Rest of the World etc.
Also make sure the single item limit for this section of the policy will cover the replacement value of the item as we have seen people be caught out by this in the past.
It’s worth pointing out here that any claim you make on your home insurance policy will trigger your requirement to pay an excess. The amount of your excess will have been confirmed at the outset of your policy taking effect.
Making a claim on your home insurance is also likely to lead to increased premiums when it comes to renewal, so be careful that you have taken this and the excess into account before making a claim for a broken iPhone screen on your contents policy.
If you have a packaged current account – i.e. one that provides benefits like travel insurance, AA cover, cinema vouchers etc… for a small fee each month – then you might well already have smartphone insurance as part of the deal.
A lot of packaged accounts require you to actually register your handset through their system before the cover is activated – so make sure you check now as you could actually be paying for cover right now that hasn’t been put in place.
Also, some packaged bank accounts may only offer basic smartphone cover like providing refurbished phones to replace your stolen one, or putting limits on the value of phones that qualify for cover.
Always check the small print!
In a nutshell – Yes it is.
While you may be able to get cover via your network provider, home insurance policy or packaged bank account, it’s important to note that this cover can often come with limitations.
A dedicated gadget or smartphone insurance policy may well be the more expensive option – but you will also find they can offer a much higher level of protection.
Smartphone cover can cost anywhere from £5 – £20 per month, and usually offer promises such as fast replacements and repair. There are also added policy benefits like accessories cover, worldwide protection and even reimbursement for any expensive calls made while the phone was stolen.
Another added benefit of a stand-alone gadget insurance policy is that you can find better deals by including all of your gadgets and devices. Most people or households now have multiple smartphone’s, tablets, laptops etc… so insuring them all under one policy can bring you added savings.
Also if you are prone to losing or breaking your phone multiple claims on your home insurance could push the premium up to a point where it becomes too costly.