How Does Mobile Phone Insurance Work?


author image - cai

By Cai Bradley

on Tuesday 9 July 2019


Smashed mobile phone being picked up off the floor

Smartphones are coming an increasingly essential part of our daily lives – whether you use it for work-related purposes, for entertainment, for general browsing, or to book a holiday.

What we can do with our mobile phones is amazing, so much so, that it’s becoming pretty difficult to live without one in the modern world.

But what would you do if your mobile phone was damaged, stolen or lost? To protect one of your most prized possessions, we believe specialist mobile phone insurance is certainly worth considering – and here’s why…

What is mobile phone insurance?

Mobile phone insurance is a specialist policy that covers the cost of replacing or repairing damages to your mobile, whether it’s lost, stolen or broken.

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Taking out this type of cover gives you peace of mind knowing that you will not need to fork out hundreds of pounds on a new phone should anything happen to your existing device, and you could receive a replacement within a matter of days.

What does mobile phone insurance cover?

The best mobile phone insurance policies will cover:

  • Damage (both malicious and accidental)

  • Accidental loss

  • Theft

  • Mechanical and technical breakdown

  • Water damage

  • Cracked or smashed screens

  • Damaged buttons and headphone sockets

Each policy differs in terms of what exactly it does and does not cover, with some offering less protection and some offering more.

Interestingly, some new policies are now offering services where a policyholder is able to claim back the cost of music, films or apps on your device should your phone need replacing.

Stolen mobile used without consent

If your phone is stolen or lost and is then used without your consent, it’s still possible you’ll receive a bill asking you to pay for that unauthorised usage.

However, mobile phone insurance companies will often pay out up to £2,000 to cover such cases, so it’s always worth contacting your provider if you should find yourself in a similar situation.

Best way to insure your mobile phone

There are a few ways to insure your mobile phone, but most people tend to find cover through their network provider or by using comparison websites to find the most affordable and relevant insurance.

Purchasing mobile phone insurance through your provider often means you’ll get cover immediately and your phone will be replaced rapidly if it should be lost, damaged or stolen. However, doing so will lead to higher premiums.

Using comparison sites and taking mobile phone cover out with a specialist insurer will mean that you get a far cheaper deal, but you may have to wait longer for your replacement phone to arrive should you ever need it.

Compare mobile phone insurance

Comparing providers and policies is the best way to find the cheapest mobile phone insurance that meets your needs. Doing so allows you to see what each provider is offering side-by-side, enabling you to quickly determine which cover is the best option for you.

From Protect My Bubble to Nationwide, you should get quotes from as many providers as possible and push them to give you the cheapest deal.

Do I need mobile phone insurance?

Before taking out mobile cover, you should consider both the risk of you losing or damaging the phone, and whether or not you would be able to afford a replacement without insurance in place.

If you’re unlikely to lose or break your mobile phone, and/or you’re able to afford a replacement without insurance, you may not need full specialist insurance.

But with the cost of monthly phone contracts on the rise and the mobiles themselves becoming increasingly more fragile, we feel that the majority of mobile phone users in the UK would benefit from purchasing insurance.

When WON’T the insurer pay out a claim?

There are some circumstances under which mobile phone insurers will not pay out a claim – including the following:

  • Policyholders under 18

  • General wear and tear

  • Previously owned or second hand phones

  • Carelessness causing damage or loss

  • Not reporting the theft to police

  • Theft while the device is left unattended

You may also find that providers will refuse to pay out if you wait a sustained period of time before making a claim – for example, if your phone is stolen but you don’t begin the claims process until six months later.

The timescale regarding claims differs with each provider, so contact your insurance company as soon as possible if you need to make a claim, in order to avoid the risk of having it rejected.

Family mobile phone insurance

If you want to cover all your family’s devices on the same policy, Nationwide FlexPlus phone insurance now allows you to do so for just £13 per month.

There are also multi-phone insurance policies available with Barclays Tech Pack, Halifax Ultimate Reward and other banks, which often combine current accounts with insurance cover deals.

The cost of mobile phone insurance

The average monthly cost of mobile phone insurance ranges between £2 and £15, depending on the level of cover you choose, your phone’s model and age, as well as your claims history (i.e. any previous mobile phone claims that you’ve made).

Excess is often less than most other insurance types, typically around the £45-50 mark, and the price will inevitably drop if you get a no claims bonus.

Are there other options to protect your phone?

Specialist phone insurance is certainly the most extensive and safest way of protecting your device, but there are other ways of doing so.

You could rely on a warranty, or even home contents insurance that includes a personal possessions policy.

Alternatively, you could consider gadget or multi-gadget insurance, which is a far more flexible type of cover that allows you to insure a range of electronics and tech equipment all under one policy.

The best mobile phone insurance

To find the best mobile phone insurance policy for you, it’s important that you shop around before coming to a decision.

You’ll be tempted by the immediate offer presented by your network provider at the time of purchasing the phone, but you should get a quote from them and then compare that price with others using free online comparison tools.

Regardless of how you choose to get mobile phone insurance, or even gadget insurance, it’s a decision that you’re unlikely to regret – especially if you’re one of many people prone to losing, breaking, smashing, or dropping their mobile each day.

Having the right cover in-place is a great form of reassurance, knowing that your valuable device is protected, but it could also help you out financially when the time comes to repair or replace your mobile!


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