The average UK mobile phone owner spends almost 23 full days per year on their handset.
27% of Adults and 47% of Children now own a smartphone (Defaqto, 2012) and with the cost of a replacement of £500-£600, people are looking to insure against theft, loss and accidental damage. It is therefore no surprise that the market for mobile phone insurance has grown rapidly since 2006. Back then only 3% of mobile phone owners took a policy out, in comparison with over a quarter of people today. This has been in line with the explosion of smart phone sales and increased values of handsets.
When it comes to mobile phone insurance, what is really the best way to cover your phone?
There are four main options:
Coverage through your Mobile Phone Provider
Varies from phone to phone but costs are likely between £10-£15 a month for the insurance. The insurance usually needs to be set up with the provider within a certain number of days from the start of the contract. It might have a number of conditions.
Pros – Can get replacement phone quickly
Con – Expensive / Many conditions and exclusions
Coverage on Home Contents Policy
Most mobile phones will be covered in some way through a home contents policy 9/10 within the home, however additional cover for “away from the home” may have to be taken out. On some there are limitations on replacement cost, which may not be enough to cover a replacement. Any claim may have a large impact on renewal premiums and therefore a standalone policy may be the better option.
Pros – May be automatic cover included
Cons – Claims can be costly to overall policy, slow as not direct from provider and sometime higher excesses than separate mobile phone policies
Coverage through a Bank Package
Again you may be automatically covered through your bank, if you have a package with them that might include travel insurance, car breakdown etc – 71% of packages include mobile phone insurance (Defaqto). This can cost between £7.50 – £25 a month but may include other benefits. You do have to declare you phone make and model to be included.
Pros – Might already have coverage through the bank
Cons – Policy might be standard and therefore no choice of extras and additional benefits
Coverage on a standalone Policy
This includes companies such as Protectmybubble.com. You can purchase a standalone policy for your mobile phone based on make and model and have a choice of optional extra. Again need to read terms and conditions as you will need to adhere to certain conditions, such as notifying police within a certain time frame for stolen and lost phones.
Pros – Standalone policies so doesn’t affect Household Insurance, usually cheaper than provider cover, choice of optional extras.
Cons – May be replaced with refurbished not new phone, cover might not be as comprehensive, unless optional extras chosen, which might push the cost up.
Those are the facts, the rest is up to you!