Guide to Gadget and Mobile Phone Insurance Covers

Smartphone mishaps can befall even the most careful and responsible person, and sometimes even a protective case is not enough to keep a phone’s screen from cracking or being scratched. While it is impossible to completely guarantee that your smartphone will never be lost, damaged, or stolen, it is very easy to obtain a smartphone insurance plan at the relatively nominal cost of only a few pounds per month. These insurance plans ensure that you’ll be able to either pay for the necessary repairs or obtain a brand new replacement for your phone. Now that we’ve introduced the concept of mobile phone insurance, let’s look at some points you’ll want to consider when searching for the best mobile phone insurance covers:

High Excess vs. High Monthly Payments

When discussing mobile phone insurance policies one of the most important factors to consider is the excess, which is the amount you’ll be required to pay before the insurance company will cover the rest of the expense. For example, if you have a policy with a £50 excess and your phone has a value of £350, then you would only receive £300 from the insurance company if the phone was damaged, lost, or stolen. Thus, it is important to weigh whether you’d rather pay a few pounds more each month to have a policy with a lower excess, or pay less each month but receive less if you ever need to use your coverage.

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Contents Insurance is Not Enough

Some people mistakenly believe that because they already have a contents insurance plan they don’t need mobile phone insurance. However, most contents insurance plans only cover items that are damaged or stolen while on the property, and since mobile phone mishaps tend to happen while you’re mobile, contents insurance is usually not an adequate form of insurance to protect the value of a smartphone.

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Thoroughly Compare Mobile Phone Insurance Providers

Sometimes paying for mobile phone insurance through your network carrier is not the cheapest option. Did you know that most banks offer mobile phone insurance policies, so if you already have a bank account, consider inquiring with your bank about this. Some popular online providers of mobile phone insurance include Insurance2Go, Protect Your Bubble, and Gadget Cover. Other top aftermarket smartphone insurance providers that you might want to consider include SquareTrade, GeekSquad, Mobile Rhino, and Apple Care (only for iPhones).

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Will Your Phone Be Replaced or Repaired?

The answer to that question will depend on how badly your phone is damaged and the terms of your insurance provider. Some companies will quickly replace a phone with an identical or similar model, while others will simply refurbish the damaged phone and send it back, and some will offer a lump sum of cash to the policyholder so that they can repair or replace the phone themselves. It also depends on what has happened to the phone. Obviously no company can repair a phone that has been lost or stolen, so in such cases replacement is inevitable.

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Understanding Premiums and Claims

Some insurance providers will require you to pay the excess or premium upfront before they’ll cover the expense of replacing or repairing the phone, while others will let you pay the excess/premium in instalments over the course of your mobile phone contract. Keep in mind that most companies have a limit that will only honour a maximum of two claims per year, so don’t expect to be able to use your coverage more frequently than that.

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Will Insurance Protect Your Phone From Unauthorized Charges?

When a smartphone is lost or stolen it’s not just the value of the phone that becomes a problem, it’s also the unauthorised charges that could be racked up if a thief chooses to make mobile purchases or use costly data or texts. Some insurance policies will provide coverage for up to £2000 in unauthorised charges, so this is an important aspect to consider when comparing plans. Regardless of whether your policy covers unauthorised charges or not, it is always best to call your mobile network service provider and have the device disabled as soon as it is lost or stolen to avoid the possibility of incurring any unauthorised charges.

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How Old is Your Smartphone?

It is necessary to note that many mobile phone insurance plans will only cover devices that are less than 6 months old, so don’t get too excited about insuring your relic of an iPhone 3 that your grandfather gave you. However, if you purchased your phone on contract from a carrier you should have no problem either obtaining coverage for that model or exchanging for a newer model that will be eligible for coverage.

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Caution is the Best Insurance, and Always Backup Your Data

In closing we’ll say that the majority of smartphone mishaps occur due to a failure to exercise caution. Let’s face it, we’ve all been guilty of leaving a smartphone somewhere it shouldn’t have been, and it’s these careless vulnerabilities that result in cracked screens or forgotten/stolen phones. So, above all else, when you’re out with your £600 iPhone in public, be cognisant of what you’re doing with it. Finally, be sure to backup all your media and personal files, as no insurance plan in the world can bring these back if you haven’t backed them up and the phone is permanently lost with your SD card in it.

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