Cheap mobile phone insurance
Losing your mobile – or smashing your screen on a night out – can be a gut-wrenching experience. So can you protect yourself against such calamities?Whether it’s a drunken mishap or the work of a despicable thief, even the most careful of people can lose or damage their phones. That’s why it’s always smart to have some sort of mobile phone insurance – at a cost of just a few pounds a month.
This guide not only shows you how to get the best deals, but what you should know before taking out a policy.
What’s in this guide?
Not all insurance policies are born equal, so it’s important that you know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for. Thankfully – we’ve compiled the top need-to-know questions about mobile phone insurance.
What does mobile phone insurance cover?
A more appropriate question for this might be ‘how long is a piece of string?’
There’s always a danger of underinsuring (meaning you don’t get protection for the most likely accidents that could happen) or overinsuring (where you stump up needlessly for a policy that protects your phone in the event of an earthquake).
It’s always worth doing your homework and finding out exactly what’s on offer. You can be covered for loss, damage and theft – or a mixture of all three.
What’s the ‘excess’?
Basically, the excess on any insurance policy is the sum you agree to pay before your provider covers the rest. Let’s imagine your phone is worth £300. If your excess is £50, you’ll only receive £250 if it’s broken, lost or stolen.
The higher the excess, the lower your policy cost will usually be. Always think carefully though about what you can afford. Do you really want to have to shell out a big chunk if something does go wrong, or would you rather pay a little bit extra for your policy each month?
What if you already have contents insurance?
You’ll need to check the small print of your content insurance policy. Usually though, your mobile will only be covered by contents insurance if it’s stolen or damaged while inside the property. Given that these things tend to happen while we’re out and about, this probably won’t be much use to you.
Worse still, trying to claim for your mobile through a content insurance policy will lead to a big rise in your premiums when it’s time to renew – and this could be more than what it would have cost for a mobile phone insurance policy in the first place.
Some contents insurance companies will only cover gadgets like mobiles at an extra cost. Check out our full guide to contents insurance if you want to know more.
Do you really need it?
Consider how careful you are with your phone. If you’re the type who always keeps it in a safe place, is it likely that you’ll ever need to use your insurance?
It’s all down to personal choice, but you can work out the odds and decide for yourself whether it’s a worthwhile investment.
The one thing to consider these days is that with many contracts being up to 24 months, you could lose your phone within the first month and then have to pay for a very cheap replacement, or shell out for a brand-new smartphone for over £200.
We don’t know about you, but living with an ancient Nokia for months sounds like a nightmare – and good luck trying to tweet on that monstrosity!
Depending on who you bank with and what type of account you have, you could find that you’re offered a mobile phone insurance policy through your account.
Deals vary from one bank to another, so don’t just automatically assume that it’s the best option.
Barclays offer one of the cheapest options, coming in at £90 per year with a £100 excess for an iPhone or £50 on other phones.
One of the nicest features is the protection against any thief making unauthorised calls on your contract. The policy would settle any bill of up to £2,000 that was racked up without your knowledge.
Do bear in mind that you’ll often need to activate the insurance before it’s valid, and it will often take longer to get a new phone than if you went with another specialist provider.
Protect Your Bubble
Protect Your Bubble offer unbelievably cheap mobile insurance that’s ideal for students.
Prices start at just £1.49 per month for the most basic policies.
However, the cheaper price can come at a risk, and customer reviews of Protect Your Bubble sometimes leave a little to be desired.
Make sure you are covered for theft, damage and loss, and always double-check your excess amount.
The guys at Endsleigh specialise in students, so you can be sure that you’ll get a good deal here. The price per month varies depending on what level of cover you go for, but they can cover an iPhone 6 for as little as just £81 a year.
One of Endsleigh’s selling points is that a new phone will always be provided within 24 hours – so it’s a great option if you can’t bear to be out of touch for too long.
Another bonus is how their policies cover accidents – such as liquid damage or a cracked screen.
As well as laptops and other gadgets, Endsleigh also offers insurance for your belongings, so you could get a great deal by sorting them out all together.
If you’re looking for a degree of flexibility in exactly what you want covered and are looking for cheap as chips prices, it’s well worth nosing around at Insurance2go.
You can cover an iPhone 6 from as little as £49.99 a year. There are sizeable discounts if you are able to pay the whole lot up front – and for just £20 extra a year, you get loss and theft covered as well as accidental damage.
Just make sure to check exactly what level of cover you need.
Another gadget insurance specialist, Gadget Cover will often boast a range of offers such as your first month free, or 2-for-1 deals when you insure more than one item.
They also offer a low excess of £25 on phones worth less than £250, rising to £50 for pricier gadgets.
Their policies start from just £1.49 a month.
Will I get a new phone, or will my current one be repaired?
If it’s the case of a damaged phone, different insurance providers will offer different solutions. Some will replace it with a similar model, some will ask for it to be sent off for repair, and some will offer a cash sum.
It also depends on the extent of the damage. For example, if your phone has been snapped in half, a repair would be almost impossible.
Will you need to pay the premium in full before you can claim?
Mobile phone cover is slightly different to other types of insurance, as most companies will ask you to pay the excess upfront before your claim can be settled.
Some companies may ask for you to pay the excess in instalments throughout the rest of your mobile insurance contract.
Also, watch out for the amount of times you can claim in a year, as some insurers will only allow you to make two successful claims every 12 months – not ideal if you’re clumsy or an outlandish drunk.
Are any calls that were made after the phone was stolen covered?
It’s not just the cost of the handset that you need to think about. If someone else is using your phone, the bill could run into hundreds of pounds.
As we’ve mentioned, some policies protect you against up to £2,000 of unauthorised calls but others don’t.
Always call your service provider as soon as you find out that you have lost your phone – and cancel the number straight away until you have sorted everything out. If you don’t, you could be accountable for the charges, which can be eye-watering.
One 21-year-old got charged £19,000 after his iPhone was stolen in Ibiza. He thought he didn’t need to cancel because his smartphone was password-protected, but the crooks who stole his device still managed to call every Tom, Dick and Harry they knew before his bill arrived.
Is your phone too old?
Strangely, some policies only cover phones that are less than six months old. Ask if this is the case before you buy.
It goes without saying, but the best way to save money is to just not lose or damage your phone in the first place! Even if you do take out an insurance policy, you should intend to never use it.
Make sure that you compare all of your options from your bank to a mobile phone insurance provider. Oftentimes, specialists are cheaper than the extras you get with a current account, as the monthly fees can be in excess of £15.
Spending this extra time to do the research yourself means that you make the biggest savings throughout the year.
Pay upfront in a lump sum
If you can afford to, pay upfront for your policy rather than spreading the cost over the year. Most providers will offer a slight discount if you choose to do this, and it also helps you resist the temptation of cancelling midway through when times get tight.
Know your policy
Mobile phone insurance can seem complicated, but make sure that you read the small print and know exactly what you’re paying for, as well as what happens in the event of your phone being damaged or going missing.
The last thing you want is to discover that you aren’t covered when it’s too late.
Don’t be afraid to haggle
The price that you’re first quoted isn’t always the final offer. When it comes to renewing, you should always haggle. As a loyal customer, you deserve a discount!
Do you have insurance for your mobile phone? Have you ever had to claim, and what were your experiences?
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