Why buy phone insurance?
Buying phone insurance can mean you don’t end up paying for an existing contract and a new phone at the same time, in the event you lost your phone or it was stolen.
It can also cover the cost of manufacturer parts for repairs, so that you avoid using non-manufacturer-approved parts that could prevent you from being able to take out insurance in the future.
Third-party phone insurance policies can sometimes work out cheaper than the insurance cover quoted by the phone manufacturer or network provider.
What phone insurance covers
Phone insurance may offer financial cover for things like:
- A lost phone: if you accidentally leave your phone somewhere and you can’t get it back, your phone insurance may cover you and provide you with a similar model to the one you lost.
- A cracked screen: if your phone insurance includes accidental damage cover, it can cover the costs needed to repair or replace a cracked phone screen and other functional repair work.
- Water damage: phone insurance can offer protection against accidental liquid damage if it’s been dropped in water or splashed.
- Battery replacement: you might be able to claim for a replacement battery on your phone insurance’s accessory cover - but you’ll need to check with your provider before making a claim.
- Theft cover: phone insurance can cover the cost of a new phone if your device is stolen. You might also be able to claim for any fraudulent activity costs incurred after your phone was stolen - up to a certain amount and within a set time period after you realised the phone had been stolen. E-Wallet or digital wallet protection may also cover up to a certain amount of unauthorised contactless payments made after your phone was stolen.
- Overseas cover: your policy might include cover for all of the above for a set amount of time - should your phone get damaged, become lost or stolen when you’re abroad.
- Digital download: you might also be able to get cover for any lost digital downloads like apps and movies that were on your phone if it’s lost or stolen – provided you can prove they were bought through a commercial store like iTunes or Google Play and not illegally downloaded.
What’s offered as part of a standard phone policy and what’s offered as full cover or opt-in coverage will differ depending on the policy provider – it’s best to read the policy documents carefully before taking out insurance with your chosen provider so you know what will be covered.
What phone insurance won’t cover
Most phone insurance providers will have clauses written into their policy documents which say that they won’t offer cover for things like:
- A phone that’s been stolen from your car if it was in clear view and hadn’t been properly concealed
- If the phone was stolen from a building or premise where there were no signs of forced entry
- Any intentional damage to the phone that was caused by you and not a third party
- Non-manufacturer-approved accessory repairs and damage that was caused by not following manufacturer instructions
- Manufacturer’s defects or recall of the device
- Cosmetic damage like scratches that doesn’t affect the device’s performance or safety
- A lost sim card
- Any damage claims where the damaged phone isn’t handed in for repair
You should always read the policy wording and policy summary documents carefully before taking out cover with a phone insurance provider so you know what won’t be covered.
Tips to help make sure you’re covered
Before you take out phone insurance, your provider may want to check:
- Whether your mobile phone was bought directly from a manufacturer, network provider, mobile phone retailer or certified online outlet and not second-hand from an online auction site
- Whether your device is already damaged
- How old the device is
- Whether you have proof of purchase
If you give the insurance provider incorrect information when applying for a policy, it could mean it decides not to pay out if you make a claim in the future.
How to claim on your phone insurance
If you need to make a claim on your phone insurance, you can claim through the insurance provider’s website or over the phone. Your provider will be able to tell you what to do next, including any evidence required and how long it’ll need your phone for repairs.
Most providers say you need to let them know within 48 hours of discovering there’s a problem with your device if it’s been damaged, and if your phone is lost or it’s been stolen, it’s better to let your insurance provider know within 24 hours of discovery. You’ll also need to tell your network provider so it can block any fraudulent phone activity.
What if you haven’t got phone insurance?
If you haven’t got mobile phone insurance and your phone is damaged or faulty due to a manufacturing problem, it’s best to check your manufacturer warranty first to see if it’ll cover the cost of repairs.
If you’ve damaged your phone and the damage isn’t to do with manufacturing and you didn’t have an insurance policy before the phone was damaged, you won’t be able to claim on insurance.
Most phone manufacturers will offer out-of-warranty repairs, but these usually come at a high price. If they are able to fix the device, they will do so using manufacturer-approved parts which means that you could still be eligible to take out phone insurance and protect your phone in the future.
And if your phone was lost or stolen and it’s on a contract, you’ll most likely have to buy a new or second-hand sim-free handset and continue paying the contract until the end of your original deal. Alternatively, you could pay off the remaining contract balance – if this is an option – to end the deal early.
Can you claim on home insurance?
Your mobile phone might be covered by your home contents insurance if the phone is damaged at home and you have accidental damage cover as part of your policy. If anything happens to your phone when it’s outside the home, you’ll need to have added personal possessions cover to your insurance policy.
If you do claim for your phone on your contents insurance policy, this will make your contents insurance premiums more expensive, so this is something to bear in mind when deciding whether to take out phone-specific cover or rely on your home insurance.
Multiple gadget insurance
You can also get your phone insured as part of a bundle with gadget insurance. If you have a mobile phone plus a laptop and tablet, you might want to insure all of your gadgets under one umbrella policy and get a multi-gadget discount.
You’ll get a claims allowance that’s broken down per gadget, and policies should cover each device for accidental damage, mechanical breakdown and theft as standard.
Compare phone insurance quotes
Make sure you compare mobile phone insurance policies to find the best mobile phone insurance for you. MoneySuperMarket has partnered with Protect Your Gadget to help you compare gadget and mobile phone insurance quotes for both single and multiple devices.
When using the comparison tool, you’ll need to select the mobile device you want to insure and its make and model from the list. You’ll then need to say if you want to add loss cover and when you bought the phone. You’ll then have the chance to add multiple phones and devices if you want to insure your phone under a multiple gadget insurance policy. You can also choose whether or not you want to add accidental damage cover and theft cover, and how you’d like to pay for the policy and the amount of excess you want to pay. You’ll then see a prompt that gets you to confirm that your phone meets the insurer’s criteria for coverage.
You can compare phone insurance quotes by excess fees, and whether or not accidental damage, theft loss and instant cover are included. You’ll also be able to switch views to see what the insurance policy would cost if you paid it now in full versus paying in monthly instalments. The maximum claim allowed per gadget and the providers’ Defaqto mobile phone insurance rating can also help you find the right insurance cover for your mobile phone and other devices.
How does our site work?
Moneysupermarket have teamed up with protectyourgadget.com who offer an external gadget insurance comparison service. ProtectYourGadget.com is a trading name of Comparison Creator Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (Registration Number 07336373). Comparison Creator Limited is an Appointed Representative of Moneyshake.com Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference Number 522581).