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Most of the insurance policies which are available on the modern market for everyday consumers, have been around for decades and even centuries in one way or another – with the earliest examples including home insurance whereby a community decided to all pay into a pot which could support the rebuilding of a business or home in the town should it burn down; conceived as a result of the Great Fire of London.
In looking at the insurance market as a whole it seems that the insurance of different things is only as old as the product itself – and so while home insurance boasts a long history, mobile phone insurance is by comparison a very new concept.
There are multiple ways of purchasing mobile phone insurance and ensuring that your phone is covered in various scenarios, with some offering far better deals than others and which consumers must select based on the value and importance of their mobile phone, and the convenience of shopping around various standalone policies or else adding their mobile phone on as part of a wider insurance policy.
As with most other insurance policies, consumers are urged to purchase mobile phone insurance for the event of loss, theft or damage to their phone – thus allowing them to put in a claim and receive some kind of financial payment which will cover the cost of either repairing or replacing the phone.
Of course, that all seems fairly simple – but when consumers start to look at the breakdown of options they have, and start to ascertain the kind of policy they need in order to cover the widest range of eventualities, it starts to become a little more complex.
There are a range of reasons why consumers may need or choose to invest in mobile phone insurance, just as there are a range of indicators and factors which can push a premium up or make the insurance premium more expensive. Consumers who have high value phones, or who take out long term contracts on the newest mobile phone models are urged to consider and invest in mobile phone insurance, primarily because if they don’t and something happens to the phone, they will lose an expensive product and could also be liable to a large chunk of repayment to the mobile contract provider who delivers your phone under contract.
The fact is that if or when your phone goes missing or gets broken, and you are under a 24 month repayment contract of, for example £30 per month, any occurrence within that repayment time period will leave you liable to front the rest of the payment due before a new phone can be provided. That it, unless you have the adequate insurance to cover it – and for those who regularly lose or cause accidental damage to their mobile phone, this is likely not a risk that you would want to take.
Another instance where mobile phone insurance may be particularly beneficial is if you rely on or use your mobile phone a lot for work, as technically this could then be considered an integral business tool.
To look at what is included in most mobile phone insurance policies, consumers will need to ascertain the value of their phone and provide information regarding how long they have had it and what their history of mobile phone use is like in order to gain an accurate quote. As with so many other insurance industries and sectors, comparison sites exist for this very purpose – to ensure that consumers are not being taken advantage of and are not paying huge premiums for cover that they simply don’t need. That is why the questions asked before delivery of a quote are often so detailed.
From there, the consumer can start to understand exactly what is covered, with most comparison sites strongly urging consumers to take note of all the term and conditions and ensure that they understand what is included as a claimable scenario – and, more crucially, what is not.
Damage is the most common protection which is standard across most policies – though even here consumers will need to note that ‘damage’ rarely means wear and tear. From here, the policy can extend across exterior and interior phone damage depending on your policy and provider, with some extending their coverage to protect contents and apps on the phone and damage to the battery itself, while others will simply perform repairs to aesthetic exterior details like a cracked screen.
Water damage is a pinch point which varies depending on the policy – and is something that consumers should definitely explore especially if they have been known to drop their phone in a bath on previous occasions, as with many this will not be covered under the standard damage terms.
Other things which need to be considered by consumers exploring the best mobile insurance policies include:
And then we have the scenarios and situations which, more often than not, are not covered by an insurance policy and will need to be added as extra add-ons. Examples include:
Consumers may be reading this and asking how the provider can possibly ascertain if a loss was caused by neglect or not – and this is where the situation itself and the detail comes in. For example, if a phone was left in an unattended vehicle or bag, the loss or theft would be considered as careless on the part of the consumer. If it was stolen from a bag in use, or pulled out of the consumer’s hand, this however would be covered.
The most straightforward way for consumers to receive mobile phone insurance is through the mobile phone provider – with insurance often added as an extra for those who want it, thus bringing all the details around the mobile phone in-house and under one provider, delivering ease and the assurance that everything is done and signed in one contract. This tends to be extremely cheap and I advertised as a mere few pounds per month on top of the original contract, however it is important that consumers take care to read the terms and conditions associated with these kinds of policies as they often exclude a wider range of scenarios, and the excess payment is often much higher. Not only that, but with a policy as loose as those added to a contract with a tick box, the consumer is unlikely to receive other benefits like rapid repair servicing.
Another very popular method of securing mobile phone insurance is through the avenue of home insurance – with consumers able to list their mobile phone as part of their list of valuable items, as well as one of the items that is covered outside of the home as well as inside. Again, consumers need to be especially careful to understand the terms and conditions here, and check if their home insurance covers things like accidental damage to the phone as well as mere break in and theft.
Banks are another form of retailer with fingers in the mobile phone insurance industry, with many offering cover as part of the benefits package on some of their bank accounts – especially those who pay monthly fees on current accounts. Again, this offers and works on the convenience it provides to consumers who can simply tick a box and regard their mobile phone as covered, however care needs to be taken to ascertain exactly what kind of cover is included.
For those consumers looking for what is often considered the safest bet with regards to mobile phone insurance, there are a wide range of gadget and mobile phone specialist retailers which offer policies tailored to your exact specifications – allowing the consumer to identify exactly what kind of cover they want and indicate the excess that they are willing to pay out in the event of a claimable situation. This is often the cheapest way of purchasing gadget or mobile phone insurance, and despite requiring a little shopping around can save the consumer money in the long run.
Some of the biggest names across these areas which offer mobile phone insurance policies on different levels include:
It is worth consumers noting that some of the above companies are those which underwrite the mobile insurance policies of big retailer names in the industry – for example Geek Squad Mobile which is the responsible provider for the policy offered by Carphone Warehouse. The fact is that the Carphone Warehouse brand is one renowned in the mobile phone industry, trusted by consumers and likely to attract the right kind of buyer, so insurance is sold and operated by them as the front facing name, and then underwritten by the insurance company.
As with so many other insurance industries, one of the major trends and searches performed by consumers is around how to reduce the cost of their insurance so that they can be fully covered but also savvy without wasting money on policies they don’t need. For the most part, this is where shopping around comes into play, with comparison sites and a multitude of blogs and sites online exploring the best policies available on the market according to phone make and model, the age of the phone, and even the activity level of the user.
One of the biggest things with regards to lowering the premium involves, as with so many other insurance policies, the excess that the consumer agrees to pay – with a higher excess agreement thus lowering the cost of the insurance premium due on sign up. Another move which can see the cost of your mobile phone insurance lowered is the adding of multiple phones onto one policy – ideal for families or for businesses who choose to insure the work mobile phones of all their employees under one policy thus benefitting from a discount per phone.
Another trend in the mobile phone insurance industry is the rise in digital download cover which can be added to many policies and which covers the finances and money spent on the kind of downloads of music and games which are becoming commonplace with the rise of the internet and the affordability of various apps which give consumers access to different entertainment provisions. You may not realise it, but the amount of investment housed on a phone which is filled with audio books and music is high, and so ensuring that you are covered in the eventuality of losing all of that can often be just as important to the consumer as covering the cost of the actual phone.
When it comes to finding the ideal mobile phone insurance cover, consumers must first choose to invest in that policy – after all, mobile phone insurance is not a legal requirement nor is it compulsory. In fact, a great deal of consumers choose to simply build up their own pot of savings to cover gadgetry repairs rather than put their trust in one of the insurance providers. The most important thing to note with the phone insurance industry is the terms and conditions which detail exactly what kind of scenario is covered and what is not – finding the best deals according to the risk the consumer is willing to take, and the likelihood of such occurrences happening.
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