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Do you need phone insurance?

Smartphone insurance can seem like an unnecessary added extra, but with some of today’s flagship smartphones costing over £1,000, theft, loss or breakage could end up costing you a small fortune.

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Should I insure my mobile phone?

Whether or not you should take out phone insurance very much depends on your financial position and your attitude to risk. Try asking yourself this question: If I lost or damaged my smartphone, or if it was stolen, could I afford to repair or replace it and still have the cash to pay for everyday essentials such as food and bills?

If the answer is ‘yes’ – or if, for example, you have an old handset lying around that you could use until you could afford to replace your phone – then phone insurance probably isn’t something you need to worry about.

Alternatively, try these: Am I prone to losing or breaking things? Do I tend to carry my phone in a coat pocket rather than a zipped bag (no judgment if you do)? If you suspect you might be a ‘higher risk’ phone user, you probably have more need for phone insurance than others.

What does phone insurance cover?

A good phone insurance policy will cover the cost of repairing your handset or replacing it (although the replacement is likely to be a refurbished phone rather than a brand-new one) if it’s accidentally damaged, lost or stolen. Many policies will also reimburse you for any call or data charges that are racked up on your account if your phone is lost or stolen.

 

How much is phone insurance?

Smartphone insurance can cost anywhere from £3.50 to £14 per month depending on the how much the phone cost and the level of cover the policy offers. For example, many providers charge extra for cover against loss, theft and water damage. Just like any other insurance, you’ll need to pay an excess if you do claim. This can be anywhere from £50 to £125 so you’ll need to factor this. Most policies require this excess to be paid upfront before they repair or replace your handset too.

When should I buy phone insurance?

The majority of phone insurers will offer cover for a handset you’ve bought up to six months before the start of the policy. If you’re thinking of getting insurance from your mobile network, you have even less time – your policy will need to start within 28 days of buying your phone. However, Gadget Cover accepts mobiles up to 18 months old.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you buy a second-hand phone from a friend, family member or on an online auction site such as eBay, you will struggle to get insurance. Most policies only cover brand-new handsets so you will be better off covering your phone through your home contents insurance, or self-insuring (see below).

Should I buy phone insurance from my mobile network?

On the whole, getting phone insurance from your network provider is more expensive than coverage from a standalone insurer (this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, though, so make sure you research both options). However, if you take out insurance with your network provider, you’re more likely to get a replacement phone quickly if the worst happens, with many sending out a replacement the day after you make a claim. It’s worth considering if you don’t have an old handset to limp by during a phone emergency.

What about my contents insurance?

You can also include your smartphone in the personal possessions covered by your home contents insurance. However, the cost this adds to your existing home insurance policy could work out to more than the cost of a standalone policy. And remember that if you do claim for a lost, stolen or damaged phone, you could lose your no-claims discount, putting the price of your home contents insurance up even more.

Self insure

Self-insuring means putting money aside each month so you have a healthy pot of cash to dip into to replace or repair your phone. Work out how much you need to save by comparing the cost of a comparable refurbished or second-hand handset on eBay or other online buying sites. But remember, if your phone is stolen, you could find yourself forking out for any bills the thieves have run up.

 

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