Is mobile phone insurance worth it?

Mobile phone insurance can offer valuable financial protection if you lose or damage your phone, but it can also be expensive. Here’s how to work out whether you really need it and how to pick the best cover.

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What does mobile phone insurance cover?

Mobile phone insurance policies can offer financial protection against:

  • Accidental damage: The policy will pay for repairs or replace your phone if you accidentally damage it; for example dropping it on the floor.
  • Fraudulent call costs: The policy will pay for unauthorised calls, texts and other charges if it’s lost or stolen.
  • Damage to accessories: The policy will pay for damage to registered accessories, for example, Bluetooth headsets or headphones.
  • Loss: The policy will pay for a replacement handset if you lose your phone.
  • Theft: The policy will pay for a replacement handset if your phone is stolen.

Some policies also offer specific cover for water damage, cracked screens and when you take your phone abroad.

As with most insurance policies, you have to pay an excess before you can make a claim. For phone policies these range from €25 to over €100.

How much does it cost?

It depends on your handset and the level of cover you choose.

A basic mobile phone insurance policy could cost less than €5.00 per month, but a more comprehensive policy for an expensive phone could cost up to €14.00 per month.

If you’re looking to insure multiple handsets or gadgets for your business, you could save with a corporate policy or multi-gadget insurance.

Check if you’re already covered

Before you decide whether to pay for mobile phone insurance it’s worth understanding if you’ve already got cover in place, and what it actually protects you against.

Home insurance

You may have some cover on your home insurance policy, but the excess is likely to be much higher than mobile phone insurance.

The cover you get with your home insurance will usually be less comprehensive than dedicated mobile phone cover.

Your mobile phone travels with you everywhere but accidental damage, loss or theft away from the home won’t be covered by a standard contents policy. Most home insurers won’t cover unauthorised calls made on your phone if it’s stolen either.

Another factor to consider is any claim for your mobile phone may also result in higher monthly premiums or a long wait to have your claim processed.

If you’re not sure exactly what your home insurance offers, contact your insurer to check.

Warranty

If you’ve got a new mobile phone contract then your handset may be protected by your manufacturer’s warranty if it breaks.

However, the warranty will only protect you if there is a fault with your handset.

This means you’ll be left out of pocket if your phone is:

  • Lost
  • Stolen
  • Damaged by accident

How to choose the best mobile phone cover

If you do decide you need mobile phone insurance, here’s how to pick the best value cover:

  • Weigh up the costs of repair or replacement and the cost of your phone
  • Decide what cover you want and how much excess you are happy to pay
  • Check the cost of insurance from your mobile phone network
  • Ensure the claim limit covers the price of your phone
  • Get several quotes from other insurance brokers
  • Check the fine print carefully before selecting your insurer

This should give you several options to choose from and help you find the cheapest possible price.

Mobile phone insurance FAQs

How do I claim on my mobile phone insurance?

Contact your insurer as soon as possible after you discover your phone has been stolen, is lost, accidentally damaged or it develops a fault.

There will be a claims number to call on your policy schedule or you may need to complete an online form.

If your phone has been lost or stolen, you must contact your network provider as soon as you can so they can block the number and stop anyone else using it.

If your phone is stolen, you must report it to the police and request a crime reference number. You will need it to support your claim.

Is there any limit to how many claims I can make?

That will depend on your insurer. Some offer unlimited claims, whereas others may put a cap on how many times you can claim per year. Always check your policy schedule to find out about claim limits, policy excess and any exclusions.

What if I change or buy a new mobile phone?

You will need to contact your mobile phone insurer to let them know as soon as possible. You will need to provide your policy number and the make and model of your new phone.

What is the IMEI number and where do I find it?

The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique number for identifying your handset on a mobile network.

The IMEI has 15 digits and is assigned to every phone. You will need it if your handset gets lost or stolen so it is worth taking a screenshot or noting it down.

You can access it by dialling *#06# or via Settings > About or you can find it under the removable back cover, under the SIM tray or simply on the back of the phone. You may also find it with the original packaging.

Will my mobile phone be covered overseas?

Many insurers will offer overseas cover as standard, but it’s worth checking the terms & conditions or talking to your insurer to confirm your phone is insured whilst travelling abroad.

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