It's never fun to be left waiting on hold, but it's even less fun when you're waiting for your mobile insurance provider to settle your claim. If your phone goes missing or is damaged, you want a replacement mobile now if not sooner. Good mobile phone insurance can help there - but how do you choose the best cover without spending more than you should?
Why You Might Need Mobile Phone Insurance
While you may have got your phone free when you signed a contract with your mobile provider, replacing it won't be quite so easy or cheap. Unless you have a good insurance policy, you could be paying full price to replace your handset - and if you've had the latest model with all the bells and whistles, that could be a substantial outlay.
Will You Need to Replace Your Handset?
A mobile phone is stolen every 12 seconds in the UK, says Halifax home insurance. That's a lot of mobiles going missing. But mobile phone insurance doesn't only insure you against the theft of your handset. If you leave it behind in a taxi or drop it down the gutter on the roadside, you could be eligible for a replacement with some policies. Mobile insurance for your handset will nearly always cover your loss as long as you can provide either parts of your phone or a police report of its theft.
There is an even more compelling reason for having mobile cover, though. Between the time your handset is stolen is lost and the time you report its theft to your mobile service provider, a thief can run up hundreds of minutes in overseas calls for which you may be responsible. Most handset insurance will cover the cost of those calls so that you don't end up paying for someone else's conversation.
Do YOU Need Mobile Phone Cover?
Insurance for your handset will cost you £28-75 annually, depending on whether you choose to purchase cover from your provider or standalone insurance. You might also look into your home contents cover to find out if it includes your mobile phone, or whether you can add it for less than standalone insurance will cost.
Before you decide to if mobile insurance is right for you though, ask yourself these questions:
- How much will it cost you to replace your handset at full price? If your annual premiums are close to the cost of replacing your handset, you might do better to bank the cost of your premiums against the possible loss.
- Are you clumsy? If you're likely to drop your handset in the loo, insurance may be worth the cost.
- Do you need the latest and best?
- How much of a necessity is your phone? If you count on your handset for work reasons, for example, insurance will be well worth the cost.
Where Can You Get the Best Deal?
There are a number of different options for insuring your mobile. The most popular sources of mobile cover are:
- From your mobile service provider
In most cases you'll pay about £5-6 per month on your account for handset cover. Check with your provider to find out exactly what is covered.
- From a standalone insurance provider
You may be able to purchase a policy for about £32 annually - about half the cost of insuring through your provider. Shop around for the best deal.
- A combo policy through a standalone provider
These policies may be available from your home insurance provider. Sometimes called portable electronics policies, they can provide cover for all of your portable electronics and communications devices, including your MP3 player, your PDA, your mobile handset and even your laptop.
As with any insurance, don't just use price to measure the suitability of different providers. Take into account policy features and reviews from existing customers who have claimed.
You can find a comprehensive directory of popular mobile insurance companies at http://www.uk-insurance-index.co.uk/mobile-phone-insurance-1.html together with a category of mobile insurance reviews submitted by genuine customers who have claimed and share their experiences.