Putting you through to mobile phone insurance

Ten steps to connecting with cover

1. Worried about losing your phone? First check whether you’re already covered. Premium bank accounts and credit cards sometimes include mobile phone insurance. You may also be protected for a while under the phone’s warranty.

2. For most people, the easiest and cheapest way to insure a phone is to add it to their existing house contents policy under the all risks section (ie for jewellery or valuables used outside the house). You may need to pay a little extra for the privilege. Check the limit per claim is enough to cover the replacement cost of the phone.

3. If this isn’t an option, you can get standalone policies. They range hugely in cost (between £33 and upwards of £120 for the latest iPhone (older Apple models and non-Apple phones are cheaper to insure).

4. Warning klaxon! You get what you pay for. The very cheapest policies have plenty of exclusions especially ‘liquid damage’ such as dropping the phone in the loo. Another common pitfall is that your phone is only considered to have been stolen if violence is used. Someone lifting it from your pocket in a busy street or bar may not count ...

5. It’s important to check the excess on the policy ie the part of any claim which you must pay. There’s no point having an excess of £250 if your phone is worth £200, for example. This applies to both the standalone and the house contents policies.

6. Make sure you’re happy with how the insurer will refund you and how long it will take. Your household insurer will probably give you a cash payment but you’re more likely to get a replacement phone from a specialist insurer which could be refurbed and not necessarily new. The quickest providers of replacement phones are the network providers (Vodafone and so on), although their insurance tends to be more expensive.

7. Age (phone and owner) is a major issue as some specialist insurers won’t consider a mobile you’ve had for more than six months while others won’t insure under 18s. If that’s the case, you’ll need to revisit your house contents insurer. You could also look into family gadget/mobile insurance which covers phones used by family members so long as the policyholder is over 18. 

8. One of the benefits of a standalone policy is that you can add on protection against airtime abuse. That’s when the thief racks up charges using premium lines, sometimes as part of a wider scam.

9. Specialist policies may include cover for all those games and apps you’ve paid for - but you should have backed those up on the computer at home, right?

10. You could always self-insure by putting aside a monthly amount or lump sum which you can use to buy a new phone should the worst happen.


More stuff:

  • The lowdown on every aspect of mobile phone insurance is at Money Saving Expert.
  • Get quotes for gadget insurance at Go Compare.
  • Look into some family phone cover options here.

Last updated 6 August 2018.