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Most insurers won’t cover mobile phones for under-18s: my solutions

girl mobilephoneIf your child is starting secondary school next month, it’s more than likely part of the new kit will be their first ever smartphone.

Whether it’s an ancient Apple or a brand new Galaxy, the phone will need to be insured. And here’s the problem. Most standalone mobile phone polices won’t cover kids (under 18s, sometimes under 16s). So not only is that kind of policy worthless for your Boy or Girl Wonder but how do you insure their new gadget?

Possibly the easiest and cheapest route is to list the phone under the all risks section of your household contents policy. You may need to pay a little extra and also to check any limits on claims ie that a payout will cover the whole cost of a new phone. Watch out for excesses here too, that being the first part of any claim you have to pay yourself. There is no point having an excess of £250 when your phone is worth £200 – you won’t get back any money at all.

Alternatively, you can look at family gadget deals which usually cover the use of machines by all family members. These can be quite pricey though. Again, you also need to read the small print very carefully to see what is actually covered. I’ve seen a policy which excludes theft of a phone from a car if you aren’t in the car (something else to take into Morrisons then).

Finally, bearing in mind that gadgets rapidly lose their value over time, you could self-insure. This is easy: just save a certain amount every month to buy a replacement should it be required.

The insurance problem is easier if you don’t present your child with latest and most expensive model. Despite tearful pleading or gnashing of pre-teen teeth, it seems a little unfair to give a 10 or 11 year old the responsibility of carrying an iPhone X that’s cost about £1,000. One of your old cast-offs is perfectly acceptable and not earth-shattering should it go amiss (see my blog here about when the Boy Wonder mislaid his). If the worst does happen, it’s not all bad. The pain of being off-grid for even a few days should ensure they take more care in the future.

See the SMM guide to mobile phone insurance here for more top tips. 

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Thursday, 13 December 2018