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Schoolboy error not to insure kids' mobile phones

santa phoneIt’s the call that every parent dreads. It’s from an unknown number and there’s a sheepish voice on the other end: “Mum, I’ve lost my phone.”

I got such a call from Darling Son last week. A two-hour hunt ensued. We went all around school, down to the changing rooms at the sports centre and then back to the music block. We called the phone about a hundred times to no avail; no-one answered and the ringer was turned off because of lessons.

Admitting defeat, we returned home. It was ‘only’ my old iPhone 4 and Darling Son would have to make do with a non-smart, pay-as-you-go until Santa had calmed down enough to even contemplate a replacement. Then I went into his sports bag to get the dirty kit out - and found the damn thing in the side pocket.

Relief – but it was time to check out mobile phone insurance, especially with Dear Daughter getting a phone upgrade for Christmas. I thought I’d be clever and avoid all the specialist phone insurers. They looked expensive and I thought I’d get a better deal adding the phones to the all-risks section of my existing house contents policy. That was the plan, anyway.

Stifling a yawn, I perused my Aviva policy. It had a £1,000 excess. Okay, so I was trying to cut costs but that is pretty excess-ive, I realised. I’d be covering my own losses on that basis. So I had the excess dropped to £250, which cost me £8.78 a month more and should include any earrings I lose on a night out - covered for accidental damage too.

Having sealed the deal, I thought I’d have one last look at the specialists. Why do I always do this AFTER the event? Most of them offer much lower excesses, around the £50 mark. Plus the cheapest annual cover (currently with insurance2go) is a trifling £75 (for iPhone 7) whereas I’ve signed up to pay £105.36 with a £250 excess. Pah!

However, I have got the family’s four phones covered whereas, with a specialist, multiple phones could cost a multiple more. That deal from insurance2go, for example, is for one phone only and other mobiles need their own policy. Now my Aviva top-up doesn’t look like such a fail against a possible 4 x £75.

There’s a lot more maths in there that I could to do but inertia has set in. When my household policy comes up for renewal, I’ll review it. Until then, fingers crossed no-one mislays their pesky phone.

In the same situation? Check out our quick guide to mobile phone insurance here.

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018