Mobile phone insurance is something everyone has heard of, but many - either through worry about incurring extra costs, or genuine lack of need - don't see it as essential. If you are among the members who feel more comfortable with that extra protection, this guide is for you.
Please note: giffgaff does not currently offer phone insurance, so to get covered you'll have to go to a third-party provider.
Modern smartphones are expensive and sadly they are attractive to thieves. With slim frames and touchscreens, they're also less durable, even for the most cautious users. The manufacturer's warranty does not cover for lost/stolen phones or for member's damages and you will have to look elsewhere for protection.
So if you need cover for loss, accidental damage (such as scratches on the screen) or water damage or even steeper replacement costs, you'll need to opt for phone insurance.
If you are looking for a mobile insurance, it's important to make sure that you are not already covered by one of your existing insurance (starting with your home or bank account/card insurance) as but with the monthly average insurance costing £8.20 per month (from mobile retailers), you could be paying £100 a year on unnecessary insurance.
Which? Mobile, the UK’s leading consumer association offer the following tips to consumers when considering their options for mobile phone insurance:
Before you buy, read the terms and conditions carefully, check the excesses and exclusions and weigh up the policy.
It's worth bearing in mind that if you don't have mobile insurance, you'll be liable for the cost of any calls made if the phone is stolen.
Some retailers will try to bundle in mobile phone insurance when you sign up for a new contract and handset, especially for high-end models.
But don't be pushed into buying the first mobile insurance policy you're offered. You could find a better deal if you take a bit of time to shop around.
If you do buy mobile insurance, by law the seller must send you a policy summary setting out the key points in the cover and a 'statement of demands and needs' to show why you were recommended the insurance in the first place.
If you take out mobile phone insurance and then decide you don't want it, you have a 14-day 'cooling-off' period, starting from the day you purchased it, during which you can cancel the policy and get your premium refunded in full.
Brean Horne at Which? also offers great advice for those who may be considering getting an insurance policy here.
To get cover you'll have to go to a third-party provider. Fortunately, there are plenty around, but it's important to make sure you get the right cover. Type of cover and cost varies between basic or fully comprehensive cover, it's worth considering a few things:
Do you need cover for liquid damage?
Do you need cover for loss? (often this isn't included as standard)
How quickly will a lost/damaged/stolen phone be replaced?
Is there an excess?
Does the insurance cover any other users? (it's usually immediate family, but the definition of this varies between insurers)
Are unauthorised calls included?
Is the UK the only region covered?
Does cover start immediately?
Insurance providers have exclusions in their terms and conditions, these vary slightly from company to company but tend to be similar.
Insurers will not pay:
For more than one claim of the same type (accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, loss) in a single period
If your phone has been left unattended - say you leave it on a table in a pub and go to the bar
If a stolen iPhone hasn't been reported within 24 hours and you don't have a crime reference number or police report if you aren't in the UK Calls won't be covered unless you inform (giffgaff) within 12 hours
Within 14 days of the cover being taken out
If someone else was using your phone, with the exception of immediate family
It's worth considering that most insurers have dedicated iPhone insurance. So if you've swapped to an iPhone from another handset and you've got insurance, let them know.
If your phone is still under the manufactures warranty, you will find that unfortunately water damage is not normally covered.
The phone fixers can easily tell if a phone has been damaged by water by looking at the damage indicators, these are little stickers inside the phone or attached to the battery that turns pink or red when they come into contact with water.
Please do not send your giffgaff phone for repairs if it has been water damaged, as our phone fixers won't be able to repair it and will simply return it to you.
If you've got insurance there's a good chance you are covered for what's classified as ‘liquid damage’ depending on the term of your policy. Make sure to verify the details of the policy before signing up.
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