The large majority of people would probably say that their mobile phone is now something they couldn’t do without. It’s become one of life’s necessities, like having gas and electricity in your home or a fridge.
It’s also the reason why, when offered insurance cover by their mobile phone provider, many take sign on the dotted line; they think that they should be protected against the loss, theft or damage caused to something so important to them.
Thousands with mobile cover they don’t need
And they certainly might not be wrong, but many thousands of people are walking around with mobile phone cover that they don’t necessarily need. Here’s why.
Pay-as-you-go or contract?
If you’re a pay-as-you-go mobile user, and you lose your phone, you could simply switch to a contract where you are given a phone as long as you sign up for a set term and a fixed monthly payment.
Or you could buy a cheap second hand phone and then take a contract out.
However, if you have an expensive phone, and/or are a heavy bandwidth user, and have hundreds of pounds worth of apps, games and music downloaded on your phone, you might still need to consider your insurance situation.
Do you already have cover?
Not realising you already having cover through some other insurance plan is a common way to simply end up with stand-alone mobile phone insurance that you don’t need.
There are a couple of ways you might already have cover:
1. Through your home insurance
With most standard home insurance policies, the items you own, including mobile phones, are covered for loss or theft that occurs within your home (and usually garden and outbuildings).
Without away from home cover, you’re not going to be able to claim if you lose or have a phone stolen somewhere that this commonly happens, such as a bar or on public transport. Basically, anywhere you’re out and about with your phone.
Additionally, if you don’t have what’s known as ‘accidental damage’ cover, if you drop your phone down the loo, or step on it in a pair of high heels, you also won’t be able to claim. It also ensures your other possessions are covered in the same way.
Having either accidental damage or away from home cover added to a home insurance policy doesn’t usually cost a great deal extra, and is nearly always less than buying stand-alone mobile phone cover.
2. Through your current account
A good number of banks and building societies provide current accounts which offer a variety of extras along with the bank account itself (known as ‘packaged accounts’).
Often, these will include commonly needed insurance cover such as for travel or car breakdown, as well as mobile phones.
In most cases, you pay a monthly fee for having the account, and they also include other ‘extras’, such as cashback on spending and lower mortgage rates. But some accounts now offer extras such as mobile phone insurance for free, often as long as you pay a certain amount into the account each month.
However, the policies associated with the cover often come laden with caveats and exemptions, or a larger than normal excess to pay, and can be hard to claim on. But you will have cover to a degree that you’re happy with; just read the small print.
Things to bear in mind about the differences in cover
While it might be the case that you already have cover, many home cover policies, or those offered along with bank accounts, won’t be as comprehensive as the type of insurance you get with stand-alone mobile phone policies.
Bear in mind mobile phone stand-alone insurance usually has greater cover for calls made illegally and valuable games, music, film, books and apps that you might have downloaded onto your phone.
Also, if you can’t stand the idea of being without a phone for more than a few hours, you’ll in all likelihood find that claiming on a home insurance policy is going to take longer than you’re prepared to wait for (unless you take the risk of covering the cost of sorting the problem out yourself first).
Whereas mobile phone stand-alone cover usually ensures you’ll have a new mobile within 48 hours or so.
If your home is your haven, you’ll want it to have the best protection. Compare home insurance quotes from our range of handpicked insurers and tailor a policy to suit you. For more information on Home Insurance from Policy Expert, speak to one of our experts on 0330 0600 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org