Smartphones have revolutionised the way we live. In 2014 it was estimated that more than 60% of adults own a smartphone (source: Ofcom). It makes sense, therefore, to ensure that you are financially covered against loss, theft or damage to your phone. Taking out insurance is particularly important if you own an expensive model, as the cost of replacing them could run into hundreds of pounds. If you have a history of losing or breaking your phone you will already be painfully aware of this of course. But, be warned! There are a few things to consider before taking out insurance for your mobile phone and in this article, we offer guidance and some tips to help ensure that you do not get caught out.

Why do you need smartphone insurance?

A good place to begin is to consider the reasons for taking out phone insurance. The Money Advice Service offers some useful information to get you started. If your phone is vital (used for work or business for example) you will need an urgent replacement, so make sure this in included before you buy. Beware though, that you don’t take out a level of coverage that you don’t actually need, resulting in unnecessary cost.

There are many deals on the market at any given time, so be prepared to shop around for the best one for you. Some phone insurance providers offer special packages, like family bundles and student discounts. You should also double check the excess costs, as some providers will have lower charges.

Check the exclusions

You should ensure that the cover you purchase doesn’t have any exclusions that would prevent you from making a claim. Accidents happen and we can all be a little careless at times. Check that the policy covers water damage, otherwise if you drop yours into the washing up bowl you may be saying goodbye to your smartphone! The insurance company could take the view that you didn’t take reasonable care of your phone if you left it lying around to get damaged, so read the exclusions section carefully.

Risk of theft

The risk of theft is an important consideration when choosing your policy. If your phone is left unattended, for instance, and is stolen, any claim may be invalid. Likewise, if someone steals your phone from your person, but without your knowledge, this could be deemed ‘theft without force’ and again could leave you uninsured. Look out for this type of wording on your policy documents before committing. Other exclusions could also apply. If your phone has a replacement sim card (i.e. not the original), check that it is still covered. And always ensure that you report your loss or damage as soon as possible; insurers will sometimes stipulate that claims need to be made within 24 hours.

An example of some of the deals currently on offer can be found on the Money Saving Expert website. Comparison websites such as Go Compare will help you choose the level of cover that’s right for you and you can check the ratings of many of the top insurance providers for added peace of mind.