The ubiquity of the mobile phone in modern society is not news to anyone. And due to so many people owning handsets, we are inundated with offers from mobile phone insurance policy providers. The question is, though, does anyone need such a policy?
After all, unlike other policies, coverage for handsets isn’t demographically determined. All policyholders are judged on an even playing field. The consequence of this is that the insurers who suffer no losses on their own policies are paying the costs of the ones who do claim on losses or damages.
Such customers would therefore question the wisdom of taking out a policy in the first place. This is understandable, given that they rarely have any difficulties with their handsets anyway. There is also another element that people consider with respect to insurance, though: the type of plan you are on with your network.
A phone owner who is under contract does not have the same freedom of manoeuvre that a PAYG (Pay As You Go) customer has. The PAYG phone owner who loses their handset or has it pilfered from them has lost both their handset and the cash they had topped-up for calls. A contracted phone owner is in a worse predicament as they not only no longer have their handset, but also still have to continue paying the contract for their lost item.
Such a customer would undoubtedly benefit from having coverage, as the cost of purchasing a new mobile is more prohibitive. A contracted customer who is more vigilant with their phone is less likely to benefit from such coverage, and a PAYG customer need not bother with such coverage at all. Having no contractual entanglements allows the PAYG customer to shop around for a less costly product.
One option, if you are a homeowner, is to take an “all risks” option on your home insurance policy. Coverage will include valuables taken outside the home, which would cover your handset. However, few of these will go as far as to replace your handset if it is lost, stolen or damaged.
In summary, if you are going to get mobile phone insurance, you are better off getting a policy that specifically covers them. Just be sure that you really do need the cover. There is no point wasting money on unnecessary coverage.