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Do you need mobile phone insurance?

From taking calls and selfies to posting on social media – our mobiles are usually with us wherever we go. But is mobile phone insurance worth it?

Here, we answer some of your common questions, from what’s covered to the price of a policy and things to consider – to help you decide if it’s right for you.

What does mobile insurance cover?

Insurance policies can vary so it’s important to check what is and isn’t covered. 

You may think you’re covered for something when you’re not, and only find out when you need to repair or replace your phone. 

Mobile phone insurance can include:

Loss, theft or accidental damage

A standard mobile phone insurance policy typically covers you for loss, theft and accidental damage. This means, if you accidentally crack your screen, your insurer may pay for it to be repaired or replaced. If it’s only cosmetic damage, such as a scratch, you may not be covered. 

Keep in mind – if you suspect your phone has been stolen, you may need to report it to the police within 24 hours for the insurance to be valid. You’re unlikely to be covered, however, if there is no evidence of theft, or if you left your phone unattended. 

Mechanical faults

If your device develops a fault outside of the manufacturer’s warranty, you may be covered under your mobile phone insurance. 

Water damage

Accidentally dropped your phone in the sink? Your phone insurance may cover you for damage caused by liquid and cover the cost of repairs. But not all do – so it’s important to check. 

Overseas travel

Standard mobile insurance is unlikely to cover you outside of the UK. However, some insurers may offer worldwide mobile phone insurance, which can cover you for a limited time if you travel abroad. 

Multiple phones

Some insurers offer ‘multi-phone’ cover, where all phones in your household are covered under the same policy. However, this may not include children’s devices. 

Phone accessories

From memory cards to phone covers, cases and chargers – the replacement of accessories that are damaged, lost or stolen at the same time as the device can sometimes be covered. 

Instant cover

With instant cover, you’re covered as soon as you take out a policy – rather than having to wait a couple of weeks before making a claim, like with some policies. 

Unauthorised use

If you ever lose your phone and someone makes unauthorised calls, texts or uses your mobile data, mobile phone insurance may cover the repayment of these costs. 

Is mobile phone insurance worth it?

Some people are more likely to need mobile phone insurance than others. Here are some questions to ask yourself, to help you decide:

Have you taken out a new contract on an expensive phone?

Mobile phone contracts can last up to 3 years. If something happens to your phone, you’ll still be required to pay off the contract for the remaining term – even if your mobile is damaged or stolen. This can mean you end up paying for a phone you can’t use. 

Do you have a history of broken phones?

Prone to mishaps? You may want to consider insurance to cover you for accidental damage, so you’re covered in case it happens again. 

Is your mobile at risk of theft?

Unfortunately, mobile phone theft does happen. Things that can increase your risk of theft include:

  • often taking calls on the go in crowded areas

  • keeping your phone where it’s reachable, like your back pocket or in an open bag

  • having your mobile on view – allowing thieves to ‘table surf’, where they grab your phone and go (sometimes without you realising)

  • owning a brand new smartphone – thieves class some devices to be more desirable than others

Would you need a replacement phone straight away?

Having a mobile that’s out of action can cause problems if you rely heavily on your phone. If you need an instant replacement phone, mobile insurance may be worth considering. Just make sure your policy offers this service, as not all do. 

Do you already have mobile phone cover?

Other types of insurance, such as home insurance can include mobile phones. However, it’s important to check if it contains the type of cover you need. For example, home insurance may not cover you for items outside the home or offer a replacement handset straight away.  

How much does mobile phone insurance cost?

The cost of a mobile insurance policy varies, depending on:

  • the brand and model of your mobile phone

  • the level of cover you’d like

  • how much insurance excess you’re willing to pay

  • whether the policy is paid in full or monthly

According to Defaqto1, mobile insurance premiums typically range from £5 a month £14.99 a month. However, value for money isn’t just about price. Always check what’s covered to make sure you have the right level of cover for your needs. 

Where can you buy mobile phone insurance?

Phone suppliers typically ask you if you’re interested in mobile phone insurance when you take out a contract. You may be able to take out a policy with them at a later date. 

You can also find policies through price comparison sites.

You may be able to get basic mobile phone insurance as part of a package bundle when you take out a current account or home insurance policy.

At HSBC, you can include mobile phone cover as part of our multi-cover policy, Select and Cover. Available exclusively to HSBC UK customers. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.

1Source: Defaqto