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Cell Phone Insurance

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Everything You Need to Know About Cell Phone Insurance

What is Cell Phone Insurance?

Cell phone insurance covers you financially for the possible loss or damage of your cell phone. In other words, if you’re worried someone will steal or drop your phone, you need this kind of insurance. The insurance provider agrees to replace your mobile phone if certain insured events occur. In return for this cover, you pay a monthly premium.

How Does it Work?

You can get cell phone insurance as part of a larger insurance policy such as a home contents insurance policy, or you can get a standalone policy just for your smartphone. Sometimes you can get cell phone insurance from your network provider.

When you buy a policy with the network provider, they expect you to get the policy within 30 days of buying the device. Networks like Vodacom and MTN don’t get the policy underwritten. That means they don’t determine your premiums based on your risk profile. So even people who keep breaking their phones will pay the same premium as super responsible individuals who never claim.

This could be a benefit or a negative, depending on how much your premium ends up being. They determine your premium based on the retail price of the device when you buy it. That means more expensive devices will have more expensive monthly premiums. You also won’t be able to insure an older device with network providers.

If you’re adding your mobile device onto your home contents cover, make sure the insurer has the details they need about the device. With this option, you’re rewarded for responsible behaviour with your smartphone, because your premiums are based on your risk profile.

Which Cell Phone Insurance is Best?

That depends on what you need and how much you’re willing to pay. Not all policies are alike. Because there are so many options, we suggest comparing quotes to find the best one. When you compare, look at the cost of monthly premiums, and the events insured (like theft, accidentally breaking it, or the smart phone falling in water by accident).

Also look at exclusions on the policy. Some policies won’t cover water damage, for example. You need to know that the coverage you’re getting is going to suit your lifestyle and risks

You can ask insurance providers these questions when comparing options to find the best one:

  • Must my device be new to be covered or do you accept older mobiles too?
  • Are there waiting periods before my device is covered?
  • What are your exclusions, excess, and any conditions I need to meet to warrant a claim? (for example, not leaving your phone out on your car seat).

What Does Cell Phone Insurance Cover?

It may differ from plan to plan, but most policies cover accidental damage, loss, and theft. If you get an all-risk plan, it often gives you comprehensive cover for more risks. Some people choose more basic plans that give you less cover but cost less, too.

Are Cell Phone Insurance Plans Worth It?

If you’ve got a really cheap phone that is easy to replace, then you probably don’t need cell phone insurance. But if your mobile costs more than you could easily pay, you will need this type of cover. Especially in South Africa, where mobile phone theft is rampant. Even if you don’t consider theft, consider how easy it is to break it accidentally. Cracked screens happen to us all, and they’re pricey to fix.

How Much is Cell Phone Insurance?

The price depends on your risk profile if you get it insured with an insurance provider. Or it depends on how expensive your device is if you get it covered with the network provider. Lastly, the new generation of insurance called InsureTech may assess the cost of your insurance in a completely different way. Using AI, they determine your premiums and cover over a mobile app. Some allow you to switch your cover on and off so you can save money.

How to Claim

If your phone’s been stolen or is missing and you no longer have it, you need to take a few steps before claiming. First, blacklist it with the network service provider. They should give you an ITC number that you can then give to your insurer when you claim. Sometimes you need to report the theft to the police too and get a case number. It’s best to call your insurer to find out what their exact process is and which details they want. The insurance company will either pay out a sum or arrange a replacement phone if it can’t be repaired.

It is important to check your policy for exclusions and requirements – remember that most cell phone insurance policies don’t cover software and data recovery.

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