Your 'Digital Life' Insurance - what happens if you lose your mobile?

How many times have you looked at your mobile phone today? More than 10 times? More than 100? (I probably have)

We don’t always realise how dependent we have become on our mobile companions. At least not until we lose them!

My wife’s phone screen cracked, and while most of us can live with a line or two, when it starts getting glass splinters in your finger, you probably need to take action - but can we live without it? We waited, and now we’re having to get it sorted

At least we didn’t lose it (remind me to tell you the long tale of getting back my son’s phone left on an Overground train one day - some people are lovely!!).

You’d think that for something that important, so essential to how we live, we 'd be very aware of how we protected it. So, I was wondering, do you know off the top of your head, …

A) do you have a full and up to date back-up of your phone information, data and PHOTOS?

  • Yes, definitely
  • No,
  • Honestly, not sure

0 voters

p.s. if you don’t, read this warning by @DozyDad - How much of your life is stored on your mobile?

B) do you have insurance to replace the phone - and KNOW through what means?

In other words, do you know exactly who to claim through - your phone contract, your home contents policy, a bank policy, or maybe a specific, dedicated phone cover?

  • Yes, definitely
  • No,
  • Honestly, not sure

0 voters

If you do know … is there a reason? Have you had to claim recently, or are you just the kind of person, unlike me, who remembers these things?

I stopped paying for phone insurance long ago. I started putting the cost of insurance as extra into savings every month instead.

If I had to dip into them for a replacement phone, I’d know it was justified as that extra saving would cover a the replacement phone by now.

Quicker than waiting for insurance to sort it out, no wasting police time because you lost your phone…

Just like having a spare bank account / debit card with a some emergency funds, I also keep an old phone with a pay as you go SIM in it in a drawer.

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I was with Wrisk until they pulled out of the market. Had an iPad replaced that I’d dropped onto the tiled kitchen floor - was following a recipe. Replaced with similar coverage from Urban Jungle.

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Might be a bit controversial on this feed…

But my bank a/c covers the insurance

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Packaged account?

I have Nationwide FlexPlus, even though I bank day to day with Monzo. I had a cursory look a while back to see if I could get the elements I cared about cheaper separately, but I couldn’t. :man_shrugging:

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I always wonder how many people actually do replace there mobiles who have insurance, it probably isn’t that high, otherwise premiums would be higher. For some the peace of mind is great, for me I’ll rather put the money into a savings account and if I need to replace my phone, replace it with a new model rather than just get the insurance company to replace it with the same one.

The contract life of a mobile phone is normally 2 years, £10 a month for 2 years is £240. Do people really break there phone every 2 years or more ?

What if you are paying insurance of a few phones so paying £20 a month, that’s £480 just in insurance premiums is 2 years.

With the ability to end phone contracts early and upgrade, you could if you broke your phone, upgrade to the latest model, use the money you have saved in your savings account to pay of the remainder of the contract, and still be better of than paying for insurance.

Lots of options about that don’t mean just paying an insurance company for the possibility of maybe needing to claim.

I did consider paying the extra £5 a month on my home insurance for coverage, but again I didn’t see the value for me. Although for some there will be value.

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Agree with all of this except one thing…

Don’t buy your phone on contract, if you can buy one up front.

If you run the numbers on upfront cost of phone with a sim only plan vs phone on contract, you’ll find out you are paying easily 20-30% more for the contract package (26% when I got my iPhone).

On that basis, you could even argue for taking out a loan to cover the cost of the phone if you can’t afford one up front, many people can get smallish loans for a lower apr than you pay a phone retailer.

For a low end device (my mum got an iPhone 7 early this year…) it wasn’t so bad, but middle/higher end phones will cost you a fortune.

Plus you get an unlocked phone, so can switch providers when a good deal comes along / use a local SIM if you ever get to go abroad again…

(edit) and if you want an iPhone you get a lot better treatment in the Apple store (should your phone develop a fault…) if you bought it from them. A few years ago, I had an iPhone replaced in 10 minutes as it was bought from Apple, they were liable under the (then) sale of goods act as both the retailer and manufacturer.

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I did buy mine outright for my last few phones, but I was really on about generally a contract is for 24 months.

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So what we see here is that people with less money are disadvantage twice -

  • paying more than necessary to have a phone because they have to get it on contract
  • extra monthly cost of insurance (if not enough in savings to replace a lost/stolen/damaged device) because as @robert says these are pretty vital devices these days

:frowning:

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Yeah although I think a lot of the time people just want a top of the range phone, they don’t shop about. For example I was going to get a Samsung S20 was browsing the Samsung site came across the M31, specs wise better camera, better battery, better processor, for a quarter of the price of the S20, it just didn’t have a glass casing was plastic, but I put a case on myself, so didn’t care about that.

The networks want you to buy an expensive phone, in some countries they don’t have specific branded phone shops, they have phone shops that sell all networks so you don’t get ripped off as much. For example Italy every town has phone shops, they sell all the main networks and many of the virtual networks, its substantially more competitive than the UK so prices are a lot more cheaper because the Virtual Networks are being advertised with the main networks. You can get unlimited minutes and unlimited texts and 50gb of data from numerous networks in Italy for around £5 a month. Add an S20 onto that and you are still only paying £20 a month. The equivalent on Three in the UK is £47 a month.

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Networks certainly get the better end of selling phones on contract…

But I wonder if people in Italy also use less minutes/texts/data, and how good their 4G coverage / speed is?

Hopefully we’re getting a little something extra for our much larger bills? I pay £20 for 100GB which is effectively unlimited in that I never get close to it thanks to COVID, (but I buy extra as I work from home a lot normally so need the data in case my DSL dies…)

We have a house in a little village, it has 4g plus, which is typical of most of Italy, but home broadband is slow only 2.4mb here although 1gb in big cities is normal, but they have something the UK doesn’t offer, wireless internet, which gives you 30gb wifi in your home, which is not effected by the weather. You just have a mobile antenna on the side of your house, it combines mobile network signals, which means no matter where you are in italy, up a mountain, in a valley, in a tiny village, you can get decent speed internet without having to worry about having a phone line and copper wires.

Having spent a few months here, it’s much more advanced in the offering, although customer service is horrendous, but that’s the norm in Italy.

I live in a large town in the UK, I struggle with mobile signal, where I am, so much so, three had to send me a signal booster, but in a small village in Italy I don’t.

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I tend to buy used/refurb phones and most insurance providers don’t cover these. Would be nice to have more that do as there are many perfectly good devices on the used/refurb market, but in general I haven’t bothered with phone insurance.

thanks all - some very interesting views and experiences.

I’m pleasantly surprised by how many of us have a backup, but I do think that Apple and Android have made that easier and more automatic than it used to be. I do recall the horrors of changing devices years ago, and the constant worry to keep a copy of everything just in case.

To insure or not is an interesting question. I personally have a fair insurance coverage in general, being a cautious type, but on the other hand, think that insurance for household products like washing-machines and fridges are a complete waste of (IMHO of course)

Mobiles are interesting. I did used to take the network insurance for my work mobile as I relied on it and wanted the reassurance it would be replaced quickly if lost or stolen on some business trip in particular. However, there’s much to think about now regarding what coverage to have, and whether it is worth claiming.

On the other hand, now that my kids are old enough, I want them to have decent handsets so they can stay in touch, be safe, but also connected. They’ve lost so much other stuff that the phones are sure to suffer that fate at some stage … hopefully not yet, so now that we have 4+ devices in this house, the chance of some loss increases and makes having cover (assuming it is not expensive) worth it.

Bit blessed on that one, because of my side job I have a few drawers full of brand new, just tested phones, so if something bad happens, it’s a straight switch. And as for backup, on top of the usual cloud backups for pics and the like, my phone automatically takes a system-free backup every evening, so I can restart with exactly the same phone, even despite changing models/specs/manufacturers within 30 minutes if something bad happens.
As for insurance, they are getting better but the main thing that kills it for me is that they tend to replace like for like, without much choice on your part, so if you lose a flagship, they’ll just give you another one, no matter how much you loathe the brand they try to push on you…

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And if you’re happy to buy used, saving (rather than giving your money to an insurance company) will mean you have enough saved for a replacement phone pretty quickly, even if it’s not top of the line…

Probably your choice of 2nd hand phone is better than an insurance company’s choice of new one (after a who knows how long a wait…) too.

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I run (semi) parallel phones.

Same, I literally send only £13 a month to the account to get the associated benefits. It used to be my main account but four better featured accounts elsewhere.

I used to pay £100ish for breakdown cover and £100ish for annual travel insurance (pre-covid I was travelling regularly) and the flexplus fee more than covered that especially when you add the free mobile insurance.

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I got lucky when it happened to me I’d brought a cheap bush android pophone from Argos, and the insurance company couldn’t replace it despite it still being on sale, (I don’t think Argos was one of their suppliers). So they sent me a check for about £300!

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Ok, talk about an assessor who hasn’t got a clue. Nice haul on that one, did the premium jump up massively afterwards though?

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