A few years ago the most expensive item that most of us walked around with was most likely some form or jewellery or, in the case of men, a good quality watch. Today the majority of people carry a mobile phone with them wherever they go and increasingly this tends to be of the advanced smartphone design.
This can mean that the phone in your pocket is worth around five hundred pounds and that’s a sizeable sum if the worst happens and it is stolen or misplaced.
Reliable statistics suggest that in the UK last year over two million phones were lost or stolen and the theft of mobile phones now makes up almost a third of all robberies that are reported to the police. Up to one hundred thousand handsets a year that end up with phone recycling companies may have been stolen according to the police databases.
With this in mind it is no wonder that insuring mobile phones is now an important part of many people’s policy portfolios, especially due to the lengths of contracts in the UK. These can mean you are liable to continue paying for monthly services even if you are no longer in possession of the handset.
Although most phones are blocked by network operators within 48 hours of you reporting a theft, stolen mobiles often find their way abroad via sophisticated criminal activity. Once here, they can continue being used.
Figures show that more than fifty per cent of smartphone owners do not have suitable insurance cover; the same percentage that have taken out lengthy two year contracts.
Insuring you phone doesn’t just cover loss or theft. Accidental damage is a common occurrence due to the heavy use mobile phones receive and most policies offer replacements if the item is beyond repair. This includes the common problems of screen cracking and water damage through spilt liquids or other means.
Various policies also include extras such as covering any authorised call costs made from the phone – costs which you may be liable for in the period between you losing your phone and reporting the incident.
The mobile phone market has grown dramatically in the past twenty years and now makes up a sizeable section of the insurance market. Reliable figures for international comparisons are hard to come by but anecdotal evidence suggests that Europe is relatively similar across the individual nations for mobile phone insurance claims, whereas Central America is something of a hotspot.
The ever increasing numbers of different types of mobile devices only serves to ensure that this sector of the insurance market will become even more important in the coming years. The introduction of tablet class devices has only really just begun to take off with manufacturers other than Apple entering the fray and producing more diverse products.
Smaller devices with screen sizes averaging seven inches will lead to even more use outside of the home; continuing to fuel the demand for insurance products specifically aimed at this market.
Want to find out more smartphone insurance? Check out this insurance news blog. You can keep up with all the latest insurance market developments there.