What can you claim for?
You should check the terms of your cover, but you can usually claim if:
You lose your phone
Your phone is stolen
You break your phone
You may also be able to claim for the cost of unauthorised calls if your phone is lost or stolen, but you will need to contact your insurer within 24 hours of it going missing.
What about lost data?
Your mobile phone insurance may cover the cost of replacing apps and music, but there is often no way to recover lost photos, messages and contacts if your phone is lost or stolen.
You can protect your data by backing up your phone, so data is recoverable if your handset is lost or damaged. There are three ways to back up your phone data:
On a computer: Use the USB cable supplied with your smartphone to link it to your computer and follow the instructions onscreen to upload files to your hard drive.
With your network provider: Some network providers can store your phone data at no extra cost. Check your contract or speak to your provider for more information.
How to make a claim
If your phone has been lost or stolen, contact your local police station as soon as you notice it is missing and make a note of the incident number.
You should also call your network provider, so they can stop service and prevent any unauthorised use of your phone. Then you should contact your insurer to report the claim:
Call your insurer on their claims number (this is on your policy documents) and let them know you need to make a claim.
Explain what has happened to your mobile phone. You may be asked to complete a claims form but some insurers can take details over the phone.
Fill out any paperwork and send your insurer any supporting documents they have asked for.
The Ofcom website has further information on how to safeguard your phone from unauthorised use if it is lost or stolen.
What to provide when claiming
You may be asked to provide a receipt of purchase, to prove that your phone is registered in your name, particularly if the phone is new.
You may also be asked to send photos to prove that:
The phone belongs to you, e.g. a picture of you with your phone
Your phone has been damaged
You may also need to send payment of your policy excess, although this may be automatically deducted from the cost of your claim.
Check your policy documents for full details of what your insurer needs you to provide if you make a claim on your policy.
What is an excess?
This is the amount of money you have to pay towards each and every claim you make on your insurance policy.
For example, if you have an excess of £50 and you claim £250, your insurer will pay you a total of £200.
How will your claim be settled?
Your insurer will look into your claim and let you know how it will be settled, which could be:
Cheque or bank transfer
This process usually takes two working days, but if your phone needs to be repaired it could be weeks before it is returned to you.
You may also be asked to pay any remaining balance of your premium before your insurer settles your claim. If you pay by monthly instalments, you will need to pay off the remainder of your payment plan before your insurer will repair or replace your phone.
What if your claim is rejected?
Your claim could be rejected if:
Your policy excludes the cause of the damage
You have acted carelessly, e.g. leaving your phone in a bar
You did not report your claim quickly enough, e.g. within 24 hours
You gave incorrect information when you took out cover or when you made your claim
If you think your claim has been rejected unfairly, you can complain to your insurer. If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman service.