If your mobile phone is damaged or lost, you could cover the costs of replacement or repair with your insurance. Here is a guide on what you will need to know with regards to making a claim.
What can you claim for?
You should examine the terms of your cover, but you can normally claim if:
- Your phone got stolen
- Your phone got lost
- You damage your phone
You may also be able to reimburse the cost of unauthorised calls if your phone is stolen or lost. However, you will need to contact your insurer within 24 hours of it not being found.
How about lost data?
The insurance for your mobile phone may cover the cost of replacing music and apps. However, there is usually no way to recover lost messages, contacts, and photos if your phone is stolen or lost.
By backing up your phone, you can protect your data, so data may be recovered if your handset is damaged or lost. There are three ways to back up the date on your phone:
- Online: You can be able to back up your data to the iCloud if you use an iPhone. Also, there are numerous ways to back up your Android phone.
- On a computer or laptop: Make use of the USB cable provided with your smartphone to link it to your computer. You must follow the instructions that are onscreen to upload files to your hard drive.
- With your network provider: Network providers can sometimes store your phone data with no additional costs. Examine your contract or talk to your provider for more details.
How to start a claim
If your mobile device got lost or has been stolen, contact the local police station as soon as you see that it is missing and take note of the incident number.
You should also contact your network provider, so they can suspend service and block any unauthorised use of your phone. Then you should communicate with your insurer to report the claim:
- Contact your insurer on their claims number (this is found on your policy documents) and let them know that you need to make a claim.
- Explain what has happened to your handset. You may be requested to fill up a claims form. Some insurers can also take information over the phone.
- Fill out paperwork (if any) and send any supporting documents required to your insurer.
The Ofcom website has further details on how to safeguard your phone from unauthorised use if it is stolen or lost.
What needs to be provided when claiming
You may be required to provide a purchase receipt, to prove that your phone is listed in your name, especially if it is a new phone.
You may also be requested to send photos to prove that:
- The phone belongs to you, for example, a picture of you with your phone
- Your phone has been broken
You may also be required to send payment of your policy excess, although this may be automatically subtracted from the cost of your claim.
Examine your policy documents for complete information regarding what your insurer needs you to provide if you make a policy claim.
What is an excess?
This is the amount of money that you have to pay towards each and every claim that you make on your insurance policy.
For example: if you have an excess of £50 and you are claiming £250, your insurer will give you a total of £200.
How is your claim settled?
Your insurer will analyse your claim and inform you on how it will be settled, which could be:
- Bank transfer or cheque
This process will usually take two working days. However, if your phone needs to be repaired, it could take weeks before it is returned to you.
You may also be required to pay any outstanding balance of your premium before the settlement of your claim. If you pay by monthly instalments, you will need to pay off the balance of your payment plan before your insurer replaces or repair your phone.
What if the insurer rejects your claim?
The insurer can reject your claim if:
- Your policy does not include the cause of the damage
- You have behaved carelessly, like leaving your phone in a bar, for example
- You did not report the incident and the claim soon enough
- You provided incorrect information when you made your claim or when you took out cover
If you believe that your claim has been unfairly rejected, you can complain to your insurer. However, if you are still not satisfied with the outcome of your settlements, you can file a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service.