4 Top Tips: Making a Mobile Phone Insurance Claim

Posted Sep 10, 2019.

Mobile phones - and in particular smartphones - have become a global cultural and commercial phenomenon over the past two decades. As well as developing into an integral part of our everyday lives, their incredible popularity has also been extremely lucrative for manufactures such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei.

However, with some top-end smartphones now costing in excess of £1,000, many more customers are now taking out smartphone insurance policies that are designed to cover them should they need to make a claim if they damage, lose or have their handset stolen – something that can be easy to do based on the size of modern smartphones and their desirability. Mobile phone insurance is usually taken out when someone buys a new phone or upgrades an existing handset, often as an ‘impulse purchase’.

Whilst having mobile phone insurance is generally a good idea, many consumers may be better off searching for a stand-alone policy, many of which are easy to apply for online. Such policies are usually far cheaper than the ones sold by the phone retailers or network providers, with cover available from a few pounds per month, compared with the £10-£15 per month that the big providers often charge.

Why your claim may be rejected

As with all types of insurance, to avoid a dispute with your insurer if you need to make a claim in future, it’s really important that you read the policy wording and understand what your policy actually covers. Many policies may have a number of restrictions hidden in the ‘small print’, and many clauses that could result in your claim being rejected might simply be very unfair.

To help make a phone insurance claim that won’t be disputed by your insurer, here are 4 key things to bear in mind:

  • ‘In Sight / Arms Reach’ clauses – these are very common in mobile phone policies, and they basically state that you can have valuables securely held in a bag or coat pocket, but it must be ‘in sight’ of you and within arm’s reach. These clauses are one of the biggest reasons why a phone claim may be rejected, as the definitions of ‘in sight’ and ‘arms reach’ are open to interpretation. For example, if your phone is stolen from a bag in a café that was at your feet, should the policy pay out? If your claim is being disputed or rejected for this reason, it is well worth appealing further.
  • Force / Threat clauses – a claim can be turned down if your phone is stolen from you with your knowledge but without the use of physical force. This seems to be a particularly unfair policy exclusion; for example, what happens if you are a lone woman surrounded by a group of men who demand your phone but don’t physically harm or threaten you? Again, if your claim is rejected for this reason, it is definitely worth appealing further.
  • Reporting within 24 hours – many policies used to insist that any theft or loss had to be reported within 12 hours. This was deemed to be unreasonable, but insurers will still often demand that your loss is reported within 24 hours for your claim to be valid. Should this not be possible, and your insurer disputes the claim, don’t give up and appeal further.
  • Accidental Damage – this is the most common reason for people making claims on their phone insurance. Check for restrictions though – water damage often isn’t covered, for example. It’s also worth checking what the excess is; this is the initial amount you must pay the insurer every time you make a claim, and could make claiming a fairly pointless process in some circumstances

Legal help for disputed or rejected mobile phone claims

At Bakers Solicitors, disputed and rejected insurance claim cases are dealt with on a no win, no fee basis. There are no upfront or unexpected costs, so if you feel you have been treated unfairly by an insurance company please contact us today for straightforward and professional assistance. 

You can contact us by email, arrange a free consultation online or ring us on FREE on 0800 731 7284.