Smartphones seem to be getting ever-more expensive. It’s something that has created a new breed of manufacturers that are actively targeting the market with well-spec’d handsets at a competitive price. However, many people are still going for the leading and the most well-known brands. Samsung, Apple, LG, Sony etc. Their flagship smartphones are expensive and hard to replace, which is why more and more smartphone users are taking out insurance on their phones. Trouble is, which is the right policy? Is the cheaper one the best one?
With so many plans and providers out there, finding the best deal can sometimes be a bit bewildering. Here we’ll cover a few quick tips to help you find the best insurance plan for your phone.
Know What You Need
Just as when you’re buying a phone, you need to think about what you actually need. Having all the bells and whistles isn’t necessarily what’s right, so think about what you want and what you may want in the future.
Generally speaking, if you’re more likely to drop your phone than lose it, you should consider third-party providers whose plans, on balance, may be cheaper than network providers or manufacturers.
As a quick way of checking, look at your past behaviour and what has happened to your previous phones. If you still have plenty of old undamaged phones in dusty drawers somewhere, it shows you generally take good care of your mobile. If you’ve rarely used a mobile phone case and still have a phone that is in one piece, it’s fair to conclude that you probably have less need for an expensive, all-encompassing plan.
Check out the Competition
To get the best cover for your device, it definitely pays to shop around. Although they may be best placed to repair or replace a phone, phone manufacturers often take advantage of their position by overcharging for insurance premiums. Aside from the big name providers, there are plenty of newer firms out there that provide plans at competitive rates, such as simplesurance. It is well worth exploring a range of insurers, rather than that assuming the market leaders will have the best deals; you may find the less well-known companies offer a better deal. There are plenty of comparison sites out there to help your search, but be aware that they don’t necessarily include all insurers and plans – only those who are paying them good commission!
Always Read the Fine Print
When it comes down to it, the onus is on you to understand what’s covered in your plan and what isn’t. I’ve previously found that the excess charge on an iPhone can be double that of an Android phone and I’ve also heard from people who have found that water or screen damage isn’t included, but case-damage is. Always read the fine print on a policy before you buy and try to see it in relation to your needs. Each smartphone insurance policy and company is different, but in general smartphone insurance packages do not cover theft, carelessness, or water damage. That means cracked screens and stolen phones are typically not covered.
Many specialist policies, however, cover device malfunctions, loss, and theft. Some policies will even cover accessories such as covers and headphones. Knowing what’s covered and what’s not can save you so much hassle and extra cost down the line. So read up on your policy, ask questions, and always, always read the fine print.
Always be on the lookout for a false economy with insurance plans. In most packages, you’ll pay a monthly direct debit in addition to your phone contract bills. In the event of an accident or the phone breaking down, you’ll have to pay excess charges. Often, this is where insurance plans can carry hidden costs. I paid £100 excess recently for an Android phone, so whilst you might be tempted by plans with lower monthly costs, just be aware that those lower costs may actually translate to higher excess charges. It’s the same as car insurance in that sense, so beware.
Paying less on a monthly basis doesn’t make much sense if you have to pay inordinate excess charges when actually making a claim. After all, the key factor in insurance plans is how easily and cheaply you can seek compensation or a replacement should something happen. Ultimately, you need to weigh up the costs, both monthly and excess charges, against the likelihood that you’ll make a claim.
The Bottom Line
Finding the right insurance plan requires some effort. The most important step to finding the best plan is to first know what you want and how best it can suit both your budget and behaviour. It really pays to look around for the best deal, always read the fine print, and keep an eye out for hidden costs. The same tips for buying a new phone apply here; you should be smart, do your research and get what you need, rather than taking offers on face value. Ultimately if you want the best deal, you’ll have to put in the work to find it.