Phone insurance in the UK: Here are the best cover options

phone cracked display - mobile phone insurance UK

Even though smartphones have gotten much sturdier in the last five or so years, it is never a bad idea to have phone insurance. Smartphones often are among the most expensive things we own, and they contain a lot of sensitive information. Additionally, with insurance you will receive a replacement device or a payment even for accidental damage, theft or loss. We have looked through the various options offered in the UK and picked the best for you to choose from.


Do you need phone insurance?

If you are someone who always takes care of their smartphone and uses screen protectors and cases, you might scoff at the idea of wasting money on phone insurance. But the truth is that it might be more useful than you’d think. Some accidents can damage even rugged phones and warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage. Theft, on the other hand, is especially common in big cities and can happen to anyone.

Of course, there are cons too. Insurance is an extra payment on top of your mobile contract, and it can add up after a while. It’s also worth mentioning that phones can be found more easily nowadays thanks to accurate location tracking. At the end of the day, it’s up to your personal preferences and budget. If you want an extra peace of mind, mobile phone insurance can give it you.


What type of phone insurance should you get?

do you need mobile phone insurance? photo of man stealing phone from a woman's back pocketRWCW

The type of phone insurance you should get can be influenced by a lot of factors — where you live, the brand and model of your smartphone, how you handle your phone and how prone you are to losing it.

There are different levels of protection provided by different insurers. Some offer dedicated plans for popular devices, some cover accidental damage for any phones, while some don’t even cover theft or loss. One important thing to check if you travel often is if your insurer has worldwide coverage included in their plan. There also are many other add-ons like coverage for unauthorized calls or contactless payments if your device gets stolen, but they not strictly necessary if you keep phone secured with biometrics and PINs.

Related: The best Android security practices

Family plans or multi-device insurance policies are also quite common and can be a great deal, especially if you have kids who often play with expensive tech gadgets like iPads and other tablets.

What determines the price of your phone insurance more than anything else, however, is the market value of your device. A feature phone will be dirt cheap, but the latest Samsung flagship or a new iPhone will more often than not cost you a pretty penny.


The best network phone insurance options

The first thing to do before choosing a phone insurance service is to check if one is provided by your mobile carrier. It may already be included in your contract or it could simply be cheaper and more convenient than signing up for a third party service.

EE phone insurance

EE logo

EE offers two insurance plans — Full Cover and Damage Cover. Full Cover, as its name implies, covers almost everything: loss, theft, accidental damage, even diagnosed faults in the first two years. It provides worldwide coverage, a multi-policy discount, as well as a Premium Accessories Bundle worth £39.99. No matter what happens to your phone, EE promises next day replacement with SIM included. The Damage Cover insurance, on the other hand, doesn’t protect you from theft or loss, but all the other perks are still there, with a slightly less valuable Premium Accessories Bundle worth £24.99. The Full Cover monthly premium costs £8 and the Damage Cover is priced at £4 per month. However, EE clarifies that these prices apply only to their lowest tier devices. The price may change depending on your smartphone or tablet.


O2 phone insurance

O2 offers insurance for both smartwatches and smartphones. Their plans are pretty standard — Damage Cover and Full Cover for both types of gadgets. The first is “for life’s little accidents” as O2 puts it. It starts at £3 per month for phones and £4 for smartwatches. For phones the price can go up to £9 depending on the value of the device you are insuring. The Full Cover plan is basically the same, except it covers loss and theft, and naturally costs more at £6 per month. Whichever you choose, O2 promises next day replacement when a successful claim is made. We should note, however, that next-day exchange is not available in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland. If you live in ones of those areas and have an O2 phone, you might be better off checking out a third-party insurer.


Vodafone phone insurance

Vodafone logo from IFA 2018.

Just like the two previous networks, Vodafone provides two insurance options — Damage and breakdown cover and Loss, theft, damage and breakdown cover. They have pretty self-explanatory names with the first costing from £6.50 to £8.50 a month and the second from £9.50 to £13.50 a month. Both include worldwide cover and a guaranteed next day replacement of the device if you are in the UK when it’s damaged or lost. What makes the Vodafone plans different is that there are Apple Care Services included in the package for iPhones — the only phone insurance plan in the UK to offer it. There’s even accessories cover of up to £200 when they are purchased through Vodafone. Water damage is also specified as included in both plans.


Three phone insurance

Three is yet another network that guarantees next-day replacement. The main insurance plan the company offers is Three Rescue Damage Cover. It covers accidental and malicious damage, out-of-warranty repairs or breakdown and even pet damage. However, theft and loss are not included in the package and neither is cosmetic damage, cost of calls if your phone gets stolen, etc. Only some devices are eligible for Full Coverage. Prices vary, but Three has provided a handy calculator on their website which allows you to pick a manufacturer and device model to get a price estimate.


The best third party providers

Sometimes networks don’t offer the full package that you are looking for. This is where third party insurance can help. Here are three of the best third party mobile phone insurance options we found in the UK:

Protect Your Bubble

Included:

  • Worldwide cover
  • Two theft claims per year per gadget
  • Accidental damage including liquid damage
  • Mechanical breakdown

Not covered in base package:

  • Loss protection
  • Cosmetic damage that does not impair function

Protect Your Bubble provides one of the most popular third party phone insurance policies in the UK. It’s a bit pricier than some, starting at £14.99 per month for up to three gadgets. However, the price is justified when we factor in that liquid damage and theft protection are included in the base package. It also ensures low excess costs. Protect Your Bubble allows you to make unlimited damage claims, but there is an expectation that you care for your device and take precautions to prevent damage, otherwise your claim may not be considered valid.

Read more: The best waterproof phones you can buy

One important thing to know — there is an age limit for the devices you can insure. Your first gadget must be under six months old, your second under 12 months and any third or more items must be under 36 months old when purchasing the policy.


Gadget Cover

Included:

  • Accidental damage
  • Breakdown
  • Theft
  • Family cover
  • E-wallet cover
  • Accessories

Not covered in base package:

  • Loss protection
  • Liquid damage if deemed careless
  • Theft if device is left unattended

Gadget Cover offers one of the most comprehensive third party phone insurance plans in the UK. With its insurance policy you are protected against the basic accidental damage and breakdown, but also from unauthorized usage and much more. E-wallet cover protects you for up to £500 of unauthorized transactions if your phone gets lost or stolen. Even accessories are covered. To top it all off, Gadget Cover also offers fair prices. A 64GB Galaxy S9 Plus for example, can be insured for £7.35 a month or £80.85 a year. Loss coverage can be added for just another £1.50 a month, and monthly paid policies get the first month free.

Related: Waterproof tech: everything you need to know about IP and ATM ratings

There are some terms and conditions to be aware of, however. Claims where the device has not been used since the insurance has been taken out will not be honored. Theft claims might also be rejected if you are deemed careless, such as if your phone gets stolen after you’ve left it unattended. Your smartphone or tablet also needs to be less than 18 months old when purchasing the insurance.


Post Office

Included:

  • Accidental damage
  • Breakdown
  • Liquid damage
  • Theft
  • Loss
  • Accessories
  • E-wallet cover
  • Worldwide cover

Not covered in base package:

  • Cosmetic damage

Although often overlooked, the good old UK Post Office actually provides one of the best (if not the best) mobile phone insurance plans in the UK. Everything you need is covered — loss, theft, e-wallet funds of up to £500, accessories of up to £150, and more. The only significant exception is cosmetic damage.

Policies start from £9.75 for the Economy plan. The Standard and Premium plans are a bit more expensive with starting prices of £11 and £13.50 per month, but they ensure lower excess charges. However, if you choose to pay annually, you get 12 months for the price of 10. The Post Office also offers family bundles and pay-as-you-go insurance that you can cancel at any time.


Phone insurance through your bank

Not sure if any of these plans are right for you? Then you should check if your bank provides mobile phone insurance. Some banks like Lloyds offer insurance as part of their account bonuses for select customers, while others like Barclays have standard insurance plans that cost around the same as policies from third party providers. So, make sure to contact your bank and enquire about phone insurance. You never know, you might already be covered!


This is our guide for the best phone insurance options in the UK. We’ll update it as new cover options become available. In the meantime, be sure to check out some of our other UK content below.

More posts about uk

Source of the article – Android Authority
Show More

Related Articles