Mobile Phone Insurance what an absolute rip off! part two
I have worked in the insurance business for 5 years and I have never seen such a blatent rip off as Mobile Phone insurance!
Mobile Phone insurance what an absolute rip off! part two.
Mobile Phone Insurance what an absolute rip-off part two.
I wrote some 18 months ago about my experiences of trying to purchase ‘Mobile Phone Insurance’ please see;
To recap very quickly. I had purchased a new Nokia mobile phone at the time the handset was worth around £400 to replace if lost or stolen. As with any sensible person I would try to avoid this. However some times theft or loss and damage cannot be avoided so what better thing to have than insurance against such an event?
In my previous piece I gave examples of when a mobile phone is stolen and or lost and the insurance company will not pay you for your loss. 18 months later I had hoped this huge miss selling of mobile phone insurance had stopped? Why 18 months? This period was as long as my mobile phone air time contract lasted. I have now signed up for a new 24 month contract and have a new shiny HTC Android phone and very nice it is to.
At the back of my mind the same niggling voice has opened up saying,
“What if you lose the phone? Or drop it down the toilet or stand on it by accident?”
I have worked in the insurance market for 5 years and I am aware of the FSA rulings and procedures. I previously highlighted that the service providers insurance in my case ‘02’ was very flawed and didn’t cover theft and loss to any degree! Based on that finding I refused to take up the mobile phone insurance offered and recommended by ‘02’ My partner has the same expensive hand set and a friend I know also. Having the time as I’m registered disabled, I set about to find a company that did cover your phone if lost or stolen?
After an hour or so of using comparison sites like “Go Compare” and “Confused.com” I found the biggest three companies and downloaded their terms and conditions and more importantly their exclusions! An exclusion is when the insurance company feels they have reason to decline a claim by you for a lost or stolen phone handset. Writing for online content sites such as this one and other excludes me from cut and pasting the exact exclusions on this publishing site.
I will therefore list their exclusions but in my own words which in all honesty makes it easier for you the reader to understand. The longest and most surprising set of exclusions was from the company ’Bubble’ which has had a huge TV marketing campaign only recently.
Loss. Now loss of your mobile phone is quite common in many people’s lives. We lead busy lives and a mobile phone is an essential for most of us. We keep our passwords in our phone’s. We store all our phones numbers and even PIN codes for our banking! In our phone. So under those circumstances we have our phone with us at all times. This hasn’t happened to me but I know several people that this scenario has happened to I.e. You go out on a Friday night with friends. Perhaps you have one to many drinks as its Friday and you have had a stressful week at work. You wake up the next morning with a hangover and low and behold your phone is nowhere to be seen! You call the phone from your landline but its not ringing in the house.
You then call your friends and ask if they have your phone? And they say no. Its Saturday morning and your now fed up. You think insurance companies don’t work at weekends so you wait until Monday morning and phone ’Bubble’ to report your phone as lost. You see that was your first mistake. ’Bubble’ wont pay for your phone unless you report it missing in the first 12 hours repeat the first 12 hours. Claim Rejected.
Secondly the assistant in the call centre asks you the precise time and place you lost your phone? I.e. “In the Crown and Horseshoe pub at 9.21pm” now if you knew where your phone was and what precise time you wouldn’t have lost it now would you! However you don’t know so once again. Claim Rejected.
Damage requiring Replacement. Sounds straight forward this one? No its not. The policy states that you “Must take every precaution to not damage your phone and this include negligence” So in my scenario your sitting in your arm chair and you put your phone on the floor next to your car keys. You stand up to answer the front door and crack! You stand on your phone. You call ‘Bubble’ and they inform you that you had been negligent in looking after your handset. You hadn’t taken proper precautions to stop damage to your phone, as in you put it on the floor. Claim Rejected.
Damage requiring Replacement.2 In my second scenario your in the bathroom answering a call of nature and your phone rings in your pocket. The call is from your mother so its important you accept the call. Then the unthinkable happens you drop your phone down the toilet! Your phone is water damaged and requires replacing. You phone ’Bubble’ and tell them your tale of woe and wait for it, they tell you that you were using your phone in an environment not recommended by the manufacturer of your handset! And you had not taken proper precautions to ensure the safety of your phone Claim Rejected.
Theft. This should be the easiest of scenarios to play out but oh no its not. Your in the same pub as before and your using your mobile phone to order a cab home. Next thing you know someone grabs your phone and runs out of the pub. You cant can’t catch them, you phone is stolen. So you phone ‘Bubble’ and tell them your tale within 12 hrs. Your informed that your phone isn’t insured if used in an unsecured public place! Or a place where people go that are unknown to you! So where can you use your phone and be insured? You have me there I have no idea. Claim Rejected.
Theft 2 Your walking down the street and a man in a hoodie jumps out from a door way and demands you give him your phone or else. You hand over your phone as you are being mugged. Within 24hrs you call ‘Bubble’
Bubble asks you do you have a crime No from the police? And also where you injured in the mugging? To claim you must have a crime No, which is easy the police give them out over the phone. Crime No’s are required for home insurance theft claims to. Lastly the insurance company needs to know if your were injured in the mugging because if you were not injured they wont pay! They state that you didn’t defend your phone enough in the mugging. I guess if your stabbed or punched unconscious they would pay but as you gave your phone to the hooded mugger. Claim Rejected.
Theft 3 My last scenario. Your at home in bed your mobile phone is on the kitchen table and your burgled. The thief takes your TV and DVD player and your mobile phone. You call ‘Bubble’ with your crime No via the police, you think your covered however the assistant on the phone at ‘Bubble’ says “Were any windows broken in the burglary or a door smashed?” If the burglar didn’t damage your property. Claim Rejected.
Conclusion. Mobile phone insurance are a complete and utter confidence trick. It is a waste of your hard earned money. There is not one scenario in which you will be compensated for your loss at all. Please feel free to study your insurance terms and conditions and more importantly the ‘Exclusions’ you will be horrified. In my research I found an article by a well known TV money expert (Will not say his name) he came to much the same conclusions as I did.
Self Insurance. I have gone down this route let me explain. Self Insurance is what it says on the tin. Open up a separate savings account allied to your current account. I did this yesterday. I then set up a standing order for £20 a month from my current account to my savings account. Once open forget about the account put it to the back of your mind. If the worst happens and you lose your phone and or its damaged or stolen you use the money in the separate savings account to repair or replace the handset. The down side is of course if your lose your phone within the first few months your savings will not be enough to cover your loss. However even major phone companies sell reconditioned handsets now which are cheaper than new ones. Or there is ‘E-Bay’ unlocked phones are available for purchase.
I hope this article will encourage you to at least read your exclusions on your mobile phone insurance policy.