For many of us the thought of going even a single day without our cell phones starts to make our hands shake and our eyes twitch.
When you consider that the wide range of applications for a mobile phone include everything from helping you to navigate around the city to providing appointment reminders and keeping tabs on your teen, it’s easy to see how it becomes your constant companion.
Did you know that about 60 million mobile phones are lost or damaged every year accounting for more than $30 billion in losses?
Losing or breaking your phone can really set you back. And having it stolen is even worse. And, if you do experience a loss, do you know if your homeowners insurance will help pay for a new one? Or is an insurance policy that specifically covers cell phones a better option?
Below we will outline the details of how (most) homeowners insurance companies respond to cell phone losses and some things to consider when looking at a cell phone insurance policy.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to give our office a call.
The Manufacturer’s Warranty Is Not Mobile Phone Insurance
Most cell phones come with warranties from the manufacturer covering all damages from defects or mechanical failure. Manufacturer warranties usually cover defects for one year. However, a manufacturer’s warranty will not cover a replacement phone if you dropped the phone and smashed it, if you spilled your coffee on it or if your phone was stolen or lost.
Does Your Homeowner’s Policy Include Cell Phone Insurance?
Insurance for mobile phones – when it is included in your homeowner’s policy – is likely not enough to replace your phone. The typical HO-3 homeowners policy insures all direct physical losses of all personal property listed in Coverage C of the policy document. The only condition is that a covered peril needs to be the cause for loss.
Therefore, if you listed your mobile phone in Coverage C and insured it against theft, you would receive coverage for the theft of the mobile phone. If your theft coverage pays for the depreciated value of the phone, you will still pay a considerable amount to buy a brand new one.
Additionally, most homeowners insurance policies have a deductible of $500 to $2,500, which means you would need to pay that amount prior to any coverage kicking in.
What to Look for in Cell Phone Insurance
Insurance for mobile phones makes sense under certain circumstances, but you want to be sure you are getting the benefit and value you need. Here are some questions to ask when considering a policy on your cell phone:
What is the coverage and scope of the cellular phone insurance? For example, does the policy cover accidental damage, phone theft and loss?
What does the coverage cost? Multiply your monthly premiums by the length of the policy and then add the deductible. For example, if you pay $10 a month for 3 years, then $10×36 = $360 + deductible of $50 = $410. If the price of a new cell phone is less than the amount you would be paying, you may decide that buying a new phone would be a more cost-effective option.
How will the cell phone will be replaced in the event of a loss? Will you get a similar model or a better one? Will the replacement be a new phone or a refurbished one?
What will it cost to replace your phone out of pocket?
How much is the deductible? The deductibles for cell phone insurance usually cost around $50-$150.
Will the insurance cover the cost of calls a thief made after stealing your phone?
Your insurance coverage should fit your needs and give you peace of mind. You should feel confident that your coverage has a high value and can protect your investment adequately.
Disclaimer: The above information is to be used as guidance only, and it is not to be considered as definite in any particular case. Every policy is different and you need to read through your policy and consult with your agent to best determine how your coverage will respond. The information provided is based on the ISO standard HO-3 homeowners insurance in force in most states. Policy provisions and laws vary from state to state and they can change at any time. Due to the brevity of this article, we cannot analyze every possible loss exposure and exception to the general guidelines above.