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Travel Insurance & your mobile phone


23 July 2019 By Hayley Kennedy

The back seats of taxis, bitumen roads and toilets are natural enemies of mobile phones; throw in a foreign country and what could possibly go wrong!  If you're planning on taking your smartphone (whether it's an iPhone or Android) on your holiday, it's good to understand whether it's covered when you're on the go.

Cover your gadgets on-the-go!

These days our phones aren’t optional travel accessories- they’re essential. However, all too often travellers damage or lose their gadgets only to later discover that they aren’t covered. Or they can only claim back half of the phone’s original cost.
 
Did you know a standard travel insurance policy may not necessarily cover the entire cost to replace your phone, due to single-item cover limits? If your phone is worth upwards of $1,000 you'll need to find a policy with higher per-item limits. Or one that allows you to pay an extra premium to cover your high-value gadgets.

Who covers mobile phones?

**Click on each row to expand and see more details**

Insurer Underwriter Limit Conditions
Certain underwriters at
LLoyd's
$1,000 maybe
No cover for phones checked into the cargo hold. No cover for electrical or mechanical breakdown; a fragile, brittle or electronic component is broken or scratched; damage to the mobile phone screen, water (or liquid) damage to mobile phone.
Chubb Insurance Australia
Limited
$1,250 maybe
No cover for phones checked into the cargo hold, left unattended in any motor vehicle at any time, for damage to fragile or brittle articles unless caused by a fire or motor vehicle collision. For damage caused by atmospheric or climatic conditions, wear and tear, vermin or any process of cleaning, repairing,
restoring or alteration; or electrical or mechanical breakdown
Cigna Life Insurance New Zealand Ltd $2,000 maybe
No cover for phones not carried on your person when using a transport
provider, unless outside your control. The electrical or mechanical breakdown. The breakage of glass, fragile or brittle items
depreciation,
wear and tear, gradual
deterioration, atmospheric or climatic conditions, action of
light or manufacturing defects.
Certain underwriters at LLoyd's $750 maybe
No cover for phone any loss or damage due to wear and tear, deterioration,
moth or vermin, climatic or atmospheric conditions or mechanical or electrical breakdown. No cover for valuables contained in your personal baggage
whilst such baggage is in the custody of a carrier and outside of your control.
Zurich Australian Insurance
Limited
$1,500 maybe
No cover for phones placed in the care
of a Transport Provider. Or for damage to fragile or brittle articles unless caused by a fire or motor vehicle collision. Damage caused by atmospheric or climatic conditions,
wear and tear, vermin or any process of cleaning,
repairing, restoring or alteration. Or for electrical or mechanical breakdown. No cover for electrical or mechanical breakdown.
Certain underwriters at
LLoyd's
  maybe
No cover for phones checked into cargo hold. No cover for electrical or mechanical breakdown; a fragile, brittle or electronic component is broken or scratched.
Allianz Australia Insurance Limited $1,500 maybe
No cover for phone scratches, dents, wear and tear, rot, mould, mildew, rust, corrosion, the action of insects or vermin. No cover for malfunction of the device.
Southern Cross Benefits Limited Trading $1,500 maybe
No cover for phones not carried on your person when using transport
Providers. The electrical or mechanical breakdown. Fragile or brittle items, depreciation, moth, vermin, any process of cleaning, dyeing, repairing, restoring, wear and tear, leakage, gradual deterioration, atmospheric or
climatic conditions, action of light or manufacturing defects. Or fraudulent use of mobile phones.
IAG New Zealand
Limited
$1,500 maybe
No cover for phones placed in the care of a transport provider unless security regulations prevented you from keeping the valuables with you. No cover if left in a motor vehicle at any time. No cover for damage to fragile or brittle articles unless caused by a fire or motor vehicle collision. Or damage caused by atmospheric or climatic conditions, wear and tear, vermin or any process of cleaning, repairing, restoring or alteration. Or electrical or mechanical breakdowns.
Certain Underwriters of
Lloyds
$1,000 maybe
No cover for phones checked into the cargo hold. No cover for electrical or mechanical breakdown; a fragile, brittle or electronic component is broken or scratched; damage to the mobile phone screen, water (or liquid) damage to mobile phone.
Allianz Australia Insurance Limited $1,000 maybe
No cover for phones checked into the cargo hold. For fragile,
brittle or an electronic component is broken or scratched have an
or electrical or mechanical breakdown.
Allianz Australia Insurance Limited $1,500 maybe
No cover for fragile or brittle article unless damage is caused by fire or accident to the conveyance in which they are being carried; any electronic device caused by the malfunction of that device; Or any electronic data or software. 
Certain Underwriters of
Lloyds
$1,000 maybe
No cover for phones checked into the cargo hold. No cover for electrical or mechanical breakdown; a fragile, brittle or electronic component is broken or scratched; damage to the mobile phone screen, water (or liquid) damage to mobile phone.
General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.

Good news for those on new contracts

Despite some exclusions surrounding phone cover, travel insurance can be a huge asset when travelling with expensive devices.  A great benefit is that most comprehensive policies cover the full cost of your phone, regardless of any outstanding contract fees.
 
Insurers such as Zoom Travel Insurance1Cover and TINZ will pay for the total value of your handset, no matter how much of your contract you’ve paid off. While depreciation may still apply this can still be an invaluable benefit for those who haven’t yet paid off their phone in full.

When are you not covered

No IMEI number: Some insurance companies will not pay out a claim relating to a mobile phone (or device with phone capabilities) if you are unable to supply the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity).

Cracked screens: It’s happened to the best of us - an ill-fated fall has cracked our phone screen, or it’s been waterlogged in a bathtub or toilet. While the iPhone XS promises to be indestructible, very few phones can withstand a hard knock or splash. Some insurers have begun restricting cover for phone screen cracks and damages with many excluding cover for damages to the mobile phone, laptop, or tablet screens - so make sure you do your research when shopping for insurance. 

Leaving phones behind: Failing to keep a close watch on your iPhone may also invalidate your cover. Leaving your mobile behind in a taxi, hotel room, aeroplane or in an unlocked car, for instance, wouldn’t be covered by most insurance policies given the phone was left unattended.

Checked in items: Most insurers do not cover for damages or loss for items that were checked into the cargo hold of any transport carrier. So make sure you have your phone in your hand luggage.

Unreported items: Most policies will maintain that it is your responsibility to report theft or loss to the relevant authority (and your travel insurance provider) within 24 hours.

Items with no proof of purchase: Without an original receipt to prove your iPhone purchase, your claim might be rejected. Something to bear in mind is that photocopied, faxed or scanned documents may not be accepted.

When alcohol or drugs are a contributing factor: If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when your smartphone went missing, your claim may not be paid out.

Beware of depreciation

Insurers will usually depreciate the value of any item you claim for, so when taking a brand-new smartphone away on holidays, adding it as a ‘specific high-value item’ will limit the impact of depreciation on your phone. Just a few months can drop your phone’s value by as much as 50% so it may be worth spending a little extra to ensure the phone value remains.

Go go gadget 

Always do your research and see what varying insurers can offer you. When you’ve spent a lot of money on your new exxy iPhone it’s worth taking the time to ensure it’s well protected. Compare travel insurance for you and your phone now. 


Contributor Hayley Kennedy

Hayley Kennedy

Originally from the UK, Hayley took a gap ‘year’ in 2011… and it’s still going! She’s travelled all over the world, volunteering in a Ugandan orphanage, skydiving in Australia, shark diving in South Africa, and skiing in the Alps (and snapping in a ligament in the process!). Certified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and working in travel insurance for over two years, Hayley is a thrillseeker and a storyteller who loves hearing about customers’ holiday plans and sharing her own tips and must-see spots to help get them inspired.

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