In­sur­ance for Your Mo­bile Phone

Consumer Voice - - Contents -

Why you may—or may not—want it

A lot can hap­pen with your pre­cious mo­bile phone and we all know that all too well. It can, for in­stance, just slip off your hand and land on hard con­crete, it can fall into the toi­let, it can ac­ci­den­tally get left be­hind at a ran­dom place, for you to never see it again. The point is, should you opt for in­sur­ance cover for the phone to deal with a sit­u­a­tion where it is dam­aged, lost or stolen? An in­sur­ance pol­icy can help you cover the cost of re­pair­ing or re­plac­ing your hand­set. So then, if you de­cide to get a pol­icy and are look­ing for one that works best for you, start by think­ing about what you need from your in­sur­ance.

The in­sur­ance may cover a wide range of as­pects in­clud­ing:

• Theft/Loss

• Dam­age aris­ing from fire, light­ning or ex­plo­sion

• Dam­age to phone screen

• Unau­tho­rized us­age

• Ac­ci­den­tal ex­po­sure to any fluid lead­ing to

damages in in­ter­nal cir­cuitry

A crit­i­cal as­pect of your mo­bile-phone in­sur­ance is the type of theft it cov­ers. For in­stance, theft with­out force or unat­tended theft may not be cov­ered. If some­one takes it from a ta­ble in a cafe when you’re dis­tracted, you may be left unin­sured.

How can you get this in­sur­ance?

• Go to a mo­bile-phone show­room (the seller is al­ways dif­fer­ent than a man­u­fac­turer un­der the fran­chise model of mar­ket­ing).

• Se­lect the model that you want to buy af­ter go­ing through the prod­uct spec­i­fi­ca­tions. In In­dia, mo­bile-phone in­sur­ance is not avail­able from ei­ther man­u­fac­tur­ers of mo­bile phones or gen­eral in­sur­ance com­pa­nies. Some of the in­sur­ance com­pa­nies cover this in­di­rectly as a per­sonal li­a­bil­ity un­der house­hold pack­age pol­icy. Mo­bile-phone dis­trib­u­tors/whole­sale agents of­fer in­sur­ance for the costlier phones – this, though, comes with a war­ranty rather than as an in­sur­ance cover. • Set­tle on a mu­tu­ally agreed price (which should also in­clude mo­bile in­sur­ance/war­ranty pre­mium, at least for the first year from the date of pay­ment).

• Most mo­bile-phone sell­ers come with a war­ranty rather than an in­sur­ance cover, which is of­fered for a par­tic­u­lar num­ber of years on pay­ment ba­sis. In or­der to claim in­sur­ance, one must in­ti­mate the in­surer about loss/theft or dam­age of the phone at the ear­li­est. One needs to sub­mit the orig­i­nal pur­chase in­voice and the se­rial num­ber of the phone along with the claim form. In case of theft, the claimant will have to pro­vide a doc­u­ment stat­ing that SIM card has been blocked and a first in­for­ma­tion re­port (FIR) stat­ing that the phone has been stolen.

Ad­van­tages of Mo­bile-Phone In­sur­ance

• It comes at a cost but may turn out to be cost­ef­fec­tive should an un­to­ward in­ci­dent hap­pen.

• It gives you peace of mind. Theft and ac­ci­dents hap­pen unan­nounced and in­sur­ance pro­vides a de­gree of as­sur­ance, pro­tec­tion and com­pen­sa­tion in such sit­u­a­tions.

• If you pur­chased your high-end phone through fi­nanc­ing, you will end up pay­ing EMIs for a phone that you no longer pos­sess. In­sur­ance will be handy in such a sit­u­a­tion.

• Ac­ci­den­tal-dam­age cover can be a boon for many. Some mo­bile-phone poli­cies pay out if you drop or break your phone, and they also cover things like wa­ter dam­age and cracked screens. The re­pair cost of dis­play is quite high.

• With­out in­sur­ance you may not be able to get a re­place­ment phone of your choice im­me­di­ately.

• Rider op­tions or ad­di­tional ben­e­fits like tran­sit in­sur­ance and world­wide cov­er­age can in­crease the value of the in­sur­ance.

The Lim­i­ta­tions

• You may never use the in­sur­ance.

• Not all mo­bile phones come qual­ify for in­sur­ance; its cov­er­age is lim­ited to high-end phones.

• Your in­surer may not pay out if you have been care­less

or left your phone be­hind—in a taxi, for ex­am­ple. If you are seen to have been care­less by the provider, you might not be cov­ered by the in­sur­ance.

Think about what you need to in­sure against and find a pol­icy that of­fers this cover. You may only need ba­sic dam­age cover, or you may want more com­pre­hen­sive cover that of­fers bet­ter pro­tec­tion. In any case, make sure that the pol­icy you choose has all the cover you need. Check if it pro­vides in­stant cover and whether there’s a limit on the num­ber of claims per year.

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