Is it worth taking out mobile phone insurance?
These days, life without a mobile phone seems almost impossible to contemplate. When leaving the house, these little packages of plastic have become as essential as your door keys and wallet - just as on-tap communication has become essential to functional modern living.
Protecting your phone
That's why, when it comes to protecting your mobile phone, providers often try to push customers to take out their insurance at the same time.
After all, what would you do if it was lost, damaged or stolen? But with contract phone cover costing from £5 a month – up to as much as £12 a month for the iPhone – is this a price worth paying?
Really, this comes down to what kind of phone you have, says Gareth Kloet, head of utilities at price comparison service Confused.com. "If a regular phone is lost or broken, it can be easily replaced.
"On the other hand, if you have an expensive model that you may not be able to afford to replace, you could end up paying line rental for the rest of the contract term without a phone if you are without cover." Top-of-the-line models like smartphones, for example, cost as much as £600.
Terms and conditions
Even if you do opt for cover, there will probably be exclusions that the salesperson may not explain, says Ernest Doku, mobile expert at price comparison service uSwitch.
"For example, the phone is not covered if it's left unattended in a public space, and a claim could be rejected unless a theft is reported to the police within 24 or 48 hours."
The key is not to sign up for insurance when buying your mobile and give yourself time to think and shop around.
"While the salesperson may make their insurance sound like a good deal, it's worth checking whether you're already covered on your home insurance for example – or even as part of a packaged bank account," says Andrew Hagger, spokesperson from price comparison service moneynet.co.uk.
He adds: "You may be able to get a better deal by taking a quick look at standalone phone insurance from specialists such as talkcover.co.uk. or cusc.co.uk."