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Choosing the Right Mobile Insurance guide

Insuring non– traditional items like electronic devices is a growing necessity these days, as modern British life incorporates more high– tech items like mobile phones, tablet computers, and other indispensable hand– held gadgets. Taking out insurance on cars, homes, and even our lives has long-been common place, but now mobile devices are getting into the game with their own specialized insurance plans that allow smart UK consumers the opportunity to protect their favorite electronics against an unforeseen catastrophe.


Modern times has seen mobile electronic devices becoming an integral part of everyday life as contact lists, schedules, important data and variety of essential applications reside on them. With this increased functionality comes greater costs as typical mobile phone prices have well exceeded £100 pounds, a price tag many people view as steep enough to warrant carrying some form of insurance on.


British consumers admit that they simply couldn′t live without their mobile phones, so their importance, combined with the massive inconvenience of being without them are two of the most relevant reasons for insuring them against possible calamity.


What Is Mobile Insurance?


Like traditional protection, mobile insurance is cover where the consumer′s mobile phone is replaced or repaired in the event of unexpected loss, damage or theft, typically. Additionally, a growing trend in the mobile insurance market provides coverage against unauthorized charges made onto a stolen device.


Generally for a monthly cost of approximately £1.49 to £15.00, a consumer can cover their device in case the worst should happen. Blanket plans where more than one device is covered, is an opportunity for a family to cover all the phones in their household. A small business owner can also find good opportunities to cover all the devices their employees use as part of their job.


What Does Mobile Insurance Usually Cover?


When it comes to insurance, the first thing that comes to mind is replacement if something becomes lost, stolen or damaged. Mobile insurance definitely covers this scenario, but there is much more covered than a typical policy provides for a gadget enthusiast. The following is a listing fof some of them:



  • Accidental Damage – This is self-explanatory, but there are special restrictions to consider.

  • Unattended Theft – This usually involves the device coming up missing without being aware.

  • Attended Theft – This is usually a robbery that occurs directly to the device owner.

  • Loss – This is usually a situation where the device is misplaced by the owner.

  • Replacement Abroad – This usually provides cover if traveling outside the UK.

  • Water Damage – This is a situation that occurs when the device has gotten wet and ruined.

  • Breakdown – This is the failure of the device beyond the warranty period usually.

  • Cover For Accessories – This is replacement for add– on products for mobile devices.

  • Unauthorized Calls – This usually involves the charges incurred after a theft by the culprit.


When Can I Take Out Mobile Insurance?


As a general rule, gadget insurance providers take a six, or twelve month approach in regard to when a consumer is eligible to take out a policy on their mobile device. To summarize, this means:



  • If you′re purchasing a new device, you′ll have up to six, or twelve months to purchase your mobile insurance policy.

  • If you already own a qualified device, the insurers will only cover one that is less than six, or twelve months old.


The tendency seems to show that the insurance providers want to cover devices within their first year of service. Other caveats that you may have to consider are:



  • Your device is only eligible if it′s been purchased from a VAT authorized retailer. This can be an important consideration if the gadget was purchased from an ebay seller or other online retailer that′s not processing VAT taxation.

  • Certain phones either are not covered by all companies. Some specific brands have targeted policies suited to their unique features. Nokia, Balackberry, HTC and Apple are examples of this.


There are a few basic considerations to be aware of when deciding on what direction to explore when choosing your mobile insurance provider. Essentially, the mobile phone insurance market can be divided into two separate genres;


Private Mobile Insurance: These are independent companies that offer mobile insurance coverage for consumers separately from the mobile service provider. Many of these firms specialize in the mobile device market, while a few offer a variety of other insurance products as well. Lower priced bargains can be found with the independent providers, as plans tend to start out at around £1.49 a month.


Company Provided Mobile Insurance: These plans are usually underwritten by third-party insurance carriers and sold as simple, add-on products by the mobile service provider. They′re usually incorporated directly into the customer′s monthly billing, making convenience their major plus. Pricing tends to be a bit higher, though, starting at around £3.50 a month.


A mobile phone owner that′s shopping around for insurance should decide on which type of company is best suited to covering there handset based on a couple of premises:



  • First, if their current mobile service provider has an affordable plan that provides adequate coverage, then for simplicity′s sake, they might want to get insurance with which they′re already doing business. The mobile companies have a vested interest in maintaining their customer′s business; it would stand to reason that they might go the extra mile to be able to provide your gadget insurance.

  • If, on the other hand, their current mobile service provider either doesn′t offer insurance, or their policies are too expensive or restrictive, then they may want to explore the private company avenue. The independent companies are eager to get new customers and do appear to go the extra mile when pursuing new customers. Most of their plans are comparable to the company sponsored offers and warrant consideration when shopping for mobile insurance.


It should be noted that most mobile insurance providers, with a few exceptions, offer most of the main features listed above. A prospective customer should either contact the company, or better yet, visit their website to evaluate specifically what they do and do not offer in terms of features.


The following is a brief synopsis of a few of the private and company provided mobile insurance plans available for mobile phone consumers:


Private Mobile Insurance


Protect Your Bubble


Touted as cheap mobile insurance by the company′s website, Protect Your Bubble is an independent provider that seems to be targeting the cost conscious market. With plans starting at £1.49 a month, they′re definitely serving the bargain hunter market. At closer look though, Protect Your Bubble is the one company that offers the broadest range of products. With other products such as car, home, travel and life insurance, Protect Your Bubble seems to be a good place to insure many aspects of your life cheaply.


Insurance 2 Go


Sticking to the gadget insurance game, Insurance 2 Go is another indie mobile cover provider that appears to know their specialized market quite well. They′ve been providing mobile insurance for just over six years now which, in reality, is a long time for this burgeoning industry. In addition to mobile phones, they also offer coverage for laptops and tablets. Mobile phone plans start at £3.99 a month, which is a bit higher priced, but still competitive with most company offered plans. Insurance 2 Go also makes great effort to provide gadget insurance services to schools, institutions and companies, a feature that might interest business owners and administrators.


Mobile Insurance


Having your insurance policies underwritten by Lloyds of London is an impressive feature indeed, as Mobile Insurance appears very confident in their products. So confident in fact, that they′re willing to offer free coverage just for signing up for one of their plans, which also start out at £1.49 price point. The first month is free for the pay by the month plans while agreeing to an annual deal will get you three months on the house. It seems that Mobile Insurance is quite adept at providing plans tailored to specific devices, like Sony, Blackberry, Nokia, IPhone and HTC, for instance. This attention to detail might interest a loyal follower of these types of mobile phones.


Company Provided Mobile Insurance


O2 Mobile


A leading telecommunications provider in the UK and Europe, O2 seems to take pride in the in-house mobile insurance services they provide. Their program touts the peace of mind that a customer will enjoy by covering their mobile equipment with their broad range of products. The plans start at £6.00 for their standard protection, and up to £15.00 for a premier package. O2 will even apply the monthly premiums toward a customer′s O2 Rewards account, a service that affords customers the opportunity to earn free gifts for remaining a loyal customer.


Orange Group


Since its inception in 1994, Orange has become the UK′s fastest growing mobile communications company. Just two years after it′s launch, they were also honored to be the youngest company to be included in the FTSE-100, with a market capitalization of over £2.4 billion. Their mobile insurance plan, Orange Care is geared toward customer loyalty and retention and seems to be a user friendly plan. Their 24 hour replacement guarantee is a good example of this. Orange provides a free initial month upon joining and appears dedicated to replacing their customer′s phones as quickly as possible. Their plan starts at £6.00 quid per month and goes up to £15.00.


Three


Officially named Hutchison 3G UK Limited, Three is branded as Britain′s fastest growing 4G mobile network by industry analysts with a coverage map encompassing over 97% of The UK. Their impressive network capabilities are complemented by a competitive, yet reasonably priced mobile insurance cover plan. Depending on the device, a Three customer can expect to pay between £3.50 and £12.50 per month, a price range slightly lower than the competition. Another consumer friendly aspect to the Three plan is their 45 Day, money back guarantee, a nice feature for those that want to explore the plan before obligating.


T-Mobile


T-Mobile is, in reality now merged with Orange as of 1st July 2010, thus forming the Everything Everywhere Limited entity. Despite this, T-Mobile still maintains their own telecommunications services as well as their mobile insurance coverage. The features they offer are typical with industry norms as are their prices; £4.99 and up to £14.99. They do offer an above average benefit for unauthorized charges of £1000, noticeably higher than most of their competitors. It seems that T-Mobile and Orange are poised to be the largest player in UK mobile telecommunications game. We′ll see if they can merge their services to satisfy the customer base adequately.


Vodafone


Vodafone has a fabled past in British telecommunications history, as they were actually the first to make a mobile phone call just past midnight on 1 January 1985. This notable honor has accompanied them into modern day mobile services as one of the most trusted and respected in the business. Prices for the Vodafone mobile insurance mirror the T-Mobile costs; £4.99 through £14.99, and similar service features. Vodafone seems eager to provide insurance for their customers. Their website actually encourages them to visit a store and have their phone evaluated for potential insurance coverage. It′s nice to see a mobile provider eager to provide something positive for their customers.


Overall, mobile phone insurance can be a greatly beneficial product for a person to have. As electronics prices continue to rise, the possibility of incurring a significant loss due to a catastrophic gadget mishap becomes greater. Mobile insurance is a cost-effective, easy to understand means to protect yourself from a financial loss, as well as the emotional distress related to losing your favorite gadget. As UK consumers become just as mobile as their phones, the downside to losing access to their mobile phone grows exponentially. Mobile cover is quickly becoming as mainstream as car, home and life insurance.