Is it time for a new mobile phone? How do you decide? Read the reviews, talk to friends, decide which features are the most important to you. However you make your decision, it’s fun and exciting to get a new phone.
My phone fell in the pool. Can I just get a new one from my phone provider?
On the surface, buying a new phone can seem reasonably inexpensive thanks to contracts, leases and “tabs” offered by phone providers. However, the actual cost of modern smartphones can easily start at $500, with some models costing more than $1,000 to purchase outright. As many customers have found out, telecom companies don’t allow you to purchase a discounted phone at any time: if you haven’t finished paying out the contract that you signed in order to get a discounted phone, you’re probably on the hook for the full cost of replacing your phone due to accidental damage.
Will my home insurance cover the replacement of a mobile phone?
Most home insurance policies provide some coverage for mobile phones and mobile electronic devices, as part of the personal property or “contents” section of coverage; as always, claims are usually subject to the deductibles applicable to your individual policy. Policy deductibles often start at $500 and range upward from there, so in the event of an incident affecting only your phone, your home insurance policy may not be the most sensible way to obtain a replacement.
Furthermore, some home insurance policies will set a maximum limit on the amount of coverage provided for specialty electronics and mobile phones; this limit often doesn’t appear on the face of the policy, and you need to read through the policy language to find out what the limit is. Here at Square One, we recognize that today’s homeowners and renters buy expensive smartphones and laptops as part of their daily life, so our home insurance policies don’t put a specific cap on the amount of coverage provided for these items. Of course, it’s important to ensure that the overall limit of insurance you buy will be enough to replace all of your property in the event of a loss.
Do I have any other options for insuring my mobile phone?
Some phone providers have introduced insurance programs specifically for their customers’ phones; depending on the value of the phone, these programs may or may not make sense in your individual situation. When buying a new phone or upgrading, you may wish to speak with your phone provider to discuss what options are available. These plans vary widely between providers, so we encourage you to ask for a copy of the policy language that would apply and review it closely before going ahead. Mobile phone repair and replacement policies contain limits and exclusions that can significantly impact the coverage and service you would receive, so it’s important to understand the policy thoroughly ahead of time in order to avoid disappointment if you need to make a claim.
Lucky you! You just got a new Smartwatch for Christmas! This is one watch you’re going to wear a lot. That means there’s an increased chance you may lose it, or that it will get damaged. Don’t worry. You don’t have to lock it up in your safe deposit box. Wear it, and enjoy it, but make sure you have the right insurance.
First question, is it jewellery, or is it a computer? Most insurance companies will consider this a piece of jewellery. But check with your home insurance agent to be sure, and find out what the applicable limit is on your policy. You may need to increase it, or add coverage if there is none included.
Second question, what happens in the event of a loss? Will you get a new Smartwatch to replace your lost one, or will you only get the depreciated value? And what if the technology has improved since your watch was purchased? Most companies will let you upgrade to a better model, but you would be responsible for the difference between the cost of the upgraded model and the cost of the exact model you currently own.
The same issues arise whether you have a smart watch or any other type of wearable technology. Fitbits and the like are huge right now; Google Glass, maybe not so much! But whatever technology you’re wearing, make sure you have the right insurance. Then you can work out, play, or just live worry-free with your new device.
Other items need insurance, too! What about all your other Christmas gifts? If your family got a new computer or gaming device, the amount of insurance could be limited, depending on your insurer’s rules. Jewellery, too, is something that is often not covered or is covered for a limited amount. Talk to your insurance agent if you’ve received some new jewellery for Christmas. Sometimes you simply need to provide a dollar amount that you’d like covered, while other times, depending on the value of the item, you may need to provide an appraisal or invoice.
Travelling over the holidays? If you’re one of the lucky ones, flying off to a sunny destination for the holidays, make sure all your new Christmas goodies are protected. Home insurance policies usually extend to cover the property you take with you on your trip. A comprehensive policy is always best, and will cover your property if you lose it, not only when it’s stolen.
And don’t forget about protecting the gifts you leave at home. When you’re away from home during the winter, most insurance companies require you to make sure the heat is being maintained while you’re away. If not, and your water pipes freeze and burst, the resulting mess will not be covered! Check your policy or talk to your agent before you go away. Some policies include a requirement to have someone come into your home every day while you’re gone to make sure heat is being maintained. In some cases, you can shut off your water system and drain your pipes and appliances.
It also might be a good idea to invest in some timers for your lights, so your home doesn’t look empty; a real temptation for burglars! Hiring someone to shovel your walks and having a friend or neighbor pick up your mail will also help to make your home looked lived in.
Relax and enjoy. The holiday season can be so much fun! Having the right insurance means you can relax and enjoy your time together with family and friends. You won’t have to worry about something happening to your gifts or to your home. Put on your smartwatch and enjoy!
For more information on coverage for mobile phones, computers and other electronics, or to get a quote on your home insurance, contact Square One at 1.855.331.6933.