Many Brits could be breaching the terms and conditions of their mobile phone insurance, putting themselves at risk of not being able to claim when they need to, an expert has warned.
Mobile phone insurance provider Insurance2go shared 10 ways Brits could be invalidating their claims without even knowing it.
1. Going on strikes or participating in riots
Millions of people around the world have taken part in protests in 2020. If you’re one of them, you might also want to make sure your insurance will cover you in the event of an accident at a protest — loss, destruction or damage caused by riots, strikes and civil commotion can void your claim, Insurance2go explained.
2. Letting someone else use your phone
Be careful who you let use your mobile phone. Damage or loss caused by someone outside your immediate family — even with your permission — could mean you’re not covered by your provider, the expert said.
3. Delays in reporting your phone missing or stolen
If your phone is stolen, you must report it to the police immediately. If you don’t take this action, you claim will probably be denied. Many insurers even require a crime reference number in order to process the claim.
A delay in reporting the loss — to both the police and your insurer — can mean you’re not covered.
4. Being under 18 years old
You must be at least 18 to purchase mobile phone insurance. However, some insurers may allow a parent to make a claim on behalf of a child that permanently resides with them.
Different providers have different requirements, so be sure to check the age constraints when you first sign up to a new policy, Insurance2go advised.
5.. “Jailbreaking” or “rooting” your phone
“Jailbreaking” or “rooting” — removing software restrictions on your device, in order to install unauthorised apps and extensions — could invalidate your insurance. This is because it allows hackers to remotely plant malware on your phone.
If your phone has been subject to jailbreaking or rooting, make sure you declare this to your insurers — or they may not honour your policy, due to fraudulent activity.
6. You cannot provide proof of usage
Some insurers won’t allow you to claim for theft or loss if your device has not been in use — and if it can’t be proved, your claim may be declined, Insurance2go warned.
Proof of usage can be requested from your network provider, and it must show the device’s IMEI serial number.
6. Not taking “reasonable precautions”
If your phone is stolen, insurance providers will check that you took “reasonable precautions” to prevent it from happening.
This means that if you leave your device in your car in plain view, or unattended in a restaurant, and return to discover it has been stolen, insurers will most likely not pay out, as the theft took place as a result of your own carelessness.
8. Any unauthorised repairs
Repairs carried out by unauthorised third parties can prevent you from being able to claim on your insurance.
If your phone needs to be repaired, make sure to do it through an authorised service centre. Or, at the very least, get permission from your insurer before taking matters into your own hands, the insurer said.
9. Making too many claims
What’s more, insurers can reject your claim if you have made so many in a certain period of time.
This is especially true when you hold purchase insurance directly from your network provider. For example, Three will not cover you if you have made three claims within a 12-month period.
Therefore, it’s worth comparing different providers before buying directly from a network. Networks are often more expensive, and are more likely to limit the number of claims which can be made on the policy.
10. Getting behind on payments
This one may seem obvious, but if you’re not up to date with your payments, your insurer can not go ahead with any claims you make.
As long as your policy hasn’t been cancelled for non-payment, the claim can still be processed if you settle the outstanding amount — however, this can mount up to a lot if you haven’t paid in a while. So it’s best to keep on track of bills.