How to get your smartphone insurance?
Are you possessive about your smartphone or mobile? You should be after all it is an expensive plus a useful device. Many a times we often drop our device (more cases have come up dropping the phone in the washroom), or we tend to lose it forgetting somewhere, or our device gets stolen. In all these circumstances your fragile phone needs to be taken care of with proper insurance. To be less stressful about your phone you need to think about whether you need an insurance policy for your phone and which carriers cover the best one.
Almost all telco companies in Australia offer smartphone insurance. If you buy your phone through one of the major providers they offer options for protecting your device against many of the above unfortunate events. All of the big carriers offer phone insurance, either as an add-on to your monthly plan cost when you sign up, or to be bought separately.
According to Telco giant Optus they had more than 118,000 insurance claims by customers annually and 75 percent of them was caused by physical damage. Another 20 per cent of claims were reported as lost and five per cent were stolen.
The high volume of claims has forced the telco to twist insurance policies and roll them into one product costing customers $13 per month to cover phones if it’s damaged, lost or stolen.
So if you want to protect your phone you may look for what is covered by retail and manufacturer’s warranties, and the rights you have as a consumer under Australian consumer and fair trading laws.
Below are the best Telco carriers and their insurance program
Telstra StayConnected Plus
Telstra’s insurance program is known as StayConnected Plus and comes with lots of features to protect your device.
This insurance is offered on the same day of your purchasing a new eligible handset or tablet device from Telstra, or from an authorised Telstra Dealer. To take advantage of StayConnected Plus you need to take it up with a contract or outright purchase on an eligible plan.
There’s no long term commitment. Just a month to month charge and it’s available to Consumer and Business customers with a 13 digit account number.
- For Android and iOS devices, StayConnected Plus lets you back up, retrieve and transfer important contacts, photos and videos to a replacement device.
- You have 10 GB of space to store photos, videos and unlimited contacts.
- You won’t be charged data usage for viewing or using this app unless roaming overseas.
- Downloading the app from the app store will count towards your monthly data allowance.
Charges of this plan
- StayConnected Plus comes with Monthly Premium: $15.00.
- For up to 2 handset replacements within a 12-month period
- Service charge of either $140, $190 or $220 must be paid for each replacement (costs vary per device).
- You should be having a valid plan and overdue fees when requesting a replacement.
- Service can be cancelled at any time.
If you wish to have only StayConnected plan (above was Stayconnected plus) then you have all the same features as Stay Conencted plus with monthly premium of $14 with access to a Data Backup and Restore service hosted by Telstra and also its Mobile Technical Support Services
Check whether your device is supported by this plan or not or call 13 22 00 or contact your nearest Telstra store. You can also download the iOS app for your iPhone and iPad or download the Android app for your Android Phone. The StayConnected App gives you control over many of your StayConnected Plus settings as well as helpful notifications
Optus Device Protect Insurance
Available for new and old users Device Protect from Optus gives you peace of mind by getting you back on track with a replacement phone or tablet in the case of loss, or theft, or repairing or replacing the device in the case of accidental damage. Also there is no contract or locking period as you can try it for the first few months after you bought your device.
If your device is lost or stolen, subject to market availability and geographic location, a replacement device will be available to you within 2 business days of your claim being approved.
If your device is damaged, it is likely to be repaired or replaced within 5-10 business days of your claim being approved.
If your device is lost or stolen or accidentally damaged, whether it’s here in Australia or while travelling overseas, you’re covered.
If your phone or tablet is lost or stolen you’re also covered for any unauthorised use of your service up to $600 for the twelve hours prior to notifying Optus of the loss or theft.
For full details, download a copy of the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
Charges of this Insurance
There is a monthly premium of $14 and you can insure your mobile phone handsets and tablets. Claims that are covered include theft, loss, accidental damage or electronic failure whether within Australia or even International. There is but a little excess premium to avail all the covers that range between $100- $200
- Limit of liability: $2000 (less the excess applicable to the claim
- Unauthorized usage upto $600 for the 12 hours prior to notifying Optus of the claim
- Cover for accessories: Wearable devices such as smart watches and fitness activity trackers are not covered only accessories provided with the mobile device are covered.
How to get Device Protect Insurance
Device Protect insurance can only be taken out at the time you purchase a new device from Optus- online or at store. You can add Device Protect in the shopping cart when you buy a new mobile phone or tablet online. Or, simply ask the sales person about Device Protect when in-store or on the phone.
Also you can call Optus Customer Service 1300 300 937 for more details or Find your local Optus Store
Vodafone Cover Me
Vodafone Cover me Mobile Insurance offers a broad range of cover in the event of loss, theft or damage to your phone or tablet. This cover applies whether you’re in Australia or travelling overseas on holidays or business.
- Provides cover for the replacement or repair of a phone or tablet up to the value of $2000 (incl GST & less applicable excess) in the event of damage, loss or theft
- Up to $100 towards replacing or repairing accessories that are purchased with an insured phone or tablet if they are damaged, lost or stolen
- The reimbursement of up to $500 for unauthorised call costs incurred while your device is lost or stolen
- Up to $300 towards a phone if you need to hire or buy a temporary replacement while you’re away overseas
- Monthly premium: $15.00.
- This premium is payable one month in advance and is debited to Your Vodafone account.
- Premiums can change and you will be notified 14 days in advance of any change.
- Where you make a valid claim an excess will apply. Different excesses apply depending on the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of your device at the time that you lodge your claim and whether vodafone choose to repair or replace your device with a new or refurbished one.
- Claim limit is three valid claims within any 12 month period.
Virgin Mobile Insurance
Virgin Mobile’s mobile phone insurance is offered through Risk Insure Pty Ltd.
- The insurance covers against a lost, stolen, or damaged phone with low premium of $9.95
- With Virgin insurance policy you are covered anywhere in the world.
- You’ll even get up to $1250 worth of unauthorised calls if a someone steals your phone in Australia,
- You can get up to $500 to rent a temporary replacement if you’re travelling overseas and your phone is stolen
- Monthly premium: $9.95.
- You will insure for up to $5000 per claim.
- Will be reimbursement of up to $1250 or unauthorised calls if the phone is lost or stolen
- Get Excess $200 for iPhone and $125 for all other handsets
- $500 per claim to hire an equivalent temporary replacement if overseas for 14 days
- There are other private insurance companies with whom you can also get your mobile insured like Cover tec
Apple provides Insurance too
If you are the owner of iPhone then you should know Apple offers its own warranty options for customers to cover technical problems and defects.
What it offers
- Apple includes a one-year warranty for the phone itself with Apple accessories contained in the original packaging.
- The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship, provided the product is used ‘normally and in accordance with Apple’s guidelines’.
- You can have the AppleCare Protection Plan at an additional cost with extra year of warranty, with telephone technical support for two years, an express replacement service for damaged iPhones and access to overseas repair or replacement.
- Apple care protection covers also protects for damages and defects for the phone itself, its battery and included Apple accessories
- Provides Software support for iOS and Apple-branded applications (Mail, Safari, iTunes, etc)
- If you travel then it also provides the handy option of global repair coverage through Apple retail stores or authorised technicians.
Differences between the Apple warranty and insurance bought through your carrier
- Apple’s warranty covers breakdown, mechanical failure and manufacturing errors and defects.
- It does not assist customers if their device is stolen, lost or for any damage caused by accident or external causes such as liquid contact, fire, or misuse.
- Insurance offered by providers usually doesn’t include electrical or mechanical breakdown though Optus gives customers this option.
- Insurance covers your phone being lost or stolen, and any accidental, unforeseen damage.
- Policies that do cover breakdown or failure apply only to repairs that aren’t covered by a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee.
- A manufacturer’s warranty is best for covering product failure and electrical and mechanical problems, but if you drop your phone, then this does not work.
- Insurance is invaluable if your phone is stolen, it may not give you appropriate cover if your phone’s software dies three months after your purchase.
What is Australian Consumer Law and your rights
If you have a faulty product then you are covered in Australia by the Australian Consumer Law, which covers all states and territories and regulates fair trading and consumer protection.
What you need to know is that warranties issued by manufacturers do not restrict a your rights – they don’t override or limit the Australian Consumer Law, and just because your warranty has expired or a fault isn’t covered by the manufacturer, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not entitled to assistance or compensation from a retailer under Australian legislation.
So what does the law states?
- You have the right to ask for a repair, replacement or refund for goods that are faulty, unsafe, look unacceptable or don’t work properly.
- Australian consumers are entitled to a refund or replacement for a major failure and compensation for any other reasonably unexpected loss or damage.
- You are also entitled to have goods repaired or replaced if they are not of acceptable quality, even if there is no major failure.
- For minor issues, you may choose whether to repair, refund or replace the faulty item, and any repairs must happen within a ‘reasonable time frame’.
- For major problems, you are given the choice between a replacement or a full refund.
- Phone manufacturers and telco providers must ensure the goods they sell are fit for purpose, match the description provided and any sample or demonstration models, and have the same qualities and level of performance that have been advertised or promised by the seller.
It is but to note that phone manufacturers do not have to provide a refund or replacement if you don’t have proof of purchase, or you have simply changed your mind, if you have caused damage (intentionally or through obvious neglect), or you were aware of a fault prior to making the purchase.
You should be aware under what circumstance you’ll need repairs or assistance from your retailer or provider, and check that you have adequate protection, either through your warranty or through additional insurance. You need to check therefore what insurance covers and what all you can claim and what your legal rights are.