Is it worth getting iPhone insurance? If you're worried about losing or damaging your iPhone, you're probably wondering just that. In this article, we compare different iPhone insurance options and advice you on how to find the best insurance deal to suit your needs.
Apple's iPhones feature a stunning glass design that adds a whole new level of risk, particularly when you consider how high the price tags are (up to £1,499/$1,499 for the 512GB iPhone 11 Pro Max!). So now, there's even more reason to buy iPhone insurance. Our recent reader poll suggests that only 22% of you have iPhone insurance, but we wouldn't be surprised to see that figure rise with demand for the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.
Of course, you can minimise damage from the start with a strong and sturdy case for your iPhone.
Consider the different types of cover
Before taking out a policy you need to think about how you use your iPhone, its value, and the risks. Most policies will cover for liquid, damage, and theft. It's also worth considering add-ons such as worldwide cover and phone replacement service (some insurers take longer than others), and the amount you're willing to pay.
Weigh up risk versus price
As part of this consideration, you need to weigh up the cost against the likelihood of needing to take out a claim.
Remember that the monthly direct debit isn't the only price you will pay, but also the excess. The excess is the amount paid in the event of an accident or loss, and the amount varies among insurers.
For example, at the time of writing a policy from Protect Your Bubble costs £7.99 per month to insure an iPhone 11 64GB, but charges up to £100 excess in the case of damage or theft. An alternative to Protect Your Bubble is Gadget Cover, which costs £7.49 per month for the same device and charges up to £75 excess for handsets worth between £500-£999 and £100 for those over £1,000.
Insuring older handsets can be problematic, as in the case of Protect Your Bubble you must have bought the handset new in the past 6 months, while Gadget Cover is a little more generous with 18 months.
Also remember that policies with lower monthly costs often see excesses rise up to more than £100, which may not be worth it if the value of your iPhone is on the lower end.
If you plan on keeping your phone for several years, you can always invest in a two- or three-year plan from somewhere like Simple Insurance, which allows you pay upfront for the coverage and in some cases make savings. We were quoted £284.95 for a three year plan on a 64GB iPhone 11, which breaks down to around £7.90 p/m. Not much in the way of a price drop, but if you have the cash now then it can mean you're not tied down to a monthly payment for the next 36 months.
Look at multi-policy
You'll often get a cheaper deal if you protect your iPhone in a multi-device policy. Vendors like Protect Your Bubble and Gadget Cover offer affordable and flexible packages which protect your smartphone, tablet and PC.
Does your bank insurance cover phones?
Think outside the box on who offers phone insurance. UK banks Barclays, Halifax, Nationwide and NatWest offer insurance for mobile. Some of these banks will cover two iPhones on joint bank accounts, but be aware that policies and level of protection will vary.
For example, at the time of writing Barclays was offering new or existing customers its Tech Pack for £14.99 p/m, which covers up to four mobile phones with a value of £1,500 each, plus an unlimited number of other gadgets up to that valuation so long as they are not older than five years. When you break that down it works out at £3.75 p/m for each phone, which is very reasonable indeed.
iPhone insurance coverage with EE, O2, Vodafone
Your mobile network might offer phone insurance too, as you'll see from the results outlined below based on a new iPhone 11 6GB model.
- Virgin offers its Virgin Protect insurance for customers, which includes worldwide coverage and protection against damage, loss, theft and more. When we inquired we were quoted £12 p/m.
- O2 offers protection against loss, theft and damage for £12.50 per month.
- EE offers protection against damage but the terms were not available on its site so you'll need to contact its agents directly for more details.
- Vodafone offers worldwide damage protection from £8 p/m, with damage, theft and loss protection starting at £11.
What have you already got?
There's a tendency to think that you must get insurance as soon as you've bought the latest iPhone. Or, at least, that's the message from carriers who would prefer you to use their insurance services. And while, yes, an affordable and comprehensive policy wouldn't go amiss, it is sometimes worth looking closer to home.
For instance, should your iPhone break down within the 12-month warranty period, Apple will cover you for manufacturing defects. AppleCare+ users will also be able to replace an iPhone if it suffers accidental damage. AppleCare+ charges an excess fee of £25 for screen damage and £79 for other damage. Here's how to find out if Apple will replace your iPhone for free.
Another avenue is including your phone under home contents insurance. You could add your iPhone to your policy by opting for it to include personal possessions cover, which applies to items lost, stolen, or damaged in the home. Be careful, though - home insurance excess fees are usually higher and could result in higher future premiums.
Beware loopholes in terms and conditions
Most standalone policies are reasonable, but some have small loopholes with big repercussions - the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates businesses, has previously reported that many mobile insurers have misleading terms and conditions.
For example, some firms would promise to cover the loss of a phone but would not actually do so if the customer accidentally forgot his or her phone in a taxi, for example. The FCA found descriptions of coverage were phrased vaguely or ambiguously, such as the definition of "public space". This affected whether claims were ultimately accepted.
According to the FCA report, one customer's claim was rejected because she had forgotten her phone in a hotel. The insurer classified the hotel room as a public place once the customer had already checked out, which excluded the claim from coverage. You can see the FCA's follow-up report here.
A few insurers don't protect iPhones from computer viruses, although that's a minor concern on iOS, and a handful will only cover theft and unauthorised data costs if reported within 12 hours.