Smartphone and Tablet Insurance
When you’re paying over 400€ for an average smartphone or tablet, it’s normal to think about taking out insurance in case of theft or accidental damage. However, it pays to think twice before buying a policy in Spain.
Policies are Disproportionately Expensive
Would you pay the third of the cost of a new car in insurance? Probably not. However with smartphone and tablet insurance that’s more or less what you can expect to pay. A policy for a phone costing 400€ can be anywhere from 60€ to 160€.
Added to the cost of the policy is the requirement by many insurance providers that you have to pay excess in the case of any claim, often around 50€.
The most common breakage for smartphones is the screen, however in many cases the cost of replacing the screen is more or less equivalent to the cost of the insurance policy, and can be even lower if you get it repaired at a non-official repair store.
Watch Out With The Small Print
In Spain it’s very important to differentiate between “hurto” and “robo”. Although both mean theft, the difference is that “robo” is theft with violence or intimidation whilst “hurto” is taking items without the owner’s consent. Additionally “hurto” is often classed by insurers as due to a lack of care and attention and, as such, is not covered by smartphone and tablet insurance policies. For example, if you leave your phone on the table in a restaurant and someone walks by and takes it, then this would be classed as “hurto”.
Most policies don’t cover damage caused by heat (if you leave it in the sun) or water, so be careful when on holiday.
Remember that if your mobile isn’t working, the manufacturer already covers repairs for two years after purchase. However, after the first six months the warranty is only valid if you can demonstrate that the phone was already faulty and is not simply due to wear and tear. This is a grey area and insurers will often insist you go down this route first before accepting paying out on your policy.
Check Your Home Contents Insurance Policy
Most home contents policies cover smartphones and tablets, and some of these policies may also include theft outside the home. You’ll need to check your individual policy details, or have a word with your insurance company as they may have a similar product to your actual home contents policy that could be more beneficial.
The big three providers (Movistar, Orange and Vodafone) will normally only insure a phone purchased directly from them, often leaving you with no margin to check what their policy covers and compare it with other providers. If you’re paying your mobile provider monthly for insurance and decide to change company, they will normally request that you pay the remaining instalments.
If you’re lucky and your insurance company agrees to replace or repair the phone, you’re still going to have to find an interim solution for those days until you get your phone back, unless your policy allows you to borrow a substitute phone.
If case of theft, you need to check what the limit is for fraudulent calls usage.
If you’re unlucky to have a second mishap in a calendar year, this won’t be covered in the majority of policies.
Make sure you have your phone IMEI identification code saved in a place that isn’t on the same phone!! To check your 15-digit IMEI just press *#06# and use it to get your phone blocked if it’s stolen.
Periodically make security copies of your phone data – agenda, photos, music. You can use iCloud for iPhone or Google’s service for Android.
As well as mobile providers, you can also check out insurance prices at The Phone House or Nuez Insurance.