Brits ‘careless’ about insuring mobile phones
Virgin Media says it’s ‘time to shake up the market’ over mobile phone insurance because many people are failing to insurance handsets that can be worth up to £500.
A study by the communications firm into consumers’ perceptions of mobile insurance, found that 72 per cent of the 1,000 consumers surveyed had not insured their mobile phone, even though 70 per cent said they had lost or broken up to seven phones in the past ten years.
A large majority – 64 per cent – dismissed the idea of taking out insurance with their mobile network operator, as they said this was too expensive.
One problem with mobile phone insurance is the fact that it often does not cover water damage, which is the cause of the damage in 47 per cent of the breakages reported.
Putting the phone in the washing machine is a major cause of water damage while other, more bizarre, causes reported to Virgin Media include a Blackberry being eaten by a race horse.
Virgin Media also discovered that some conscientious owners are paying up to £120 a year to insure their phones without knowing whether their handset will be replaced if it is lost or stolen.
Twenty-three per cent of those surveyed by Virgin Media said they had to pay for a replacement handset from their provider, even though they had taken out insurance.
Jamie Heywood, Virgin Media’s director of mobile, said: “With smartphones being core to our daily lives and many of the latest devices costing up to £500, it’s shocking to learn that so many consumers aren’t protecting their investments.
“Clearly there’s an opportunity for the mobile industry to transform consumer perception about the importance and value of mobile insurance; it’s time to shake up the market.”
A recent survey of the US market found that similar number of mobile phone users fail to insure their phones, as in the UK.
A survey by iGR of 1,000 consumers in the US found that just 27 per cent had taken out insurance on their mobile devices.
However most of those surveyed said they planned to purchase insurance policies for either their current or future mobile devices.
iGR expects the US mobile device insurance market to reach $8.6 billion by 2016.