Mobile phone insurance

Protect your mobile phone with your home insurance policy for peace of mind if it’s lost or stolen.

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What is mobile insurance?

Mobile phone insurance offers cover if your mobile is lost, stolen or damaged. Depending on your policy, it could cover repairs, a refurbished replacement or a brand-new phone. 

Insurance is especially useful if you have an expensive handset or are signing up to a long-term phone contract – particularly if you have a history of losing or breaking your phone.

What does mobile phone insurance cover? 

Good mobile phone insurance policies typically cover:

  • Loss, theft and breakdown
  • Battery malfunction
  • Broken buttons
  • Screen cracks
  • Accidental damage
  • Cover for phone accessories like a case, headphones and charger
  • Unauthorised calls if your phone is stolen
  • Fraudulent activity if your phone is linked to your debit or credit card
  • Liquid damage
  • Replacing downloaded content and apps, like music, games, movies, and books
  • Multiple phones
  • Taking your phone abroad – some policies offer worldwide cover

Your insurance provider may cover the cost of repairs or a new phone. It’s worth looking for a policy that offers a rapid replacement service, although this may cost more.

What doesn’t mobile phone insurance cover?

Most mobile phone insurance policies don’t cover:

  • Wear and tear
  • Cosmetic damage
  • Intentional damage
  • Faults caused by not following the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Lost SIM cards
  • Damage caused if using a different SIM to the one your policy covers
  • Theft or loss due to carelessness. For example, leaving your phone unattended or where it can be seen in your car
  • Theft you don’t report to the police
  • Older phones (some policies have a limit on the age of phones they’ll cover).

Mobile phone insurance policies will also give you set timeframes where you would need to report that your phone has been damaged, stolen or lost to your provider and the police where relevant. If this isn't done then your claim won't be paid. Check your policy for details.

If you travel frequently, check your policy covers you while you’re abroad. You may find that your travel insurance covers your mobile phone.

Do I need mobile phone insurance?

You may find mobile phone insurance useful if:

  • You’re prone to losing or breaking your phone
  • You couldn’t afford to replace your phone
  • You have a long-term contract
  • Like many of us, you rely heavily on your phone and would need a replacement in a hurry. 

What types of mobile phone insurance policies are available?

You can choose:

  • A standalone specialist mobile phone policy that just covers your phone
  • Gadget insurance that covers your phone and other devices, like laptops and tablets
  • Home contents insurance that includes mobile phone cover.

Packaged bank accounts sometimes include mobile phone insurance. Always check the level of cover is right for you though.

If you’re considering contents insurance as a way to cover your phone, it will cover the phone inside your home, but you may want to add on accidental damage to make sure you're covered if your phone falls down the loo or the screen cracks having dropped it on your tiled kitchen floor. And if you want cover when you take phone out and about, you'll need personal possessions cover too for an extra fee. But this will also cover things like your purse or wallet, bag and jewellery as well as your phone.

Always check the policy excess (the amount you pay towards a claim). This might be more than the value of your phone.

If you've got a very expensive model, you might also want to check the single item limit where you need to tell your insurance provider about it so it can be listed in your policy and insured to its full value. With some providers, the single item limit can be around £1,000 and many top of the range models can easily cost more than this.

How much is phone insurance?

The cost of UK mobile insurance depends on your phone’s make, model, age and the level of cover you want. Remember, the more extras you add, the more your premium will cost. If you want extensive cover, it might be worth choosing a specialist mobile phone or gadget policy. For example, some specialist policies include a potential payout if your phone is used to make unauthorised contactless payments or unauthorised calls in the first 24 hours it has been stolen, leaving you out of pocket.

Cover typically starts at a few pounds a week for cheap and standard models but can total a few hundred pounds a year for top of the range models with lots of extra cover.

At the moment, you can’t compare standalone mobile or gadget insurance with Comparethemarket. But you can protect your mobile phone as part of your home insurance policy with us. 

How can I get cheap mobile phone insurance?

Your network provider will probably offer you insurance when you take out your contract, but you’ll usually find a cheaper deal by shopping around. Check the terms of any policy carefully to make sure you’re getting the right insurance for your needs.

You may be able to reduce your premiums by paying a higher excess, but make sure you can afford the excess if you need to claim.

Another option is to self insure – that’s to say, put aside a small amount of money each week to pay for repairs or a new phone if you need it. If you don’t, you get to keep what you’ve saved. However, there’s no guarantee you’ll save enough to cover the cost a new handset. A top of the range mobile can cost between £1,000 and £2,000 depending on brand and spec.  

Frequently asked questions

Is insurance on iPhones worth it?

That depends on your financial situation and how likely you are to lose or damage your phone. If you’re careful with your iPhone and invest in a good-quality protective case, you may find insurance is an unnecessary expense. However, if you simply couldn't afford to replace or repair your phone if it was lost or damaged, iPhone insurance could be a worthwhile investment.

I have more than one mobile phone. Can I insure them together?

Some mobile phone insurance providers require you to insure each device separately, while others offer multi-device cover, including family bundles, which is usually cheaper.

How does phone insurance work?

If you damage your phone, some insurance providers will prefer to repair it. If that’s the case, you may be without your phone while repairs are carried out. Other insurance providers may offer you a refurbished equivalent, rather than a brand-new handset.

If your phone is lost or stolen, you should either be offered a new phone or one of equivalent value. It's important to understand how this works in practice. If you bought a top of the range phone a few years ago but the technology has overtaken you, you'll only get the equivalent to your old phone – you won't get a new current top of the range phone that's a higher spec than yours. For details, check your policy terms and conditions.

How much is my mobile phone excess and when do I pay it?

Most mobile phone insurance providers typically charge an excess of at least £50, although how much you pay will depend on your phone and your policy. If you have a very inexpensive phone, the excess could be as little as £10. You’ll need to pay the excess when you make a claim.

Does it matter how old my phone is?

Yes, most insurance providers will only cover you within six months of buying the phone, although some offer cover up to one year from the purchase date. You’ll need proof of purchase when making a claim, so keep hold of any receipts or card statements.

For second-hand phones, you may have to get specialist insurance. And if you bought your phone on eBay, or a similar auction site, you could find it hard to get cover, even if it’s brand new.  

How can I get insurance for my phone?

To get a quote, you’ll need to provide:

  • Your phone’s brand, make, and model
  • Your name, address and date of birth
  • Where and when you bought the device
  • The IMEI number (normally found on the box)
  • Details of any existing damage
  • Information about how much cover you want, and the excess you’re willing to pay. 

How do I claim on my mobile insurance?

If you need to make a claim, the first thing to do is to call your insurance provider – you’ll find a helpline number on your policy documents. You’ll usually need to make your claim within a certain time period. If your phone has been stolen, you’ll need to contact the police and get a crime reference number.

You should also contact your network so they can put a bar on your SIM card to prevent unauthorised calls and texts as soon as you realise your phone is missing. Don't forget to change any passwords on your banking, email, or social media accounts straight away too. 

Your insurance provider should walk you through next steps, including what paperwork you’ll need to complete.

What should I do if my claim is rejected?

If your claim is rejected, take a look at your policy documents. Check your details are correct and find any wording that can prove you should be covered. You may need to call your insurance provider’s complaints department and send evidence to support your argument.

If you’re still unhappy after going through the formal complaints procedure, you can take your claim to the Financial Ombudsman – a free, independent service that will investigate.

For more information read our guide to rejected claims

Can I insure my children’s mobile phones?

You should check the age restrictions on any policy to make sure your children’s mobile phones will be covered. Many insurance providers won’t cover children under 16, or in some cases under 18. You may have to add extra cover to ensure your child’s mobile is covered or look for a specialist policy.

Can I claim for my phone on home insurance?

In some cases, yes. Your home insurance policy may well cover you if your phone is stolen from your house. You may also be able to extend the cover for accidental damage or when you’re carrying your mobile outside the home. And if you claim, you could face higher premiums in the future.

What is digital download cover?

Digital download cover offers you financial protection if something happens to your phone and you lose your paid-for downloads. This is sometimes included in standalone mobile phone insurance and home insurance. You won’t be covered if you delete your downloads by mistake, and only downloads you bought legally will be covered.

Where can I find mobile phone insurance?

You can’t currently compare standalone mobile phone and smartphone insurance with Comparethemarket. But if you’re considering adding your phone to your home insurance policy, or want to add on personal possessions insurance, we can help. We’ll find you quotes from a range of UK insurance providers in minutes, so you can choose cover that’s right for you.

Want a home insurance quote? Here’s what you’ll need

We’ll ask a few questions about you and your property, then show you a list of quotes to choose from. Just give us some details about:

  • The property you live in
  • When you’d like your insurance to start
  • The value of your home contents – we have a contents calculator to help you with this

If you already have home insurance, it’s helpful to have your current policy documents to hand.

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Author image Helen Phipps

What our expert says...

“Smartphones can cost hundreds of pounds – and so much of our lives are on them. If you’re worried about the cost of repairing or replacing your phone, mobile phone insurance could work for you.”

- Helen Phipps, Insurance expert

Page last reviewed on 10/02/2023
by Helen Phipps