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Mobile Phone Insurance Get smartphone cover from £5/mth

Lose it, break it, or have your mobile nicked and it can cause tears. Insurers play on this fear with hefty prices and unnecessary cover. Yet you can get cheap mobile, smartphone and iPhone insurance from £5 per month.

The BIG CHECKS: Do you need mobile phone insurance?

Best buys: Mobile phone insurance

If you've read what's above and you're sure you need cover, there's some good news. Unlike most other insurance, mobile phone cover doesn't depend on your gender, job, what you earn or other standard 'risks'. Most even ignore whether you've claimed before - a huge bonus for serial losers, though this isn't universal, so check before you leap in. Prices start from £57/year for a Samsung S4 or the S5 and £65/year for the iPhone range including the latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Which one do you have?

Select your handset...

Cheapest with decent cover levels

Any iPhone (incl iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5S, 5C) - £65/year

As the latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are costlier than their predecessor, our cheapest pick is from Insurance2Go*. It covers the complete iPhone range up to the maximum value. The offer is not available if you choose to pay the insurance premium monthly.

So if you've got an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, or you can't be parted from an iPhone 5S, 5C or the iPhone 3 or 4, the limit should be more than enough to protect you.

MSE Blagged: Use the code MSEIPHONE to get £5 off the annual premium on the already-cheapest pick from Insurance2Go*.

Varying levels of cover are available - insuring the phone against loss costs the most, but its prices are still cheaper than network providers.

This brings the cost of the Lite policy to £55 a year , and Full to £65 a year. Here's what you get for each:

  • Lite: Covers accidents, liquid damage, theft and unauthorised calls (up to £1,000). No loss cover.

  • Full: All of the above plus loss of the phone.

ALSO CHECK... If you're insuring more than one phone or you're looking for cover for the whole family, the Nationwide FlexPlus account is worth considering. It costs £10 a month (£120 a year) and covers phones worth up to £1,000 each.

See Bank Accounts With Mobile Cover for more.

Cheapest with 'instant' phone replacement

Here you'll need to go with insurance from your network, as standalone policies all generally take longer to reunite you with a handset. For an iPhone, here are the basic details of cover from the biggies.

Annual cost Excess New phone sent Unauthorised calls?
EE £120 £75 Within 24 hours No cover
O2 £150 £60 (1) Next day No cover
Vodafone £155.88 £50 Next day £1,000
(1) £120 for subsequent 'loss' claims.

Cheapest with decent cover levels

Samsung phone (including S4 and NEW S5) - £57/year

MSE Blagged: Use the code MSESAM by 30 Nov 2014 to get £7.50 off the annual premium on the already-cheapest pick from Insurance2Go*. The offer is not available for pay monthly policies.

The code can also be used for the latest Samsung Galaxy S5 which launched in April 2014.

This brings the cost of the Lite policy to £47.49 a year, and Full to £57.49 a year. Here's what you get:

  • Lite: Covers accidents, liquid damage, theft and unauthorised calls (up to £1,000). No loss cover.

  • Full: All the above, plus loss.

On both levels, you get up to £750 to replace the phone itself plus accessories.

ALSO CHECK... If you're insuring more than one phone or you're looking for cover for the entire family, the Nationwide FlexPlus account is worth considering. It costs £10 a month (£120 a year), and covers phones worth up to £1,000 each.

See Bank Accounts With Mobile Cover for more.

Other smartphones - £60/year

MSE Blagged: Use the code MSE5 to get £5 off the annual premium on the already-cheapest pick from Insurance2Go*. This offer doesn't apply to iPhones.

This brings the cost of the Lite policy to £50 a year, and Full to £60 a year. Here's what you get for each:

  • Lite: Covers accidents, liquid damage, theft and unauthorised calls (up to £1,000). No loss cover.

  • Full: All the above, plus loss.

On both levels you get up to £750 to replace phone itself + accessories.

ALSO CHECK... If you're insuring more than one phone, or youre looking for cover for the entire family, the Nationwide FlexPlus account is worth considering. It costs £10 a month, (£120 a year) and covers phones worth up to £1,000 each.

See Bank Accounts With Mobile Cover for more.

Cheapest with 'instant' phone replacement

Here you'll need to go with insurance from your network, as standalone policies all generally take longer to reunite you with a handset. Here are the basic details of cover from the biggies...

Annual cost Excess New phone sent Unauthorised calls?
EE £120 £75 Within 24 hours No cover
O2 £150 £60 (1) Next day No cover
Vodafone £155.88 £50 Next day £1,000
(1) £120 for subsequent 'loss' claims.

Cheapest with decent cover levels

Gadget CoverCheap policy, low limits. A good add-on to self-insuring

You can get a dirt-cheap policy from Gadget Cover*, with a maximum £150 cover level, more suited to less snazzy, more functional non-smartphone handsets. This is a decent option if you're self-insuring and want a little boost on top.

However, if you lose it, you need to pay £25 excess towards a claim, so you need to factor that in. Here's what you get:

  • Theft, accidents and repairs: £16/year

  • All of the above, AND loss: £27/year

Cheapest with 'instant' phone replacement

Here you'll need to go with insurance from your network, as standalone policies all generally take longer to reunite you with a handset. For an iPhone, here are the basic details of cover from the biggies...

Annual cost Excess New phone sent Unauthorised calls?
EE £120 £75 Within 24 hours No cover
O2 £150 £60 (1) Next day No cover
Vodafone £155.88 £50 Next day £1,000
(1) £120 for subsequent 'loss' claims.

How we pick 'em

We compared 40 policies to find a mix of low price and decent cover. There are horror stories in our forums about insurers rejecting claims, rendering policies useless, so we've excluded some cheap insurers with significant bad feedback. We can't vouch 100% for good service with anyone we include.

All our top picks below have confirmed their policies would cover you for loss and theft, as long as you weren’t careless and made reasonable attempts to recover the mobile.

Having said all that, each insurance claim is reviewed on its own merits so please share and tell us your experiences.

Important Note

With all insurers, check the policy cover carefully. You may feel you're getting full 'loss' or 'theft' cover, but restrictions do apply. See our What to check section.

Best buys: Bank accounts with mobile cover

While most top bank accounts you get free, some premier current accounts can be worth it IF you use the products bundled with them. The big three 'freebies' are breakdown cover, travel insurance and mobile phone insurance.

The real boon here is if you hold a joint account with a partner, then both of your phones are protected without you having to pay twice. These are big banks' cheapest accounts that include mobile insurance. Plus ask your current bank if it already offers cover.

Our top pick

Nationwide FlexPlus - cover multiple phones for £120/year

Excess: £50 (£100 for iPhones) Max value: £1,000 per phone. Age of phone: Unlimited. Cover abroad: Yes. Speed: Likely to take a few days. New or replacement? Could be either. Unauthorised calls: Up to £2,000. Document: Summary of cover

NationwideThe Nationwide* FlexPlus account charges £10 a month for a selection of perks, including mobile insurance - plus it scores highly for customer service.

It pays 3% AER in-credit interest on balances up to £2,500, beating other top savings accounts. It also has a 0% arranged £100 overdraft - above that, you'll pay. You can operate it any way you wish: online, in branch, or by phone/post.

  • Mobile phone insurance. This covers repair or replacement after theft, loss, damage or breakdown, for all handsets up to the value of £1,000 per phone, so it'll cover all smartphones.

    It covers all phones belonging to family members, provided they live with you - maxed out, this gives serious value. (Children must be under 19, or 22 if in full time education, and cannot be married or in a civil partnership. If they're university students, the cover only applies at home - term time's excluded.)

  • Travel insurance. You get a worldwide family policy for the year, including winter sports cover, travel disruption and golf cover. The cheapest you could normally get this for is £60, but for a top value policy like this you could pay over £150 per year (see the full Travel Insurance guide).

  • More extras... On top of travel and mobile cover, you also get UK & European breakdown cover, extended warranty and identity theft with card assistance.

To see how this compares, read the full Top Premier Current Accounts guide.

The best from each bank

Bank Annual cost How many phones? Standard excess Max claim per phone
Barclays
Tech Pack
£90 One (or two with joint acc) £100 iPhones (1)
£50 others (1)
£1,000
Halifax*
Ultimate Reward
£180 One (or two with joint acc) £100 iPhones
£30 others
£2,000
Lloyds
Silver
£119 One (or two with joint acc) £100 iPhones
£50 others
£2,000
NatWest
Select Silver
£120 One (or two with joint acc) £75 iPhones
£75 others
No limit
(1) For theft or loss claims.

There are two big things to be aware of when getting mobile insurance through your bank:

  • It's NOT as quick as mobile network cover. The big phone networks specialise in getting a phone out to you ASAP, but here it's likely to take a few days at least. Though, unlike the standalone insurers, they at least have high street branches you can complain to if they really drag their feet.

  • You may need to activate the insurance. Scandalously, opening the account and paying your fee sometimes isn't enough to make sure you're covered. With certain banks, you need to give extra info to activate it. See the bank-by-bank list.

What to check when getting policies

How to protect your mobile and its data

Losing your mobile phone can be a nightmare of lost data, photos and contacts. Yet there are a number of easy ways to protect your mobile and data for free.

Regardless of how expensive your phone is, the info stored on it also be mega-valuable, and it's a nightmare (and probably a lost cause) to retrieve contacts, photos, apps, games, messages and more after losing a handset.

To beat this, free services exist to back up this crucial info before you lose it.

What happens if my insurer goes bust?

Insurers regulated in the UK are covered by the same Government-backed Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) as banks, meaning if they go into default, you're protected. There are two main ways in which it protects you.

  1. If you need to claim from a bust insurer

    The FSCS's main objective is to 'maintain continuity'. This means if your insurer goes bust, it will try to find another provider to take over your policy, or issue a substitute policy. However, if you have any ongoing claims, or need to make a claim before a new insurer is found, the FSCS should ensure these are covered.

  2. If it goes bust and you paid upfront

    If you've paid for cover for a year, but the company goes bust after a month or two, then you would lose out.

    To protect against that, if the FSCS can't transfer your policy to another provider, you'll be given a period of time to take out alternative insurance, and 90% of any money you've already paid will be refunded as compensation via the FSCS. To help explain, here's a quick example...

    You paid for a year-long policy in January and the insurer went bust in September. If the FSCS can't get the policy transferred elsewhere, then you will receive four months' worth of the original cost in compensation.

Join in the Forum Discussion:
Mobile Phone Insurance
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While this does not affect any content on our site, technically it means that pages with links which take you to the sites of insurers or insurance intermediaries are hosted by MSE on behalf of MSM.

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