Research shows that only a quarter of Brits have their phones insured, but even if you're covered, there may be things you’re doing that could invalidate your insurance.
According to Insurance2go, reasons as simple as allowing friends to use your phone could leave you with no claim.
Sharing your phone could breach your insurance contract.
Here are 10 things that could jeopardise your phone insurance cover - and how to avoid them.
Sharing your phone with friends
Insurance companies have refused to fix or replace a broken or lost phone when the owner has shared the phone with someone outside of their household.
Even sharing your phone with a friend can result in an invalid claim, regardless of whether they had your permission.
Delaying on reporting a lost or stolen phone
Should your phone be stolen or lost, you should report this immediately to your insurance company. If your phone was stolen, reporting the incident to the police may be crucial when it comes to receiving a replacement.
Some insurers may refuse to fulfil the claim if you delayed on reporting or if you cannot provide a police reference number.
To be certain of what your insurance company expects of you, always read the terms and conditions of your contract.
Using unauthorised repair services
Insurers and phone companies will be unlikely to resolve your claim if you have had any repairs carried out which were completed by third party services.
This includes legitimate phone repair services and stores, if they are not working in partnership or arranged by your insurer.
To avoid any doubt, report and resolve all repairs via your insurer.
Leaving your phone in unsafe places unattended
Do not leave your phone in communal areas or in plain sight for thieves to take.
This includes on the dashboard of your car, unattended in your workplace or in a restaurant or other public space, as loss of the phone would be put down to your own carelessness in the eyes of an insurance company.
If your phone is stolen from your car, some insurers may check whether your device was out of view, if the vehicle's windows and doors were closed and locked, and that all security systems were activated.
They could also ask for a correlating vehicle insurance claim for the damage inflicted on your vehicle during the theft.
Negating on payments or not paying your premium
Insurers may, but not always, have a premium payment attached to your claim or contract which you must pay before a claim can be completed.
Should you miss the cut-off date for paying your premium, you claim could be binned.
Similarly, if you have negated on some of your contractual payments, your claim will not be completed.
However, you should not panic if you have failed to pay by your initial deadline or still owe money for previous payments, as insurers may well process your claim if you settle the outstanding amount, which can mount up if you haven’t paid in a while.
Being too young
If you are under 18, it is unlikely you will have a phone contract in your name.
Therefore, an insurance claim will need to be made by your parent or the adult who purchased the phone. In order to do this, proof of purchase is often required and the adherence to the other nine examples on this list.
Before you sign an insurance contract, you should always review the terms and conditions which should include age restrictions.
Not having proof of usage
Some insurance providers may ask for proof that the device has been used since your contract began. In order to do this, you may need to contact your network provider and retrieve documentation of usage which includes the device IMEI (serial number).
Without proof of usage, providers may refuse to honour your contract.
Participating in protests
Engaging in strikes, riots and protests could mean you are breaking your insurance contract.
Any damage or loss of your device due to partaking in riots, strikes, civil commotion or any act of terrorism can void your claim.
Claiming too often
Should you pursue three or more claims within a 12-month period, your claim could be thrown out.
If you are taking out a new policy, review the terms and conditions of competing insurers as network providers can often be expensive and more likely to limit the number of claims honoured within a time period.
Removing software restrictions
Jailbreaking or rooting could invalidate your insurance as it allows hackers to remotely plant malware onto a user's device.
Make sure you declare that your phone has been subject to jailbreaking or rooting when signing up for insurance. Not doing so could lead to the insurer not honouring your policy due to fraudulent activity.
Jailbreaking refers to the process whereby Apple users remove software restrictions imposed on iOS and Apple products. Jailbreaking allows root access to iOS and lets users install applications, extensions, and other software applications that are not authorised by Apple’s App Store. Rooting refers to the same process on Android smartphones.
Above all, it is paramount that you read the terms and conditions of your own contract before signing it.
If your device is not new, declare any prior damages or changes you have made to the hardware and software before agreeing on a contract with your insurance supplier.