Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months, you will have heard of the iPhone and all the fuss around it.
It is a handheld device from Apple, the makers of the iPod and the Apple Mac computer. It combines a mobile phone with an easy-to-use internet browser, and a big iPod (a music/sound MP3 player). So, in one device, you can listen to your favourite songs or radio shows, talk with your friends, and check the web for … well, whatever you want to check the web for.
Anyone who has not yet used one is usually confused or resistant to the charms of the iPhone, saying it is all a big load of hype and marketing, in order to sell the device.
Anyone who has used an iPhone is usually raving mad about it, how great it is, how it is the next major breakthrough in telecommunications and gadgetry.
The truth is, in the next few years we will all be looking back on the iPhone as a groundbreaking item that many other manufacturers copied. It is far more advanced than any other phone or PDA handheld device available – by a long way.
All this super-advanced technology means one thing to its price: It is not cheap.
There are a few knock on effects of it being expensive:
- iPhone owners will be quite careful of their new delight
- Others will covet and be jealous of your iPhone – because you are the proud owner, and
- Criminals will specifically target the iPhone for theft.
This being the case, you would imagine that there is a lot of insurance policies for iPhones available. Sadly, this is not the case.
There is only 1 policy that is specifically a stated “iPhone Insurance” (more on that later) but there are a few other options.
One option that is often touted as a way around getting specific insurance for an expensive item it adding it to your household insurance. This can work, but there are 3 key drawbacks to doing this.
- Usually home insurance policies have a FAR higher excess than any specific insurance policy, often £150 or more.
- If you make a claim (albeit relatively small) for your iPhone on your house insurance, your house insurance premium will likely be more expensive next year. It will go through the roof.
- How long would you comfortably be without your phone? You might expect it to be a long while for your house insurance to process a claim. Household insurers have been known to take weeks to solve a claim. Most customers cannot accept to wait weeks for their phone to be replaced. Are household insurers experts at replacing phones? Would you go to get your tooth fixed in a general hospital? Probably not. You would go to the expert, the specialist – the dentist. In the same way, it might be a wise move to use a specialist insurance firm to insure your iPhone.
This all leaves the question – What specialist insurer is there, that protects you and your iPhone with a decent level of cover AND is cost effective?
Let’s look at what ‘cost-effective’ is:
The iPhone is only available on the O2 network. You can get an unofficial one, which has been unlocked, to work on other networks, but lets look at the official picture. The costs is £269 for the handset, plus there is a 24-month contract at either £35, £45 or £55 per month.
If you lost your iPhone after 6 months from getting it, you would still be contractually obliged to pay every month for the next 18 months. That means 18 months multiplied by a minimum of £35 per month … a total of £630 or more – whether you got a replacement handset or not.
So in this instance you would need some kind of replacement to justify spending the £35+ each month.
Aside from this, there is the cost of replacement itself. This is likely to be around £600, although you might be able to get a second hand or less-than-legitimate iPhone for less.
So any insurance that would get you a replacement for a considerable amount less than £600 is cost-effective. Ideally (obviously) it needs to be as low cost as possible, but equally obviously, there is going to be some cost involved in the replacement.
You would then also want to consider what eventualities you want the insurance to protect you from – what level of cover do you need? iPhone theft might seem the most obvious possibility, but do you want to be protected if you simply lose it? Or if it is damaged? Do you need cover while you are abroad? Do you need extended warranty (ie if it simply stops working or malfunctions after the 12 month statutory manufacturer’s warrantee)?
You need to think about this before you spend any money on what you think is ‘insurance’ for your iPhone – but actually might not be adequate protection. You could be paying for only one of these levels of cover.
A quick search on Google at http://www.google.co.uk will show you what your options are. And almost all roads lead to a company called 2u – http://www.2u.co.uk/iPhoneInsurance … Doubtless other companies will follow 2u’s lead once they see the success 2u is having with the iPhone Insurance. But meanwhile, it appears the best way to protect yourself is to insure it using the 2u iPhone Insurance.
According to the 2u webpage, it does offer cover for loss, theft, damage, water damage, international cover, fraudulent calls once stolen and extended warrantee, which pretty much covers all the bases you might want.
Wherever you chose to get yours from, one thing is clear – once you have got your iPhone and you start to realise what a great piece of kit it is, you are probably going to want to protect it with some kind of insurance that protects you and your iPhone properly.