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Insurer warns phone owners to check their cover, as new data reveals mobile claims skyrocket by 123%

As tech fanatics brace themselves for the release of the Apple iPhone 15 on the 15th of September¹, Admiral Home Insurance is warning consumers to check their mobile phones are covered, as claims have skyrocketed by 123% in just four years.

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  • Claims data by Admiral Home Insurance reveals autumn is the most popular season for mobile phone claims and September saw the most monthly claims in 2022
  • Seven in ten claims in 2022 were for iPhones, compared with two in ten for Samsung devices
  • The Northeast of England sees the most mobile phone claims annually, followed by London
  • Tech claims made by students have soared by 311% since 2019
  • Noel Summerfield, Head of Household at Admiral Insurance, offers advice to help owners ensure mobile devices are fully protected

With pre-orders for the highly anticipated iPhone 15 forecasted for the 15th of September, new data from Admiral Home Insurance reveals how claims have soared by 123%.

Four years of data reveals how mobile phone claims for stolen, damaged or lost devices have almost tripled in recent years.

As autumn quickly approaches, as does the season for mobile phone claims. September, October and November are notoriously the worst months of the year for device owners, when an average of 29% of claims take place.

A phone owner's location also impacts their likelihood of needing to make a claim, with those based in North-East England making the highest number of claims (13%), closely followed by London, accounting for just over one in eight claims (12%). Common reasons for claims include spilling drinks over electronics; dropping phones; and one claim involved a customer dropping his phone in a lake, while on his honeymoon with his wife.

With the highly anticipated iPhone 15, it is important to be aware that in 2022, iPhones were most likely to be mentioned when making a claim, accounting for seven in ten (73%) of claims². By contrast, Samsung, the second most mentioned phone brand in insurance claims, made up just two in ten (22%). Motorola is the least likely to be mentioned, with just 1 in 500 claims involving these devices

Since 2019, tech claims made by students have also skyrocketed, increasing by 311%. Last year, September saw the highest number of mobile claims, accounting for one in nine (11%) and coinciding with the time that students return to university or begin Freshers week. Losing phones on a night out or leaving phones in taxis were common reasons for claims.

Noel Summerfield, Head of Household at Admiral Insurance says:

Many of us rely on our phones for so much day-to-day, so being without one can be a scary thought.

“The launch of the new iPhone 15 is exciting, especially for those who want to say up-to-date with the latest tech trends. However, with a starting price tag of £999 for the iPhone 15 Pro or £1,199 for the iPhone 15 Pro Max3, if a device was lost, damaged or stolen, replacing it would cost a hefty sum - making a stressful situation even more difficult.

"Every home insurance policy is different, so check your cover. With Admiral, Personal Possessions Cover means a phone will be covered away from the home, and in the unfortunate event it is damaged at home, such as dropping it in the loo or putting it through the washing machine, owners will be protected from loss if they’ve selected Accidental Damage cover.

Like most insurers, phone owners are covered for the value of the model they have and wouldn’t be able to just replace a lost, damaged or stolen device with the latest model of phone, if they did have to make a claim. If a phone costs over £1,000, most insurers will need to be informed, so that it can be covered up to the correct amount away from home.

“Whether a phone is damaged or lost due to accidental spillages, having fun at Freshers Week, or because of theft, adding mobile devices to a home insurance policy or considering Personal Possessions Insurance is essential to ensure protection if the worst does happen.

Noel Summerfield’s top three tips to protect mobile phones:

1.     Be aware of your surroundings: With many claims for mobile phones coming as a result of spilling drinks, being more cautious and aware of your surroundings can help protect your phone. We’ve been made aware of phone thefts by criminals using bikes and mopeds to snatch mobile phones, so before using your phone in public, look around at your surroundings and assess your situation. For your own personal safety and to protect your phone - don’t text while walking!

2.     Use security features on your phone: Make sure you have a strong password on your phone so a thief will not be able to access it immediately. Strengthen your security by checking the privacy settings, turn off message previews and regularly back up your data. You can also install anti-theft apps to help police trace your phone and identify the thief. Many phones come with built-in security features: iPhones come with the preinstalled Find My iPhone app which allows you to track your phone if it is lost. Android models also have some options that you can install such as - whichever one you pick, make sure you keep the details safely remembered or stored.

3.     Make sure you are insured to the correct value: If the value of your phone is over £1,000 it must be listed on your Home Policy Schedule to be covered. For unspecified mobile phones, you are only covered away from home if you have Personal Possessions Insurance. It is worth checking your policy details to make sure you are covered in case of an emergency.