By Richard Godman
Manager Technical Underwriting, Personal Insurance
28 July, 2017
These days many of our lives revolve around the ability to stay connected, and losing a smartphone can be incredibly stressful and inconvenient.
New Zealanders are increasingly using their insurance cover to claim for smaller losses like mobile phones, and that can have an impact on cover limits.
What circumstances you're covered for
Most contents policies will cover your device if it’s lost, damaged or stolen anywhere in New Zealand.
But some cheaper policies will only provide cover for contents in your home and others may exclude devices entirely. You may need to purchase an additional extension if you’re not automatically covered.
How much you'll get
If you lose your device you might expect your insurer to replace it with the latest model, but that’s not necessarily the case.
There are two ways an insurer might settle your claim:
Even if you have a replacement policy, most insurers set an age limit on how long a device is eligible for replacement cover.
Cover for any fraudulent charges
If your phone is lost or stolen, make sure you notify your network provider immediately, because you may not be covered for charges incurred by a thief.
For example, Vero’s Maxi Contents cover will only cover any charges billed to you for up to 24-hours, up to $500.
Overseas travel clauses
If you’re taking your device overseas, you’ll need a separate travel insurance policy to cover them while you’re out of the country
Business vs. personal policies
One common area of confusion – particularly for owners of small businesses - is the difference between a policy that covers personal devices versus those used for business.
Most residential contents policies will cover your business phone or laptop, as long as it’s also the device you use personally. But if you have a device that’s solely for work it needs to be covered by your business’s policy.
It might be tempting to stage a fake theft, or cause deliberate damage to your own phone, and then make a claim for a new or upgraded device.
But making a fake claim is insurance fraud, and it’s not worth the risk. Insurance companies can detect fraudulent claims, and having a claim declined can have a serious impact on your financial future - learn more about the consequences of insurance fraud here.