There’s no doubt smartphones have revolutionised how some of us travel. The convenience of technology means you can be snapping away capturing precious memories on your phone’s camera while navigating the streets to find your hotel and messaging your travel companions about dinner plans - all at the same time.
But what happens when all your amazing holiday snaps literally go down the toilet? Or your meticulously planned list of must-see art museums and must-try foodie hot spots shatters on the footpath?
Well, when you get over the initial flood of emotions that comes with any technology travel mishap you will probably be quite happy to know that in some cases travel insurance can cover the cost of replacing your phone and even retrieving your data.
From 2013 to 2016 Cover-More approved more than 11,000 phone-related claims. In 2016 alone 2,861 phone-related claim cases were approved including cover for items such as damage repair, data recovery or claiming lost or stolen mobile phones.
Cover-More customer Shonny Quaid was travelling in Italy when she personally experienced the horror of seeing her iPhone take a dive down the toilet.
Shonny was on her first big overseas trip around Europe with her sister. Two weeks into their adventure the pair had accumulated more than 3,000 photos from their journey – that’s 214 photos A DAY.
On the last night of their trip the unthinkable happened while getting ready for a night out in Florence – Shonny dropped her phone in the toilet.
“We were so excited to celebrate how wonderful the trip had been and before I knew it my phone slipped out of my hand and dropped in the toilet, almost as if it was in slow motion!” she said.
When she returned home, Shonny went straight to the Apple store and was told the phone couldn’t be fixed and she would need a data recovery specialist.
“After talking to some friends about our dilemma they suggested we look into our insurance and see if it was covered. I contacted Cover-More, submitted a claim and within weeks it was processed. It was the smoothest process ever. All I had to do was provide them with a quote and my reference number and bam!
“I had all my photos recovered and from this experience knew I would never book insurance through anyone else ever again.”
With almost 3,000 mobile phone insurance claims per year registered with Cover-More, stories like Shonny’s are actually more common that you might think.
Cover-More’s Glenn Broadhurst said a lot of phone-related issues don’t necessarily involve replacing your phone with a completely new one.
“Our most common phone-related claims involve people damaging or losing their phone in some shape or form and our policies cover these two things very differently,” he said.
“For damaged phones, customers are required to have their phone repaired and then they can claim the repairs cost. We don’t recommend that they go out and purchase a brand-new phone as they usually won’t be covered.
“Generally if someone is making a claim for a lost or stolen phone, we would require a receipt for proof of ownership and to indicate when the phone was purchased. We then go through a process depending on the policy and the amount a claimant is covered for.”
If you damage your phone overseas there are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled to have the cost of the repair approved. Customers are not covered for the purchase of an entirely new phone so don’t get caught out. Customers that have damaged their phone overseas and buy a new one thinking they will be paid out a replacement amount, or that they will be paid immediately, should think twice before spending big on a new purchase. Consider putting money aside to purchase a cheap replacement phone or carry an additional phone or device with you to avoid being left without a phone.
Generally, customers making a phone claim will require a receipt for proof of ownership to indicate when the phone was purchased.
Buying a phone second hand can sometimes cause issues if customers don’t have the original receipt from the first owner, or a receipt of purchase when they bought it. It’s best to obtain an original receipt of purchase from the first owner of the phone, or a receipt of purchase when they bought it. If that’s not possible, always pay with a credit or bank card so the amount can be traced and identified on your bank statement as an official purchase.
Customers should be aware that when they claim a lost or stolen phone on their policy, the value of their phone is likely to have depreciated since the time of the initial purchase. What once may have cost $800 may only be worth $400 two years later.
Know what your phone is worth before taking it overseas. If it’s more valuable than what it’s technically insured for, think twice about taking it travelling.
When paying out a claim a number of aspects are taken into account such as:
Always read the product disclosure statement of your travel insurance policy to understand what you are covered for and how claims are calculated for specific policies.
Get a quote for Cover-More travel insurance to protect your smartphone on your travels.