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Insurance

Stolen Mobile Phone – Am I Covered by my Travel Insurance?

6 October 2017

Imagine jetting off overseas without your dearest friend, your mobile phone? Inconceivable! But what happens when a phone as loveable as yours catches the attention of a pickpocket or career crim? Can you count on your travel insurance to bail you out with a replacement?

Fact: mobile phones – especially those with selfie cameras –  make travelling more fun. They’re also damn handy and a vital travel safety tool, in our books. Little wonder most Australian travellers won’t take off without theirs.

The downside to bringing you phone on holiday is that it’s a juicy target for thieves working the tourist traps and beyond. Phones are small, well some are, and thus easy to nick. We’re also in the habit of having them in our hands a lot, so the risk of having a flashy mobile phone spotted is pretty high, as is the dastardly possibility of resting your precious phone on a table top or taxi seat, only to leave your little mate behind. Tragic!

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to fall victim to phone theft whilst overseas. So vigilance is obviously key. So to is having a backup, like having important documents printed and stashed away for in case your phone develops legs.

IS YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE GOING TO LEND A HAND?

Equally important is knowing whether the travel insurance you’ve forked out for is actually going to man up and help you cover the costs of replacing your device. The good news is, proper travel insurance policies typically cover lost or stolen ‘personal items’ up to a certain value – and mobile phones, along with tablets, laptops and cameras, fall into this box.

There are conditions of course, I’ll get to that in a minute, but first, here’s what your insurer should be able to do for you.

WHAT’S COVERED?

Whether you’ve lost your phone, bags and gear, had them stolen or accidentally damaged, both Travel with Jane’s basic and comprehensive travel insurance cover pays up to $5,000 to either replace, repair or pay you the cash value of the items lost, in total. Out of that total, all mobile phone devices, including Android phones, iPhones and Windows phones are covered up to $1000 each. Cameras, laptops and tablets are covered up to $3,000 each, while personal items like clothes, shoes, cosmetics, books and so on are covered up to $750 per item lost.

WHAT’S THE CATCH?

So cynical! No catch, but there are conditions (same same but different). Also, please remember the little issue of excess. We’ll get to that next, but first, here’s when you can, and can’t claim on travel insurance for a lost or stolen phone:

YOU CAN CLAIM IF

Phone stolen? To claim, you need to have reported the theft or permanent misplacement to police, a transport carrier or travel operator, within 24 hours. Keep a copy of the police report!

You’ll need to provide your lost or stolen phone’s IMEI code (International Mobile Equipment Identity) with your claim. We’ll also need you to have blocked the IMEI with your Aussie mobile network. Without an IMEI code we can’t process your claim. Note, blocking your IMEI is different to blocking your SIM.

As with all insurance claims on stuff, you need to be able to prove that you owned the mobile phone in the first place. Receipts and phone contracts will do the job.

YOU’RE NOT COVERED WHEN

We can’t cover you if your phone was stolen from an airplane cargo hold. Ditto if the loss, theft or damage occurs in the cargo hold of your train, bus – you name it – we can’t process your claim. This includes jewellery, and laptops, cameras, computers, phones and their accessories. Basically, we need you to be sensible about where you put your precious stuff, and the cargo hold ain’t as safe as keeping valuables on your person.

Same with accidently leaving your phone or luggage behind at a hotel after check out, or on a plane, rental car or other mode of transport. As well as bags left in the car during daylight, unless in the boot, or left in the car overnight, even if left in the boot.

Insurance won’t cover damage due to ordinary wear and tear, weather conditions, insects, rodents or vermin.

HOW THE CLAIM WORKS IN REAL LIFE

The claims process differs from one insurer to another. We’ve tried to make ours as simple as possible with an online claim form that lets you send extra info like police reports and receipts, without having to lift the phone or lick a postage stamp.

Once your claim has been approved, we work out how much to pay you based on:

  • Depreciation
    To work out how much to pay you for lost, stolen or damaged devices, we need to determine and apply depreciation due to age, wear and tear for each item. Depreciation applies unless we’re talking about stuff bought duty free, or on your trip.
  • Repair or Replace
    When it comes to replacing or repairing your luggage or personal items, we reserve the right to choose which course of action to take.

WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT EXCESS AGAIN?

Right, excess. I might be employed by a travel insurer, but that’s not going to stop me from saying excess sucks. It really does. Just like car insurance claims, travel insurance claims also charge excess, and the amount can vary from company to company. There is a way around it though, but first, here’s how excess works at Travel with Jane:

If you ever need to make a claim on an item with excess, you’ll need to pay $100 per person towards each claim. That’s $100 per person per claim. By ‘each claim’ we mean each section of cover. As an example, if you need to make a claim on stolen luggage and emergency hospitalisation, you’ll be charged the excess on both claims. That’s $100 excess on your luggage claim, and $100 on your hospital claim. By ‘charged’ we mean we’ll pay $100 less on each claim, so if your lost luggage claim came to $800, we’ll pay you $800 less the $100 excess. To avoid paying excess, you need to fork out $25 and that’s it. Our Zero-Excess option means that by paying an extra $25 upfront at the time of buying your travel insurance policy you won’t need to pay the $100 excess if you have to make a claim on any item with excess. So, that seems like a smart thing to do.

The devil is in the detail, so if you’re still not sure about how travel insurance takes care of stolen mobile phones take note of some important rules and exceptions by having a read of your policy PDS. You’re also more than welcome to give us a call on+61 2 9333 3968 or email claims@travelwithjane.com. We’ll sort you out! Bring Travel with Jane travel insurance along for the ride and be covered when you need it most. Get a personalised quote to see how much you could save on cover and extras.

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Conditions and exclusions apply to every cover level and optional pack. View our Combined Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide for full details. Sub-limits apply. Not sure? Our friendly team are here to help. Get in touch

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