Do I really need to get cellphone insurance?

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Woman using her cellphone
Woman using her cellphone

The answer, for me at least, is yes. 

This is because I’ve had two of my phones stolen from me and both times I didn’t have insurance and had to deal with using a not so great phone in the meantime and then paying to buy a brand new one while still paying for my cellphone contract. 

It’s expensive and really just a hassle.

READ MORE: Here’s why you might want to spend 15 minutes without your beloved cellphone

If I had just got insurance, which would have been around R150 a month, I could have saved myself a lot of headache and hassle. Now I’m paying nearly R1000 a month for my cellphone contract and the new phone I had to buy because I just couldn’t bear the temporary phone for another year. 

But then I got to thinking, what’s the deal with cellphone insurance anyway? 

Firstly, is it really important to get cellphone insurance or am I just being overly cautious? 

Lynette Van Locherenberg, head of 1st for Women Insurance, seems to agree with the former: “According to the 2016/2017 Victims of Crime Survey which was published by Stats SA in September 2017, cellphones dominate the list of items lost through theft of personal property, affecting 76% of the respondents.  According to 1st for Women insurance’s claims statistics, they are also one of the most stolen of all portable possessions. With this in mind, if you own a cellphone, you should consider insuring it.”

READ MORE: Could your phone's blue light be ageing you prematurely?

Now you can get insurance either from your network provider or from a separate insurance provider (but you’ll need to take it as part of your household or car insurance). There are benefits to both. 

Usually, it’s relatively easy to add your cellphone to your existing home or car insurance policy with an insurance provider, whereas with certain network providers you only have a limited amount of time from the day you get the device to insure it. 

MTN is 14 days, Vodacom is seven days and while Cell C and Telkom Mobile seem to have no time limit on when you can insure your device. 

With third party insurance, there is no time limit to when the device can be insured and any phone can be insured whether it’s a fancy iPhone x or a cheapie R200 cellphone that you got quickly for emergencies. 

What’s also great about insuring through an insurance company is that it usually covers more options like water damage while some network providers don’t. Here, Compare Guru shows the differences between Cell C and Vodacom’s insurance policies. 

READ MORE: Cellphone addiction: study shows that people even check their phone during sex

The amount you’ll pay for insurance will also vary from network provider to network provider or insurance company to insurance company. 

To see what you’ll pay depending on your device according to your network provider, visit these websites:

MTN

Vodacom

Cell C

Telkom Mobile

For a quote on what an insurance company will charge you, we suggest calling your current insurance company or visiting their website and asking what it will cost to add your cellphone to your current insurance plan. 

So, the bottom line is that if you really like your phone and don't really want to have to live without it, then you should insure it. It's the best option. 

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