A mobile phone has become a common feature in everybody’s life today. It is used for the most basic tasks, including communicating, taking pictures, storing files, working, and carrying out banking transactions. However, some of these mobile devices are sophisticated as they come with top-of-the line software and hardware at a premium price tag. This makes them an important asset that needs to be protected against the unexpected. To do this, most smartphone users get cellphone insurance.
Cellphone insurance is one of the least talked about financial products in South Africa. Understandably so, because not all smartphone owners know about it. For a long time now, South Africans have had to cut their losses each time their smartphone was stolen, damaged, or got lost, causing financial strain to smartphone owners. High-value smartphone owners, in particular, paid the highest price as smartphone thieves target these devices more because of their relatively high resale value in the second-hand market. For this reason, you need to learn about cellphone insurance, how it works, and the best types of cellphone insurance available for you in South Africa.
Most Popular Cellphone Insurance Providers in South Africa
There are a number of insurance providers that provide specific cellphone insurance. Whilst other insurance providers cover mobiles under their home or vehicle insurance Here are some of the companies that offer cellphone insurance in South Africa:
- TFG Device Insurance
- Vodacom Cellphone Insurance
- MTN Device Insurance
- Telkom Insurance
- Santam Cellphone Insurance – As part of Home or Vehicle Insurance
TFG Device Insurance
The TFG insurance covers your mobile device (cellphone, tablet and laptop) against theft, loss and damage, including water damage. With this policy, the insurance company will repair your device in case of damage. In case you need a replacement, the company will replace your device with a new mobile device of a similar model.
In case of replacement, TFG allows you to select a phone, tablet or laptop from its stores. The device should have a similar value to your previous phone, tablet or laptop when you first bought it.
Your monthly TFG insurance premium for this policy is debited and fetched from your personal bank account or your TFG store account.
The monthly payable premiums range from as little as R23 for a phone, tablet or laptop valued at R1-R500 and as high as R263 for a phone, laptop or tablet valued between R12501-R15000. However, the premiums payable may increase every year.
The TFG cover applies as soon as you activate the policy. Even so, you have to learn and understand the TFG terms and conditions for the insurance policy. For instance, the TFG cover only applies to devices bought in the TFG stores in South Africa. Additionally, you must apply for the cellphone insurance cover 30 days after purchasing the device.
The TFG Insurance covers tablets and phones, and laptops with a maximum buying price of R15000 and R12000, respectively. Finally, this policy covers only the cellphone, tablet or laptop user.
How to Claim the TFG Cellphone Insurance
- If you need to place a claim request, you need to:
- Visit the TFG website
- On the site’s homepage, scroll down and click on the TFG device insurance – South Africa
- Click on the “How to Claim” icon
- You will be directed to a page with a claim form
- Fill in all the necessary details
- Select the insurance product you wish to claim for at the bottom of the form
- Press send
Vodacom Cellphone Insurance
Vodacom has two plan options, namely the accidental damage and comprehensive. The company’s lowest payable premium is R20, which is ideal for most cellphone users. The Vodacom cellphone insurance cover protects phones, tablets and laptops against loss, damage and theft.
To be eligible for this insurance policy, you have to:
- You must have purchased your device from Vodacom stores or an authorised Vodacom dealer.
- You must submit your claims thirty days after device damage or loss.
- If your claim is approved, you might have to pay an excess. This amount is determined by your policy.
- If your registered or listed Simcard is not in the covered cellphone at the time of theft, loss or damage, your mobile device will not be covered, and your claim application will not be approved.
- If your claim is approved after theft or loss, your device will be replaced in under 48 hours.
Vodacom Comprehensive Cellphone Insurance
In this plan, Vodacom will replace your cellphone with a new mobile phone of a similar type or as good as a new cellphone of the same type. However, all these are determined by the maximum limit of indemnity.
Vodacom Accidental Damage
This option protects your insured device against accidental damage alone. In case your device is repaired, the company will pay the costs incurred while restoring your cellphone to the initial state it was before the accidental damage happened.
How Do You Get Vodacom Insurance
- Vodacom cellphone insurance is available to both top-up and contract customers. In this case, you can apply for any of the Vodacom insurance products as you apply for your contract. After which, this will be billed to you every month alongside your subscription as a value added service.
- You can also ask Vodacom’s sales consultant in-store for guidance and more information on the insurance application process.
- You can also call Finrite on 082 1952
- Prepaid customers can also apply for Vodacom insurance by completing an in-store form. Additionally, you can also reach the administrators, Finrite, through 082 1952 to institute your insurance policy on your own. You can also submit the in-store form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Apart from these, there are a few important points you should know before applying for cellphone insurance. They include:
- Applying for the Vodacom cellphone insurance 7 days after buying the device.
- You have to send your proof of purchase and the application form to the insurance company.
- You will receive a policy document from Finrite detailing the terms and conditions of the insurance policy within 30days after applying for the policy.
- Read the terms and conditions of the policy well.
MTN Device Insurance
MTN device insurance offers both an all-risk and a repair-only insurance plan for phones, tablets, smart watches and laptops. In case of damages, MTN will repair your device within the shortest time possible after your claim has been approved. In the event of loss or theft, the insurer will send you a new phone to your registered address or to any of their official stores near you within 24 hours.
What Does MTN Device Insurance Cover
MTN clients on prepaid and contract can apply for the MTN device cover to insure their phone, laptops and tablets. However, you must have bought these devices at least thirty days before your insurance application date. If your MTN device insurance cover is approved, you will receive a policy document from the company informing you that you are insured.
As a contract client, you can opt to pay your premium alongside your account in a single and elaborate bill. Even so, you have to ensure that you use your insured device with its registered MTN simcard.
This insurance policy covers you against theft, loss, accidental physical damage, accidental liquid damage, and accidental screen damage. All the covers are spread across different insurance plans, including all risk cover, loss & theft cover, liquid & accidental damage cover, and repairs only cover.
How to Apply for the MTN Device Insurance Cover
You can apply for this insurance through the company’s official website, or by calling 083 123 6084, or email the company through email@example.com. You can also direct all the insurance related queries to firstname.lastname@example.org for redress.
How to Claim
To claim the MTN insurance in the event of loss, damage or theft, you need to download the MTN App from the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Register into the app and submit a claim form via the app. You can also reach the company through 083 123 6084 or send an email to email@example.com.
You should submit your claims 30 days after the incidence has occurred or risk having your claim application denied by the insurance provider.
This insurance product protects your phone against a couple of incidents at affordable premiums. A policy holder can insure their devices against its original value but not exceeding R20000. With this product, you are covered against accidental damages, theft and accidental loss. It also offers a SIM card cover where your SIM is replaced in case of loss, damage or theft.
How to Get Telkom Insurance
To get Telkom insurance, you need to visit any of the Telkom stores near you. You can also call the Telkom call center via 081 from an active Telkom cellphone. If you have a different line, you need to call through 081 180 or visit telkom.co.za.
How to Claim
In the event of damage, loss of theft, you need to lodge a claim within 30 days after the incident. For your claim to be approved, your phone must have been used to send or receive SMS, call through the listed number at the time of registration.
With these options, you should be able to start your cellphone insurance journey and protect yourself against unexpected loss, theft or accidental damage that could happen.
Santam Cellphone Insurance (As part of your Home or Vehicle Insurance)
Santam is one of the largest insurance providers in South Africa used by millions daily. They offer a comprehensive range of personal cover, including mobile insurance. They include insurance for your smartphone along with your other accessories (charger, headphones etc) when specified in your home insurance policy. Home insurance from Santam will cover you in the event of loss or damage to items that are normally carried with you outside your home.
Santam offers comprehensive cover for your cell phone should you damage or lose it provided you have specified it under the all risks section of your home or vehicle insurance policy. They also have an option to cover cellphone insurance as part of your home contents insurance policy if your cellphone is stolen from your home.
- Comprehensive cover: Comprehensive cover for your cellphone when you specify under the all risks section of your home or vehicle insurance policy.
- Limited cover: Covered for theft under your house contents if stolen from your home.
- Excess: Flexible excess ranging from R350 to R500.
What is Cellphone Insurance?
Like most insurance products, cell phone insurance protects the policyholder against theft, loss and damage. Essentially, the policyholder pays a certain amount of monthly insurance premium to the insurer. To make it easy for policyholders to pay their premiums, most insurance companies accept mobile money payments.
The insurer then compensates the policyholder when any of the issues insured against occurs. This happens by filing an insurance claim within the agreed upon period or as per the company’s terms and conditions. The insurance company will then process your claim and repair or replace your cellphone.
Most cellphone insurers require you to blacklist your phone and file a police report in the event of theft, damage or phone loss. This should happen before filing an insurance claim.
Should You Get Cellphone Insurance?
Getting an insurance policy is a precautionary measure against misfortune. Like any insurance product, getting cellphone insurance protects you in case of loss. It is necessary, especially if you own a high-value mobile device.
Given that cellphones are electronic devices that you carry with you everywhere you go, they are likely to suffer from many issues, including, but not limited to, software breakdown, screen cracks, loss, and theft. An insurer can protect you against all these based on the cellphone insurance package you buy. Insurance also offers a more comprehensive cover over your gadget to minimize the potential loss you will have to bear in case of phone damage.
However, you need to thoroughly analyze the cellphone insurance product available to you to get the best deal. These analyses should be based on the benefits you will get from the insurance policy and the long term cost of insuring your phone, among others. This will protect you from getting an insurance policy whose cumulative premium over a given period exceeds the initial value of your phone.
Features of Cellphone Insurance
Before getting cellphone insurance, it is prudent to learn the salient features of this financial product. Here are some of the common features of cellphone insurance plans:
- They cover used and new cellphones
- Cashless repairs are available in many plans
- Both basic feature devices and smartphones can be covered under this insurance policy
- The amount insured is attached to the value of the device
- The insurance policy’s term ranges between 6 to 12 months
What Does Cellphone Insurance Cover?
What is covered by your insurer depends on the package you buy. Often, each cellphone insurer has a unique package covering different things in your phone. However, here are some of the things that most cellphone insurers cover:
- Any form of accidental damage on the device
- Phone loss as a result of theft or robbery
- Phone damage resulting from liquid seepage
- Screen damages such as cracks and unresponsiveness
- Technical issues in the device
- Damages caused by fire
- Phone repair or replacement when the covered damages occur
While these are the most common coverage offered by cellphone insurance policies, you can also buy additional protection by paying more monthly premiums. There are two common additional coverage offered to policyholders. They include:
- Worldwide coverage – this option covers any damage experienced anywhere in the globe
- Transit insurance – this option protects you from damages that may occur to your phone while on transit
What Cellphone Insurance Does Not Cover
While most cellphone insurance policy covers many phone damages, there are some damages that the policy does not cover. These instances of loss and damage include:
- Phone damages occurring due to climate and weather changes
- Any form of mysterious damage or loss of the phone
- Theft of a device that wasn’t well attended to
- Breakdown caused by pre-existing device flaws
- Damages of loss of the device that occurred when the device was being used by a different person who is not the legal owner of the phone
- Damages that occur due to phone overload or experimenting on the device.
- If you attempt to damage your mobile device deliberately
- Damages resulting from a change in climatic or atmospheric conditions
- Damages occurring during phone repair or cleaning
- Damage resulting from normal wear and tear of the mobile device
- Loss through theft of a mobile phone in an unattended car
Benefits of Cellphone Insurance
People buy cellphone insurance because of its numerous benefits in case of occurrence of unexpected events that a policyholder insures a device against. These benefits include:
Easy Replacement of Your Phone
Given that losing or damaging your phone is not a rare occurrence that can lead to unimaginable financial loss, covering it with a reliable cellphone insurance policy will ensure you do not suffer financial losses or lose out on crucial phone usage. A cellphone insurance policyholder can replace his or her phone quickly depending on the policy s/he holds. Typically, your insurer begins processing qualifying claims shortly after the claim has been filed. Some companies process the claim in not more than 24 hours. In such a case, you will receive a new phone or repair your damaged phone and resume your normal cellphone use without wasting a lot of time.
Saves You from Downgrading
In the event of damage, loss or theft, you do not have to downgrade your cellphone as you save up for a new device. Instead, your cellphone insurer will provide you with a replacement within a short period, depending on your policy’s terms and conditions.
Cover Repair Costs
Repairing a smartphone can be quite expensive, especially when it is damaged due to seepage or mechanical issues. If it is a high-value smartphone, the repair costs could be quite steep. However, since cellphone insurance covers damages, you will not have to spend a single cent on repairs in case of damages.
It is a Smart Investment for People Prone to Phone Loss or Damage
If you have a history of losing or damaging your cellphone more often than you’d like to admit, then investing in cellphone insurance is a good option for you. It would be a good thing for you to get an insurance policy covering your new phone from damages and theft.
It is More Extensive than Warranty
Typically, all phone buyers are awarded a warranty every time they purchase a new device. Some phone companies permit users to extend their device warranties to cover unexpected phone damages. Nonetheless, these warranties do not protect you when you lose your phone or when your phone is stolen. Therefore, investing in good cellphone insurance will ensure you are covered exhaustively. This makes a cellphone insurance policy an important financial tool for anyone who depends heavily on their mobile device for their day to day activities.
How Much is Cellphone Insurance?
Most cellphone insurance policy providers allow clients to choose between comprehensive and accidental coverage. In accidental coverage, the policyholder is protected against accidental damage and liquid seepage damage. Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, protects the policyholder against accidental damage, theft and loss. In both coverages, the cost of the policy depends on the value of the cellphone and not other risk factors.
How to Make a Cellphone Insurance Claim
In case any of the unexpected events covered by your insurance policy occurs, you need to make a claim to either repair or replace your device. To do this, you need to follow these steps.
- Notify your insurance provider immediately the damage or loss occurs. Most companies have a claim helpline that you can call to inform them of your loss while you register your claim. The company will give you a claim reference number which you will use in the subsequent steps in the insurance claim process.
- Fill a claim form with your claim details and submit it to your insurer.
- If the phone has been stolen, you need to blacklist the mobile device and file a police report at the nearest police station. The police report will be used in making a theft claim.
- In some cases, the insurance company will have you take pictures of the damages on your phone and send it to them
- The insurance company will carry out an investigation into the cause, nature and extent of the damage.
- Based on the information gathered from your claim form and the company’s damage investigations, your claim will be processed and approved.
- In case your phone needs repairs, the insurance company might opt to pay the repair costs directly to a mobile phone repair centre if the service centre you chose is an authorized dealer. If the repair centre isn’t authorized, you will have to settle the repair bill and ask the insurance company to reimburse you the costs.
- In case of loss or theft, the insurer will replace your phone based on your insurance policy.
Documents Needed to Make Cellphone Insurance Claim
To get your insurance claim approved and settle successfully, you have to submit a couple of documents to your insurance company. Some of the basic documents you need to submit include:
- Filled and verified claim form
- Invoice of the phone
- Identification documents
- In case of loss or theft, you need to submit a police report
- Your policy bond