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Mobile Phone Insurance - Guide

|July 5 2010 |Articles, Mobile Phone Insurance

What is Mobile Insurance?
Mobile Handsets are as expensive as Laptops or High-end Electronic devices these days. In addition, Mobile phone is a vital part of our daily lives. Think about our normal routine day without our mobile phone. I am sure we cant even imagine such a possibility! We store all our valuable contacts and relationships in the small handset. Suppose we lose the mobile phone due to theft/accident/negligence, we stand to lose our valuable contacts as well as our investment. How can we handle such a possibility? Well Mobile phone Insurance is the solution to such a problem. Mobile phone Insurance saves us against variety of risks such as Mobile Phone Theft/Loss, Damage and Accident. Of course, Insurance cannot get back our contacts/information stored in the mobile phone. For that, we need to be pro-active in taking backup on a regular basis.

More than 20 lakh mobile phones are stolen/lost every month! Since mobile phones are labelled as CRAVED (Concealable, Removable, Available, Valuable, Enjoyable and Disposable), these handsets are highly lucrative for thieves. Such is the benefit, that the second hand market for stolen mobile phones is estimated at around Rs.400 crores in India.

What is covered in a mobile phone Insurance?
Generally, a Mobile insurance policy covers you under the following cases:
1. Fire
2. Theft
3. Accident
4. Riot, Strike, Malicious Damages and terrorist activities
5. Fortuitous Circumstances

What is NOT covered?
1. Theft from unattended Vehicles, except from a car that is fully enclosed and securely locked.
2. Theft or loss or damage during the hire or loan to a third party, friend or relative. If you lend your phone to your friend and if he losses/damages the phone, you cannot claim insurance!
3. Mysterious disappearance, i.e mobile handset disappearing without clear reason.
4. Intentional or willful act by the insured party.
5. Loss or damage during war, nuclear perils, water/flood or from any waterborne craft.
6. Overcharging, Overloading and experimentation involving imposition of any abnormal conditions.
7. Mechanical and electronic breakdown or derangement.
8. Damage by wear and tear, vermin, atmospheric or climatic condition or gradual deterioration, inherent defect or from any process of cleaning, repairing or maintenance.
9. Loss of mobile due to negligence of owner is not covered.

Mobile Phone Insurance Policies - Premium Rates
The premium is approximately Rs. 15-20 per Rs.1,000 of the amount indemnified. For Example, if your declared value of the mobile phone is Rs. 10,000 the premium would be approximately Rs. 150-200.

How to get a policy?
When you purchase a mobile phone, the dealer/distributor can help you enroll in to a suitable insurance policy. This is the best way to get a policy. You would be approaching this dealer/distributor to get claims in future. Needless to say, you should retain the purchase receipt to make the claims process easier.

Things to remember
The Insurance cover is valid for a period of 12 months from the date of purchase. In case of total loss, the liability of the insurer is restricted to the sum insured or the value of new replacement on the date of claim whichever is lower. In case of partial loss/damage, the cost of repair would be paid without any depreciation on parts replaced for loss/damage.

How to claim? Procedure & Things to do when you lost your mobile

When you have lost your mobile phone, please follow the steps mentioned below to claim insurance.

  • Immediately reach your Local (or nearest) police station and lodge a complaint. File an FIR (First information Register). This is very important and has to be done as early as possible.

  • Lock your SIM by contacting your network operator.

  • You have to get SIM Barring service proof from your operator. Generally, upon request your network operator would give you a proof for SIM Barring/Rejection. In case you are not able to get hold of that proof, atleast get the SIM Change Subscription Bill (which proves that you have changed your SIM). This is available only from Customer Relationship offices of network operator.

  • Keep your Mobile Purchase Invoice/Bill handy as this is the only proof of ownership for your mobile phone.

  • Approach the mobile outlet in which you purchased the mobile handset. They will guide you with procedures and claims.

  • Make sure you do all these steps within 48 hours of the incident.

Depreciation of Total Loss Claims

Total loss claims are subject to depreciation of mobile handset. They follow the slabs mentioned below:
  • Within 90 days - 100% [Zero depreciation]

  • Within 91 days to 180 days - 75% [25% depreciation]

  • Within 181 days to 365 days - 50% [50% depreciation]

Mobile Insurance Shopping Guide
New India Assurance
National Insurance Company
Oriental Insurance Company
United India Insurance Company
Royal Sundaram General Insurance

Mobile Insurance Do's and Dont's [http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2007/mar/15cell.htm]
Spice, ICICI Lombard to offer insurance to mobile handsets [Link]

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