Your smartphone is more than just your phone. It’s your music player, diary, camera, debit card and so much more all in one.
That’s a huge convenience, but it also means if you lose your phone or it gets stolen then you are without your main communication device – and perhaps are at risk of bank or identity fraud.
That’s why it’s probably best to buy a phone insurance plan to cover your smartphone for accidental damage, loss, or theft.
If insured, you can get a quick replacement for a phone affected by any of those things – smashed screen, dropped in the sea, pinched from the pub – but not all insurance policies cover all eventualities.
In the UK you can take out a phone insurance plan on a new phone very easily, but it’s also possible to buy cover for a phone or multiple devices at any time.
Phone insurance with UK mobile operators
Many of the major network providers in the UK provide insurance services. Damage, loss and theft coverage may even be included in your contract, so it’s worth checking with your carrier before you go to a separate insurance company:
EE – From £2.40 per month for damage protection, or £4.80 per month for full protection.Must purchase when upgrading or taking out a new contract. O2 – From £3 per month, with protection against loss, theft and damage. Minimum excess of £10.Must purchase when upgrading or taking out a new contract. Three – From £4 per month. Some plans include protection against damage, loss, theft and more.Must take out within 28 days of purchase. Vodafone – From £6.50 to £8.50 for damage protection, worldwide; £9.50 to £13.50 for damage, loss and theft protection, worldwide.Device must be less than 60 days old.
iPhone insurance with AppleCare
Apple doesn’t call it insurance, but that’s what AppleCare and AppleCare+ is.
If you buy a new iPhone direct from Apple (and select third party retailers) you can choose to also purchase AppleCare at the same time (or within 60 days of the iPhone purchase).
Prices for regular AppleCare start from £3.49 per month or £69 for two years for the iPhone SE (2022) and go up to £9.99 per month or £199 for two years for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. This covers unlimited repairs for accidental damage, repairs that use Apple parts, express replacement service, and 24/7 access to AppleCare experts online.
You can also get AppleCare+ from £5.99 per month and £119 for two years, up to £12.49 per month and £249 for two years, which gets you all of the above plus full cover for loss and theft.
If you’ve bought your iPhone from Apple then we recommend AppleCare because it’s just so easy to get quick repair at any Apple Store in the country. The insurance is linked to your Apple ID too, so you don’t need proof of purchase when you attend an appointment at the store (it’s best to book at the Genius Bar before turning up).
Samsung phone insurance
Samsung offers similar insurance packages to Apple at similar prices with Samsung Care Plus, with one advantage and one disadvantage: you can take out insurance on your phone within six months of purchase, which is a generous window, but none of the plans cover loss – only accidental damage and/or theft.
Best phone insurance providers
Protect Your Bubble – Good for low excess costs on older phone models with £50 for damage or breakdown claims, and £75 for loss or theft. Policies start at £15.99 per month to insure up to three gadgets with worldwide coverage. Protect Your Bubble allows up to two theft or loss claims per year, per gadget.
You must have bought your phone within the last six months. Be prepared to pay significantly more than the £5 starting prices for phones like the iPhone 14 and new Samsung models, though.
Gadget Cover – Good for shared phone insurance, because your policy is extended to cover damage while a member of your immediate family is using your device. Prices start from around £3.99 per month, with loss coverage an optional extra, with an excess of £50 for devices worth less than £500, £75 for those worth between £501 and £999 and anything over £1,000 has an excess of £100.
Endsleigh – Good for quick replacements. If your phone is lost, stolen, or unrepairable you should get a replacement within one working day. Insurance cover starts from £3.99 a month.
Unlike most dedicated gadget insurers, Endsleigh factors in your age, occupation, and other details in calculating a rate, so prices vary – but loss is included by default, and devices can be just under 3 years old when you start the policy. They also have options for students.
Simplesurance – Good for long-term plans. Simplesurance does just as you’d expect from its name: it keeps things simple. Instead of a monthly fee, you’ll pay a one-off fixed price to protect your phone over one year, two years or three years.
You can add theft protection, too. Prices are very reasonable, and get better if you choose a longer term.
Other insurance companies worth checking out include So-Sure and Love It Cover It.
Phone insurance buying guide
Different kinds of phone insurance
The first thing to decide when it comes to phone insurance is the level of protection you want. A few factors affect the price of insurance, starting with the assumed market value of the device you are insuring. Most insurance providers will have specific plans for particularly popular devices like iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones.
A lot of policies cover damage like liquid damage and theft but be wary that most packages won’t cover loss, and some of the cheapest packages (cheap being around £3 per month) will even leave out theft entirely and you’ll only be covered for accidental damage. So be sure to check the fine print because sometimes a cheap price means you won’t be covered for everything.
You can also consider add-ons to a basic phone insurance package like worldwide cover, or cover for the cost of unauthorised calls, texts, or downloads if someone else has your phone.
Nowadays with cool tech like Apple Pay and Android Pay, there’s also the risk that if stolen your phone could be used for contactless transaction, so look out for e-wallet cover –
Gadget Cover is one of the few companies that includes this as standard.
Price and risk
Some phone insurance deals can look like a great deal when advertising a monthly direct debit price. Often, these single digit monthly plans have a larger excess cost if you make a claim.
An example is
Protect Your Bubble, which offers an excess charge for a claim of damage or breakdown of £50 for many phones, increasing to £100 for the latest and greatest.
Other plans can have excess costs of more than £100. You have to consider the balance you want to strike between peace of mind and then the likelihood of making a claim; if you think you will then make sure you’re happy with the excess costs before you sign up.
Consider multi-device policies
If you’re looking to insure more than one device (say you want to cover all of your family’s phones) then quite a few providers sell multi-device packages.
Protect Your Bubble again is a good option, offering household gadget insurance for 4-10 devices from £12.99 per month.
Gadget Cover also provides simple, flexible household insurance policies that are worth considering.
You might already have insurance
If you aren’t worried about theft or accidental damage (although most people should be!) don’t forget that the majority of smartphone manufacturers cover device defaults for 12 months. iPhones certainly are (when bought new) so double check.
It’s also possible that your phone will be covered by your existing home insurance, or under an insurance policy that comes with your bank account, so make sure to double-check both of those before you commit to spending more money on a new policy.
Check the terms and conditions
While we think the providers and policies mentioned in this article are good choices for smartphone insurance, you should always check the terms and conditions and small print before taking out a policy – this is because it depends on your personal situation or preferences.
For example, your phone might only be covered from car theft if the car is locked and phone in the glove box.
Some insurers also don’t protect smartphones unless they are six months old or newer. All these little things could add up to an insurance headache, so make sure you check the fine print.