But despite that, few people insure their mobile phones or gadgets – and even fewer are aware how they can make a successful claim on their insurance.
And the financial ombudsman has received an increasing number of complaints from people who believe their mobile phone is insured, but ultimately find they are not able to claim on their policy.
“We process thousands of claims each month and the most, by a country mile, are for damage,” said Matt Reid, UK director of specialist gadget insurer Protectyourbubble.com.
“Damage claims include people sitting on smartphones and cracking the screens, spilling drinks over them, or steam and water damage caused by people using their gadgets in the bathroom.
Damage, including liquid damage, makes up around 60 per cent of all claims we receive.”
The second most common claim is for loss, making up around a quarter of all mobile phone insurance claims – but insurers often get some requests for compensation from people who have damaged their phone in strange circumstances.
One man, who worked on a building site, drove a steam roller over his iPhone while laying tarmac and made a claim to Protectyourbubble.com.
“Make sure your gadget insurance protects you worldwide against theft, accidental damage, liquid damage, mechanical breakdown, loss, and unauthorised calls,” added Mr Reid.
“Our personal possessions provide rich pickings for thieves and, given the portable nature of our gadgets, we’ve now got more to lose too.”
Matt Reid’s tips on how to ensure a claim is successful:
• Keep proof of purchase – you’ll be asked to provide this if you need to make a claim.
• Fill in and return paperwork as quickly as possible to ensure your claim is processed swiftly.
Include as much detail as you can, however insignificant you think the information is.
• If your phone is stolen or lost, you’ll need to call your airtime provider as soon as possible, or within 12 hours, so the phone can be blacklisted.
• Similarly, if your phone is lost or stolen, you must report it to the police within 24 hours, and provide a crime reference number.
• You must make your claim within 48 hours of discovery of the loss or theft.