Monday 16 September 2019

How one in five mobile phone users pays cover on the double


Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Consumers are taking out insurance on their mobile phones but then forget to cancel it when they get a new device.

This means they end up paying for cover on something they no longer use.

Central Bank research also found that people are confused about what is covered by gadget insurance, often leading to claims being denied.

Almost half of those who take out gadget insurance mistakenly believe it will cover wear and tear on their device.

Some 440,000 people have gadget insurance, which is mainly sold to them after they buy a device, the Central Bank found.

The research, which included a consumer survey and a thematic inspection of insurers, found the majority of people did not understand the cover and thought it covered more than it did.

Some 45pc expect wear and tear to be covered, with 77pc expecting to be offered a new device when it needs to be replaced.

One in five failed to cancel a previous policy after taking out a new one. This means they are paying for cover they no longer need.

Few people surveyed were familiar with the exclusions and excess on the policies. Exclusions list claims that will not be covered, while the excess is the amount the consumer has to meet before a claim will be paid.

People felt the policy terms were unfair as the excess was often a higher figure than the cost of the repairs.

Device owners were also unaware that there is sometimes no cover for under 18s, and restrictions on the age of the gadget and the place of purchase.

Many people have a claim declined after having a mobile phone stolen. This is because they have failed to report the loss of the handset to gardaí or to the insurer within the timeframe specified in the policy.

Irish Independent

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