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Having conducted some research last year, Virgin Media discovered that over 72% of British mobile users do not have mobile insurance cover despite over two thirds admitting to losing a mobile every two years. Nearly 80% of those surveyed felt that mobile phone insurance was unnecessary (possibly skewed by the 51% of mobile phone users on pay as you go rather than monthly contract). Many insurance policies sold at point-of-sale do not cover liquid damage which is the cause of 47% of phone breakages.
Jamie Heywood, director of mobile at Virgin Media said: "If you've ever dropped your phone into your drink or inadvertently put it through a cycle in the washing machine, you're not alone, as these are some of the most common causes of damage to handsets.
"An overwhelming number of consumers don't believe that mobile insurance is necessary and won't consider taking insurance through their mobile provider because it's too expensive. For too long mobile providers have failed to offer insurance that represents value for money. We were astounded to find so many people were prepared to gamble when it came to protecting their handsets, which is why we are now the only provider to offer inclusive insurance as standard for our loyal customers at no extra cost.”
Virgin Media are offering the free mobile insurance to existing customers of their broadband, TV or landline packages who sign up for a new 24 month mobile contract. Non-customers can buy the insurance for £7.99 per month with a new phone contract. The insurance includes Liquid Damage and Loss and Theft cover although you must load their (useful) "Mobile Rescue” app to qualify for Loss and Theft. Unauthorised calls are not covered, they say it's unnecessary because their Mobile Rescue app allows you to remotely lock your phone by text or online. That's fine but still leaves your phone vulnerable until you notice it is missing.
For those who don't qualify, or are already happy with their existing phone or contract, there are plenty of insurers happy to provide mobile phone insurance well under the £95.88 annual price of the Virgin Media policy.