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Losing Your Mobile Phone Can Be A Traumatic Experience

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Mobile Phones Being Stolen

To most of us mobile phones have become an essential part of our everyday lives. They are taken everywhere we go and used for hours every day, whether it is for calling, texting, surfing the Internet or updating our social media accounts they are our constant companions.

No matter how careful you are, the amount of time you spend using your mobile phone means that it is likely that, at some point in time you will incur a loss. To soften the blow, make sure that your phone and it’s contents are covered adequately. Don’t hope that it won't happen to you because the chances are that at some point in time it will.

Most mobile contracts run for 18 months or longer, if you lose your phone during the minimum contract period, your mobile phone provider will still expect you to pay your monthly contract fees until the end of the contract period is reached.

Mobile Phone Crime

Mobile phone crime is on the increase, the main target of thieves are children aged 15 and under. While a mobile phone can be an important aid to keeping children safe, it can also make them a target for muggers. The high cost of smart phones along with the increasing number of young people using them has meant that crime figures are higher than ever. Until such time as the mobile phone manufacturers and service providers work together to render lost and stolen phones unusable, mobile phone users will always be an easy target for criminals.

Precautions

  • Always keep your phone concealed; muggers are more likely to target people if they can see they have something worth stealing.
  • Do not use your phone when leaving a train or underground station; these can be hotspots where muggers lie in wait for potential victims.
  • Keep your valuables in an inside pocket if possible, if you are using a bag make sure that the bag is securely fastened and that you are holding it securely.
  • Keep to busy roads if you are walking alone, muggers are less likely to confront their victim in a public place.

Younger victims are more likely to be confronted by a mugger often threatening violence to obtain their phone. Muggers often lie in wait and snatch their victim’s phone before making their escape on foot, push bike or moped. Commuters leaving underground and train stations are likely targets for this type of theft. Pickpockets often work in groups in busy places and while one distracts the victim, the second thief picks their pocket and passes it on to a third thief who leaves the scene. This is more likely to occur on public transport or in shops.

Mobile Phone Insurance

Make sure your phone is insured. This insurance will usually cover replacement of the handset as well as any unauthorised call charges incurred as a result of your loss.

Dedicated insurance policy

This is usually the most expensive way to insure as you pay a monthly premium just for one phone and normally carries an excess fee if you make a claim. Dedicated mobile phone insurance policies can offer the most comprehensive level of cover and you can normally find a provider that offers the exact level of cover you require.

Premium Bank Account

It is worth considering upgrading to a premium bank account that comes with mobile phone insurance if you are likely to take advantage of other benefits such as breakdown cover and travel insurance. It is not usually worth upgrading your bank account purely to get the included mobile phone insurance. Most of the main providers offer premium banks accounts and there is a monthly charge for the additional benefits offered.

Home Contents Insurance

Although this may be one of the most convenient and cheapest ways to insure your phone, claiming can be costly as there is often a large excess to pay and an increase in future premiums as well as the loss of any no claims discount needs to be taken into consideration.

Important things to clarify

  • Premiums vary depending on the model of phone to be insured, make sure that the cost being quoted covers the exact model of phone you are insuring.
  • Most policies carry an excess and these excesses can vary depending on whether your phone is lost, stolen or damaged. Make sure you know exactly how much excess you will have to pay if you have to make a claim.
  • Some policies will offer a refurbished handset as a replacement whereas others will offer a new handset or give you a cheque to the value of a replacement phone.
  • Policies may offer a basic level of cover such as theft only, while this may be a cheaper way to insure your phone there is more chance that you will lose your phone or accidentally damage it

Limit Your Losses

It is not just the cost of replacing the phone that you need to consider. Most phones have built in cameras and often the photos and videos that are taken on them are never transferred to a computer. If your phone is lost or stolen quite often you pictures and videos are permanently lost and these can never be replaced. If you have a tendency not to back up your phone to your computer, consider using an Internet based back up service which your mobile service provider may offer or if not a paid service such as My PC Back Up.

Reporting Your Loss

Contact your mobile service provider and inform them of the loss so they can stop your account from being used to make calls - it is important to do this as soon as possible as you may be responsible for costs up until the time that you inform them. Report the crime to the police and they will give you a Crime Reference Number (CRN) Notify your insurers as soon as possible, if you have reported your loss to the police they will normally ask for the CRN.



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