You may not have given thought to the idea of taking up a cell phone insurance plan for your mobile device. However, if you are spending anything close to one hundred thousand naira on a device, it is a very good idea to insure it. Many are of the opinion that insurance companies in Nigeria do not provide cover for mobile devices, but that is far from the truth.
The situation is that insurers do not provide cover for mobile devices in isolation. To get insurance cover for your phone against theft, loss and fire, simply insure it as part of your home insurance policy. Businesses can also insure their devices by including them under their office equipment cover.
I have regularly insured my high-end mobile devices over the years, and so I write this from experience. If you broke the bank to buy that $999 or N120,000 smartphone, do get insurance cover for it. As such, should you lose it in a fire or burglary, you’re covered.
What is Cell Phone Insurance?
Cell phone insurance here is used to refer to the concept of insuring your mobile phone – usually to cover theft and fire. The subscriber pays a small amount annually as premium, in exchange for protection from damage or loss.
As far as I can tell from my findings, a significant number of mobile subscribers are enthusiastic about the idea if it comes at a “good price”. However, I am yet to speak with one insurer that is remotely excited about it. Every time I have raised the subject with an insurer, enthusiasm drops and their response is a cautious one.
As already mentioned, the few companies that offer insurance cover for mobile phones lump it up with other insurance products, e.g. home/household cover. In other words, if you insure your home and property, you can include your mobile phone. But you cannot insure your mobile phone alone. Why are insurers wary of covering mobile phones alone? I have spoken with professionals from three major insurance companies in the country, and the feedback is generally the same.
The feedback I have received from insurers include how phones can easily go missing or messed up by mishandling. There is a general mistrust of Nigerians to tell the truth about what really happened to their phones in such cases. There is also the fear that they would end up spending more on claims than revenue from insuring the devices in the first place. The summary is that no insurance company in Nigeria is willing to push standalone insurance cover for mobile devices. Yet.
For now, apart from a select handful of companies offering cell phone insurance n the country, if you want insurance cover for your smartphone, what you can do is take a home/household cover or an office equipment cover and include your phone in the list of items covered.
Some of the companies that have tried to offer the service in partnership with insurance companies have hit the rock and gone with the wind. New ones are springing up, though, to service the need and fill the gap.
One thing is clear, though: there is a market for mobile phone insurance, and whatever insurance company it is that cracks that market is in for huge takings.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.