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Mobile phone users are 'increasingly accident prone'
(18/02/2011 11:15:51)

People looking to recycle or sell mobile phones may have been forced to make an insurance claim in the past 12 months.

According to a study by uSwitch, more than one million mobile phone users have contacted their insurance providers having lost or damaged their handsets.

However, just 11 per cent of claims were made due to their phone being stolen, while 60 per cent were lodged due to an accidental breakage.

With lost phones only accounting for 20 per cent of claims, it appears that mobile owners are becoming increasingly accident prone when handling their gadgets.

Phones falling out of pockets were the main cause of damage, while more than 100,000 claims received in the past year have been due to the owner dropping their devices down the toilet.

Four per cent of all claims made were because phones had been run over, while 39,000 people put their gadgets in a washing machine.

Communications expert at uSwitch Ernest Doku believes the apparent clumsy nature of mobile phone users suggests that insurance remains a vital requirement for many.

"Mobile phones may be getting smarter but their owners aren't," he noted.

"Accidents can happen, but such is our dependence on our mobiles that replacing them can be a seriously inconvenient, not to mention costly, exercise."

However, despite these statistics, figures from uSwitch showed that less than a quarter of mobile phone users have taken out an insurance policy to protect their handsets.

This is the equivalent of 12.6 million mobile users, with 1.26 million making a claim in the past year.

A possible reason for the neglect of insurance is the added expense and sizeable excess fees attached to claims.

"It's likely that you'll have to pay an excess when you make a claim, and you may find that your premium goes up the following year," Mr Doku added.

Recent information released by GfK Retail and Technology suggested that more people are looking to buy new mobile phones online.

The firm indicated that seven per cent of handsets sold between January and October 2010 were purchased by people using the internet.

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