Damaged and lost mobile phones cost New Zealanders an average of $13.5 million every year, according to State Insurance.

State has received 35,899 contents insurance claims for mobile phones over the past two and half years – adding up to an average of 33 every day.

According to State’s claims data, they are the item New Zealanders are most likely to make a contents insurance claim for.

State’s executive general manager for claims, Wayne Tippet, said the figures underlined the need to protect smartphones.

“We’ve encountered just about every scenario under the sun that has led to someone making a claim for their phone,” he said. “Whether it’s dropping it in a porta-loo at a music festival, driving off with it perched on your car roof, or being swarmed by a pack of vicious seagulls – there are a million different ways you can find yourself suddenly phoneless.

“But the costs of having to repair or replace a phone can quickly add up, and if you can avoid it, you should. Investing in a quality, water-resistant and shock-proof case will help protect your phone from most avoidable accidents.”

A nationwide survey conducted by State and Ipsos found that New Zealanders tended to own phones valued between $1,000 - $1,600. However, only 43% had them insured under a contents insurance policy.

The same survey found that 35% of respondents had repaired or replaced their phone at least twice in the past five years, and 8% at least three times.

Tippet adds, “If you have a comprehensive contents insurance policy, you’ll be covered for any sudden or accidental loss to your phone – for example, if you accidentally jump into the sea with it still in your pocket.

“Your insurance will cover the cost of either replacing the phone or repairing it, helping you to absorb the financial hit and get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

“However, every insurer is different, so it's important you read the details of your policy to understand exactly what you’re covered for.”

According to the State-Ipsos survey, Gen-Zers were most likely to find themselves phoneless. A total of 62% of 18–24-year-olds have had to repair or replace a mobile phone in the past five years due to damage, loss, or theft, State said.

December 2022