The Best Travel Insurance for Your Smartphone

Smartphones make travelling so much easier, as they enable you to perform several tasks at once, such as making hotel reservations, booking flights and taking cute holidays pictures with your travelling buddies. However, most smartphones are not shatterproof or even waterproof, which means that all your precious images and itinerary documents could be lost in an instant due to a sudden accident like dropping it on the ground or down a toilet.

While seemingly unlikely, these types of accidents do happen, and once the heart-sinking feeling that all of us get in the face of such an event dissolves, perhaps you’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel. For instance, most travel insurance policies include cover for electronics, including your smartphone, and are more than willing to replace your damaged phone and even retrieve the lost data.  A research from Cover-More shows that there were more than 11,000 smartphone related claims from 2013 to 2016 alone, while 2016 saw over 2,800 phone-related claims.

When your memories go down the toilet

Travel insurers like Cover-More receive many smartphone claims per year that you won’t believe some of the stories they come across. For example, one of their customers was travelling with a relative to Europe for the first time, and had taken thousands of photos within the first couple of weeks. Then disaster struck.
All of those images were lost when the customer accidentally dropped her smartphone down a toilet. Amidst all the excitement of being in Europe for the first time, the phone had slipped from her hands, so she immediately contacted the Apple store to report the incident. She was told that her phone was beyond repair and that it would require the services of a data recovery specialist to get her images back.

Some friends with whom she’d shared the experience advised her to check if the travel insurance policy covered smartphone damage, and as it turns out; it did! She then called Cover-More and after submitting her claim along with supporting documents such as the data retrieval specialist quote and reference number, her claim was processed within a few weeks and she got all her photos back.

As any Cover-More consultant will tell you, stories like this one are quite common, and most of the time a phone replacement isn’t even needed. Usually, the claims are related to damage of some kind, which are handled differently by the insurer.  For example, damaged phone claims require the customer to submit a claim for the repair costs instead of the cost of purchasing a new one smartphone. Whereas, a lost or stolen phone will require that you submit a proof of ownership receipt that shows when you bought the phone, which is then processed according to your level of cover.

How to Make a Successful Phone Claim

  • Don’t purchase an expensive phone before your trip – Refrain from purchasing a new phone ahead of your trip in hopes that you’ll be covered to buy a new one if it gets damaged, lost or stolen. Oftentimes, insurers will not cover a new phone purchase, so rather carry a cheaper phone with you so that you can use it in the event of losing or damaging your phone. This way you won’t be left without a communication device for the duration of your trip.
  • Keep your proof of purchase with you when making the claim – One of the first things that a consultant will ask for when you call to make a claim is a proof of purchase receipt which shows the phone’s date of purchase. So, always make sure to have the receipt of ownership, which can be obtained from the original owner even when buying second-hand. If it’s not possible to get a proof of purchase receipt from a second-hand purchase, make sure that you pay for it using your credit or debit card, so that the purchase can be validated through your bank statement.
  • Consider your phone’s depreciation – A smartphone is a depreciating asset whose value starts to decrease from the moment you purchase it. This means that it may cost less now than it did when you bought it, so do a valuation of your phone before you leave your home to find out how much it’s worth before you insure it. If its value is above the insurance amount provided, then you should consider leaving it behind and travelling with a cheaper phone instead.

 

How Mobile Phone Claims Are Calculated

Before paying out a phone-related claim, travel insurance providers will typically factor in the following aspects:

  • The level of damage and amount of loss or liability
  • The policy’s excess amount
  • Any absolute and sub-limits that apply to the maximum benefit
  • Practical depreciation

The policy’s terms and conditions
One of the most important things you should do before and after you take out cover is to read the Product Disclosure Statement to find out what exactly is included in the policy as well as the calculations that go into specific claims.

Top Mobile Apps to Use When Travelling

Thanks to fast technological innovations, modern travellers no longer have to rely on dodgy translators, traveller’s checks or paper maps on their trips. These days, there’s an app for literally everything, from the app that helps you plan your trip to apps that enhance your journey by making it more convenient and enjoyable.
The following are a few apps that we’ve found to be very useful in our journeys around the world.

Maps.me

The Maps.me app eliminates the need for paper maps, and you don’t need an internet connection to access it. All you have to do is download the map of the particular destination you’re visiting via a Wi-Fi connection, and once it’s on your phone, you’ll have access to all its features through Maps.me. It might be a single map for the entire country you’re visiting, or there might be several maps for different parts of the city.
With Maps.me, you’ll have access to all tourist attractions, accommodation options and train and bus stations in that destination, and is so interactive that it can assist you to find the best route to suit your mode of transportation, whether that’s walking, driving or commuting. Plus, it’ll also tell you how much time it’ll take for you to get to your destination from where you are. As long as your phone has GPS tracking, the app will work virtually anywhere.

Currency Converter Plus

Tired of having to make calculations in your head every time you have to pay for something in a foreign country? Well, with Currency Converter Plus you won’t have to. This interactive app offers a simple and easy way to convert currencies. All you have to do is input the foreign currency you want to convert as well as the amount, and the app will give you the equivalent in Australian dollars. You’ll thank yourself for having it the next time you have to convert 200,000 Vietnamese Dong into dollars, and it’ll come in handy when you’re trying to figure out how much to withdraw from a foreign currency ATM.

Booking.com and Hostel World

Both these apps specialize in simplifying the accommodation process while making it more convenient for you. For example, Booking.com enables you to filter results based on categories like your budget and the type of accommodation you’re looking for, whether it’s a hotel or hostel.
On the other hand, HostelWorld is super easy to use and works similarly to Booking.com. The accommodation options it offers come with filters, ratings, and reviews.

Skype

Save money on international phone calls with Skype. The app, which is mostly famous for its video chat service, offers competitive rates on international calls that start from 50 cents per call. All you need to use it is a Wi-Fi connection and some credits. $10 can last for about six months if you only use it every couple of weeks, or 3 months if you use it more frequently.

Facebook Messenger

If you’re looking for a free option to make an international call, you can use Facebook Messenger. All you need to use this app is a Wi-Fi connection, and the person on the other end needs to be a Facebook user as well.

Rome 2 Rio

With Rome 2 Rio, you won’t have to guess what mode of transport is best for a particular destination. By typing your departure and arrival points, the app will return with results on the transport options available between those two points, including taxies, trains, buses, ferries, and planes. Short of a Lonely Planet guidebook, this is the best resource for this type of information.

Google Translate

Google Translate is the game-changing app that renders phrasebooks virtually obsolete. Simply download the particular language file that’s relevant to your destination onto your phone, and you’ll be able to translate phrases and words in an instant and without the need for a data connection. For instance, if you’re traveling to Mozambique then you’d have to download the Portuguese language file, which you’ll then be able to use throughout your trip, even for menus and road signs.

CamScanner

As the name implies, the CamScanner app allows you to scan and email documents by taking a picture and converting them to a PDF file. Although you probably won’t use it that much, it can come in handy when you need to submit paperwork for a travel insurance claim or to dispute charges on a credit card that was stolen during your trip.

Snapseed

With this app, you can readily share your travels with friends and families without having to resort to questionable Instagram filters. Snapseed filters will give your photos a noticeable boost.