Smartphone Travel Insurance Guide

Collage of people smiling at their phones while they travel.

When it comes to travelling, packing your smartphone has become just as important as packing your passport. Since we’re so reliant on our tech sidekicks for everyday life, it’s important not to leave yourself stranded if something goes wrong overseas.

This is where travel insurance comes in. As international borders reopen, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about travel insurance for your devices.

Can I get travel insurance cover for my smartphone?

Travel souvenirs on a smartphone.

Yes! Typically, your mobile phone along with your laptop, tablet, etc. will be covered under your personal effects in a travel insurance policy. This means you’ll be protected in the event of accidental damage, loss, or theft. 

There are specific gadget-only policies available that can provide a higher level of protection for your devices. Otherwise, you have the option of adding additional items under your normal travel insurance policy.

Keep in mind there will be limits to how much you can claim on a standard cover, and most providers are quite strict about several common travel insurance exclusions. If you’re unsure what’s covered in your policy, check your travel insurance’s product disclosure statement (PDS).

RELATED: What's the best mobile plan for travelling Australia?

What should I look out for in a travel insurance policy?

Collage of a man travelling while looking down at his smartphone.

If you’ve decided to take out insurance on your smartphone before a trip, here are a few things to look out for before signing the dotted line:

  • The limits. Many policies have a limit on the amount you’re covered for on any particular item. If you’re planning on taking multiple electronic devices with you on holiday, make sure your smartphone is adequately covered. 
  • Sub limits. Policies may also choose to include a sub-limit on the amount of cover that is available for certain items. For example, you may only receive $200 per insured item, which could leave you out of pocket in a number of circumstances. Therefore, it’s important to look for a policy that’s reasonable with their limits and the amount of coverage you can apply for. Some travel insurance providers will also let you increase the sub-limits if you pay an extra premium, so keep this in mind. 
  • Replacement/wear and tear costs. There are different kinds of damage that can affect whether you get your payout. If your smartphone is on the older side, depreciation could affect your reimbursement.
  • Excess. An insurance excess is an amount you pay whenever you make a claim on your policy. Generally, the higher excess you’re willing to pay, the cheaper your overall insurance policy will be. However, if you end up having to pay a high excess, it might be more than the item you want to claim later.

If you keep these things in mind, you should be able to choose a policy that best suits you and your travel needs.

How do I prepare my smartphone for international travel?

Collage of a woman with her smartphone.

No one likes to think about a smashed or stolen smartphone, let alone losing everything that was on it. However, we recommend doing the following in advance to help you prepare for the worst.

  • Take a “before” shot of your smartphone as proof of its condition before you leave the country.
  • Jot down your smartphone’s serial number or IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity).
  • Backup all your photos, music, apps, and other data to your computer or laptop – or better still, a hard drive.
  • AirDrop anything else on your smartphone you don’t want to risk losing, like important notes or saved documents.
  • Double check the international benefits included in your mobile plan. Nothing like coming home to a $500 roaming bill!
  • Email your contacts to yourself.

This way, you’ll have all you need on hand if the worst happens abroad.

What do I need to make a travel insurance claim?

A yellow pad with a pen on a white desk.

Many insurance providers will have their own specific requirements in order to make a claim. If you’re overseas, you can usually find their process on their website or international hotline. 

Here are a few general things you may need to provide when making a claim for your smartphone or electronic device:

  • Police/hotel reports
  • Valuations
  • Quotes from reputable expert if the smartphone can be repaired
  • Photos (if applicable)
  • Proof of purchase, such as the receipt/bank statement

These all count as primary evidence in case you need to file a claim.

How can you improve your travel insurance claim?

Collage of a woman leaping while trailing a rainbow.

Here are a few tips to make the travel insurance claim process as smooth as possible.

  • Report ASAP. If your device has been lost or stolen, report it to a local authority no matter where you are. Obtain a copy of the police report with the exact date the incident occurred. This will be the biggest piece of evidence you’ll offer to an insurance provider when you make a claim.
  • File your claim within 30 days. You don’t have to let your insurance provider know the second you land, but the sooner the better. Claims filed after 30 days tend to be rejected.
  • Be prepared with contact information. Before you head overseas, make sure you have a copy of your policy on file (such as in your email) along with a way to get in contact with your provider.
  • Take care when travelling overseas. Negligence isn’t very tolerated when it comes to insurance payouts. If you leave your device ‘unattended’, such as on the beach during an impromptu swim, or even on your restaurant table while you order – you could be on the hook for replacement costs because you took on unnecessary “risk”. 
  • Cooperation and honesty. Providers always appreciate honesty no matter what the circumstances, so it’s important to be upfront and truthful when it comes to making a claim. Cooperate the best you can and don’t try to trick or mislead your insurance provider, as it could result in your claim being denied.

If you keep these things in mind, they'll massively help your travel insurance claim.

How will my travel insurance claim be assessed?

Collage of luggage.

Once you’ve filled out the necessary forms and submitted the relevant documentation, your insurance company will assess your claim. This process can take a few weeks, so the sooner you get started the better. 

Your travel insurance provider will generally look into the following when assessing your claim:

  • The incident that occurred.
  • When the claim was submitted.
  • Whether you were at fault.
  • Whether your device can be fully repaired or replaced.
  • If your policy type permits cover for the type of damage.

Travelling soon? Compare a wide range of travel insurance options and get quotes with our comparison tool.

Compare travel insurance policies - last updated 1 July 2022

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