How To Insure Your Smart Phone For Less Than KSh 300Posted on 2016-10-06
The majority of Kenyans possess smartphones, laptops, digital cameras, tablets and all sort of fancy personal devices. With the increase in disposable incomes and decrease in electronics prices, it is estimated that over 32 million Kenyans own telephones. Smartphones are now used for banking, shopping, computing, and photography not to mention their principle purpose of communication. Many of these cost in the hundreds of thousands of Kenya shillings not to mention the value of personal data and memories that is stored on them.
When shopping for a gadget, most people look for a great deal, going to the extent of importing the devices through family and friends to make some extra savings. Some Kenyans are gadget obsessed, they want the latest and greatest in a world of gadgets that delivers updates and upgrades week in week out.
It is no wonder that the damage or loss of such a device can cause a lot of distress and worry not to mention the financial loss! All too common are the stories of a broken screen of that Iphone 7 or Samsung S7, IPad, water/liquid spillage on laptops and tablets. Many of the latest devices now boast of their waterproof design, however they fare badly when accidentally dropped against a hard surface. Screens easily shatter, hard drives are broken and keypads come flying out. Should these precious devices survive spillage or breakage damage, many times they end up being snatched by pick pockets or actual robbers.
The question then becomes, how can one protect their treasured device from damage, loss or theft? Car insurance and Medical insurance are the two most common insurance products but what is the best insurance for our beloved smartphones?
The good news is that there a few ways to keep the all-important device away from damage and spillage.
First we will start with the old notion of prevention is better than cure. What do I mean? Keeping your handset in waterproof and sturdy case will do great to shield your device from liquid spillages and accidental damages. A phone/tablet case costing less KSh 1,000 can protect your valuable device worth hundreds of thousands of Kenya shillings. For accidental damages or spillages, the case is the first point of impact, leaving the device intact or with mere scratches. Some people even go a step further, using device cases with a string attachment perfect for wearing around the wrist or neck. While having a protector case might reduce the damage to the device due to spillage and breakage, it offers no protection for cases of theft of the device.
Secondly, many Kenyans also opt for the device manufacturer warranty programs. Most of the top electronics manufacturers like Samsung, Apple, HP, Techno and others have local outlets in Nairobi and major towns. These warranty programs however cover faults from the software or hardware of the phone, they don’t cover damage or theft of the device.
A notable exception is the Apple Care package, which covers for technical support and also accidental damage. However, at a steep price of 130 dollars, it can be costly considering there is an excess amount the device owner has to bear if a damage claim is submitted. Again, much as the warranty covers some damages to the device, it does not cover theft of the device leaving the owner exposed to this risk.
Electronic Equipment Insurance?
This is the first option we will consider when it comes to insurance for electronic devices/gadgets, to ensure the absolute safety of your previous device, it is prudent to take insurance for that device.
Many insurance companies in Kenya offer electronic device/equipment insurance. This is mainly targeted at corporates, protecting office equipment like telephones, computers, tablets, PABX from accidental damage, fire, theft and internal damage. In most cases, this option is the cheapest out there, however it is limited in the items it covers and these are normally specified to be office equipment therefore disqualifying personal and handheld devices.
Kenya Orient Mobile Insurance?
Kenya Orient was lauded as one of the pioneers of innovation in the insurance industry in Kenya. It launched its mobile device insurance called ORIENT MOBILE in 2013 to a lot publicity and fanfare. This was the first insurance product to allow clients to insure their phones against damage, theft and loss as a standalone policy without having to bundle it together with another major insurance policy. The device insurance scheme allows anyone to insure a device no more than 2 years from the date of purchase. The insurance can easily be activated by sending the SMS ‘MOBILE’ to the number 70707. The insurance system will then send you a web link, clicking this link takes you to the Kenya Orient system, that determines the make and model of your phone and its market value. You are then given the annual premium to pay for covering the device.
The only drawbacks on this scheme are that it only insures phones that are less than 2 years from the date of purchase.
Home Contents Package
The third and possibly best option is the home/domestic contents insurance cover. This is the home insurance option, by taking a cheap home contents cover, one can bundle in insurance for laptops, mobile devices, cameras, tablets and similar electronic devices. The contents insurance cover will cover household contents like television, fridge, kitchenware, and bedroom possessions up to a value of KSh 400,000 for an annual premium of KSh 3000.
The insured can add the ‘All Risks Cover’ on this policy to cover the handheld/electronic devices from all damage or loss. The devices are covered at annual premium rates of 1% of the value of the device. As an example, for a Samsung phone worth KSh 30,000. It may be insured for KSh 300 annual premium! The only catch is to compare and choose the insurance provider with the lowest deductible/excess when a claim is submitted on the policy. The lowest excess amounts start from KSh 2,500.
There are no other requirements or limitations on this policy, all devices are admissible provided there is proof of purchase or valuation.
Therefore, the best and cheapest way to insure electronic devices like smartphones and laptops is to include them in a basic home contents insurance policy.