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Mobile Mishaps: Millions Paid In Phone Insurance Claims Yearly

New State insurance data reveals New Zealanders lodge an average of 30 mobile phone claims every day.

“In 2023, we paid out $11m towards 11,300 mobile phone claims, with the average claim costing about $900,” says State Executive General Manager Claims, Wayne Tippet.

State’s claims data - sourced from the largest general insurance data in New Zealand - revealed accidental damage is the top cause for mobile phone claims, responsible for 81% of claims received, followed by lost phones (12%) and theft (5%).

Mr Tippet noted that accidental damage is mostly caused by phones being dropped, with an unforgiving hard surface typically the landing pad.

In a nationwide survey commissioned by State, 40% of those New Zealanders who needed to replace their phones (in a two-year period), had dropped it on the ground, resulting in unrepairable damage.

“Late model phones often have water-resistant protective features and can survive falling into the toilet, or being exposed to a rainy downpour - events we’ve commonly seen claims for in the past - but damage incurred by hard surfaces is not so forgiving.

“Mobile phones have also been snatched from peoples’ hands by thieves, swiped from tabletops at parties, and even stolen from inside bags.

“We’ve found that about 60% of mobile phone claims are settled for repairs and 40% are settled for replacements.

“Claim costs for mobile phones have also risen around 13% in the last year,” adds Mr Tippet, indicating that the advancement of mobile phone technology is likely a contributing factor.

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The growing necessity of mobile phones was reflected in the nationwide survey with almost 70% of New Zealanders responding that they couldn’t go longer than a day without the device.

Mr Tippet also noted the high personal value of mobile phones with important and sentimental items stored in them on a daily basis.

“A heavy duty phone case and tempered glass screen protector are some cost friendly ways to keep our phones safe.

“We should also never leave our phones visibly unattended,” cautions Mr Tippet, who also suggests noting down the device’s unique IMEI number, in case it gets stolen or lost.

“If you suspect your phone has been stolen, contact your phone provider immediately.”

Top five causes for mobile phone claims:

  1. Accidental damage 81%
  2. Lost 12%
  3. Theft 5%
  4. Weather 1%

5. Pets 1%

Top five regions for mobile phone claims:

  1. Auckland 26%
  2. Canterbury 18%
  3. Waikato 11 %
  4. Wellington 8%
  5. Bay of Plenty 7%

Top five claimed mobile phone types*

  1. Apple 58%
  2. Samsung 33%
  3. Huawei 4%
  4. Oppo 2%
  5. Google 1%

Excludes unspecified phone types*

Notes: Claims statistics are sourced from IAG contents claims data from 1 January 2020 – 29 March 2024. Ipsos research commissioned by State insurance, March 2024. Nationally representative survey of New Zealanders, total base size of n=1,000, and a margin of error of ±3.0.

© Scoop Media

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