Does your insurance cover your phone?

Insurance companies vary in their attitude to work use of mobile phones

What if you use your own mobile phone to read work emails during weekends — will it still be covered by your personal insurance policies?

It seems the answer to the question is yes, but only up to a point for some providers.

AMI says smartphones and laptops up to $1500 do not need to be specified as personal or business devices, and cover is granted under the conditions of the customer’s policy agreement.

“We realise that sometimes people use their phones for business, which includes checking emails or taking work calls. That’s why we make an allowance of up to $1500 for devices that might be used for work purposes,” says Melanie Elliot, executive manager of products at AMI.

The $1500 limit covers most smartphones available today, but some tablets and many laptops can exceed this cost. For those devices, Elliot says customers need to specify the device to their local AMI branch, which may grant the cover for an additional fee at their discretion.

Elliot adds that if cover is granted, it is limited to while the device is at home. If it is damaged or stolen while being transported or at work, Elliot says its cover will be void.

IAG, which owns insurance companies State and NZI, says customers who take out most of its home and contents policies are automatically given a ‘home office’ benefit. This covers devices used for work at home, and while temporarily removed.

Like AMI, there is a cost limit for the base policy and home office benefit.

IAG recommends potential customers consult with their insurance agents to make sure they are fully covered.

Vodafone and Telecom provide phone insurance at the time of purchase on their retail smartphones. Both companies say their insurance covers both personal and business use.

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