Virgin Media today released the results of its research into consumers’ perceptions of mobile insurance. After speaking to 1,000 people across the UK* Virgin Media has uncovered how often careless Brits have lost or damaged their handsets and what their attitudes are towards mobile phone insurance.
The findings revealed that more than 72% of Brits don’t have mobile phone insurance – despite 70% admitting to breaking or losing up to seven phones in the last decade – leaving them facing the prospect of having to fork out for a new handset if their phone meets an untimely demise. An overwhelming number of Brits (64%) won’t consider taking mobile insurance from their mobile network providers, with nearly 60% stating they feel it’s too expensive.
Despite the alarming frequency of consumers losing their phones, the vast majority (79%) of mobile phone users surveyed believe mobile phone insurance is unnecessary. Brits may also be concerned that certain types of damage may not be covered by their policies. For example, 47% of broken phones are attributed to water damage, which insurance policies may exclude.
One in four people pay up to £120 a year for insurance cover without knowing if the handset would be replaced if lost of stolen. This can lead to nasty surprises when something goes wrong – indeed, a shocking 23% of those who have insurance cover claimed that they had previously been forced to pay for a replacement handset by their providers.
Jamie Heywood, director of mobile at Virgin Media said: “If you’ve ever dropped your phone into your drink or inadvertently put it through a cycle in the washing machine, you’re not alone, as these are some of the most common causes of damage to handsets.
“With smartphones being core to our daily lives and many of the latest devices costing up to £500, it’s shocking to learn that so many consumers aren’t protecting their investments.
“Clearly there’s an opportunity for the mobile industry to transform consumer perception about the importance and value of mobile insurance; it’s time to shake up the market…”
More eccentric reasons given for the loss or damage of handsets included the accidental shredding of an expensive handset with a lawn mower and even the unfortunate chomping of a BlackBerry by an opportunist (and presumably peckish!) race horse.
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Virgin Media is the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK.
The company’s cable network – the result of multi-billion pound private investment – delivers ultrafast broadband to over half of all UK homes, with speeds of up to 120Mb, as well as market leading connectivity to thousands of public and private sector organisations across the country.
Virgin Media has developed the most advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box powered by TiVo. The company was the first to offer HD TV and 3D on demand to millions of British households.
The world’s first virtual mobile network was launched by Virgin Media and it is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.
Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest broadband communications group. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 25 million customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.