Damaged and lost phones cost Kiwis $13.5m every year

  • 11/10/2022
The most common damage for mobile phones is accidental damage.
The most common damage for mobile phones is accidental damage. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwis have put in over 35,000 phone-related claims in the past two-and-a-half years through State Insurance - the cost coming in at $13.5 million per year.

The most common damage for mobile phones is accidental damage - usually as simple as dropping the phone on a hard surface.

State Insurance also said claims for water damage were common, where devices had been dropped into toilets, baths, spas, and hot tubs.

Wayne Tippet, executive general manager claims, said given the volume of claims, the company has seen "everything under the sun" when it comes to cause of damage.

"We've encountered just about every scenario," said Tippet.

"Whether it's dropping it in a porta-loo at a music festival, driving off with it perched on your car roof, or being swarmed by a pack of vicious seagulls - there are a million different ways you can find yourself phoneless."

State's claim data also showed that pets are equally interested when it comes to electronic devices - there were almost just as many laptop claims for damage caused by pets as phone claims.

A survey conducted by State Insurance and Ipsos showed New Zealanders tended to own phones valued between $1000 and $1600 but fewer than half had been insured.

Data taken from the past five years has also shown that Gen Z was the most likely age group to need their phones replaced or repaired because of loss, damage, or theft - sitting at 62 percent.

Following closely behind were the 25-34-year-olds, with 56 percent of the demographic needing their phones repaired or replaced.

On average, just under half of New Zealanders echoed the same story, with 42 percent needing a new or repaired phone.

Meanwhile, sitting at 24 percent, the least likely age group to need phone replacements or repairs was the over 70s.

Tippet said using some common-sense preventative measures can go a long way.

"The costs of having to repair or replace a phone can add up quickly - if you can avoid it, you should. Investing in a quality, water-resistant, and shock-proof case will help protect your phone from the most avoidable accidents."

He also recommended keeping your phone in a zipped bag when you're out and about.

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