How to protect your mobile phone while travelling

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Airline tickets? Passport? Mobile? The smartphone is a must have travel item, so here’s how to keep it safe!

You want to send those jealousy-inducing social media posts or have a handy guidebook, then the phone is the greatest travel gadget – ever! It can store your boarding passes, your hotel reservation confirmation and through TID’s Tripwise app you have your travel insurance policy details and quick access to our emergency assistance team right there with you. You’d be lost without it, so how do you make sure you don’t lose it?

3 things could happen to your phone: you could lose it, get it stolen, or damage it.

Lost phone

You'd be lost without your phone - don't lose it!

We’re all pretty good at hanging on to our phone, right? Wrong. According to AMTA about 100,000 are reported lost or stolen in Australia each year. That’s 2000 a week!

I admit I once left mine in a taxi. I used Find My Phone to track it, kept calling it and eventually the driver answered, and you wouldn’t believe it but he was less than a kilometre from my house! He popped it in my letterbox, God love him.

Will you be so lucky while overseas? if your phone’s lost:

  • Block your phone with your provider ASAP;
  • Block your IMEI number
  • Report it to the police, hotel/back packers reception/security
  • Call our EA or CSC team to let them know.

Losing your phone is not always covered by travel insurance. Being careless with it, leaving it behind, or leaving it on a table unattended is specifically excluded in the policy wording. You should make a claim anyway, each case is judged on its merits and you never know, your circumstances might allow coverage.

Damaged phone

Providing you haven’t been reckless with it by throwing it against a wall or something, we’ll help you. Get it repaired as quickly as practicable, or get a quote for repairs, and let us know about it.

Don’t expect us to pay for the latest super-smartphone as a replacement for your busted 1999 Nokia (and you MUST listen to this). This is insurance against damage, not a chance to upgrade!

Stolen phone

if it is stolen your phone is insured by TID up to the value of $700. You can insure for a higher value and get new-for-old replacement if you add it as a valuable item option and pay a higher premium – around $40.

But it’s best not to let it be stolen in the first place.

  • Keep it safe in a deep pocket. An iPhone 6 poking from the back pocket of denim cut-offs is asking for trouble.
  • Don’t take it out and wave it around too often, you’ll mark yourself as a target for pickpockets.
  • Never put it down on a table or bar. “I only took my eye off it for a second!” is NOT a valid excuse.
  • Keep it locked away securely back at your hotel, not lying on the nightstand.
  • Never leave it in sight in a car, or leave it in the car overnight.
  • Make sure it has a pin code lock so it’s not easily accessed by thieves.

Making a claim for a lost mobile

How to claim

If your phone is lost or stolen while on your trip we’ll need a few things, including:

  • Proof of ownership – A receipt if you bought it outright, but if like most people it’s part of your telco contract a copy of that showing the make, model and purchase price will do.
  • A police report – and if it was lost on transport or in a hotel, a written report from them too. You need to report the loss to those authorities within 24 hours after discovering it’s gone.
  • Evidence of forced entry or theft of the phone from locked storage (was your room broken into, was a luggage compartment forced open etc. If you simply left it behind or unattended on a table, it’s not covered.)

Read about everything we’ll need on pages 17 & 18 of our policy description document, and the claims team may ask you for additional information and documentation too.

Other ways to insure your phone

Telco insurance

Australia’s telco’s provide insurance plans that allow you to replace lost or stolen phones, but they’re not cheap. They’re around $14 a month added to your bill, and there’s also a one-off service fee for a replacement, around $200, but the device will be covered for the life of your contract.

Contents insurance

Most home contents providers allow customers to add valuable portable items to their policy so there’s coverage outside the home (you may already have this!). The cost varies by insurer, but figure around $100 a year and it’s covered all day, every day, everywhere.

For more information about cover for your luggage, including mobile phones, read the PDS for full terms, conditions and exclusions.




Travel Insurance Direct and World Nomads author Phil Sylvester offers insights and advice to keep our customers safe and informed when they travel. With 20 year’s experience, Phil has turned his journalist’s eye to the things that could take the fun out of your holiday, researching issues and destinations that keep you informed so you can travel with confidence. He is also co-host of The World Nomads Travel Podcast.


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