The best Cellphone Insurance plans in South AfricaCellphone insurance, like other types, covers your phone from theft, damage or other incidents. It is a relatively new form of insurance, only taking off following the advent of expensive mobile devices.

Most modern flagship devices have price tags exceeding $1000 (R16,000), which means their loss can be a major financial burden. It also means that cellphone theft is on the rise, particularly here in South Africa where crime is already off the charts.

Losing or damaging your cellphone is also relatively common as opposed to other types of belongings, since you carry it with you at all times.

Having bought the newest iPhone for close to R30,000, it is wise to have it insured against the most common scenarios, i.e. loss, theft or damage. It may end up saving you a bid deal.

How does cellphone insurance work in South Africa?

Insuring a cellphone in South Africa is relatively straightforward and often much easier than insuring other pricier goods like your car or house.

You simply pay monthly premiums as calculated by your provider.

What’s covered of course depends on your provider and what your policy stipulates, but it is quite likely that in the event of theft or loss of your cellphone, it will be replaced with a similar model or an equivalently priced model; or repaired in the event of damage.

There are exclusion which could prevent you from getting paid, and it is paramount that you understand them before signing on any policy. Some of these can be simple things like whether you took a common sense approach in safeguarding your phone, for example while it was in your car or a restaurant.

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How to make a cellphone insurance claim in South Africa

Every provider will have its process, but they all follow a basic template. The phone number or device IMEI number must first be reported to your service provider for blacklisting. This will prevent or slow down the sale of the device.

Your phone service provider will then issue you with an ITC number to prove that it has been blacklisted, which you then need to provide to your insurance company.

The insurance company will then take it from there and determine whether you meet the requirements stipulated in your policy.

In case of theft, most companies will require a police case number in order to establish the circumstances in which it happened.

Is it worth getting cellphone insurance?

Cellphone insurance is neither mandatory nor common. Most people, certainly in South Africa, find no need to pay premiums for such a product.

The fact that mobile phones are affordable enough to be replaced every so often perhaps leads many to see no point in having them insured.

However, depending on the price point of your device, insurance may be worthwhile. A top of the range iPhone can cost you close to R30,000, which is no pocket change by any stretch. If such an amount is a huge investment for you, cellphone insurance would absolutely make sense.

There are however many affordable smart devices from say R1,000 to R10,000. Insuring such devices may be an extra financial burden that makes no sense.

So, insuring a cellphone is wholly a personal decision, and should be made after considering your usage, how often you damage your phone, and of course the device cost.

How much does it cost to insure a phone in South Africa?

Every provider has their own premium rates for cellphone insurance.

The lowest we have found is Vodacom which starts at R20 per month. However, the difference between one provider and the next is not significant.

The premium is determined by the original device cost, but most providers have an upper limit on the maximum they can insure.

Upon making a claim, there is also an excess charge, which is often a percentage of the device original value. So for instance if you are filing a claim for a R10,000 device, you may be required to fork out 20% of that before the insurance company can honour the claim.

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Top 5 Cellphone Insurance Plans in South Africa


1. TFG Device Insurance

Their plan covers portable devices like your cellphone, tablet or laptop. The company will repair when possible, or replace your device in case of loss or theft.

As a user, you will be given an option to choose a replacement device from any TFG store. The replacement device should have a purchase price similar or less than the original device at the time of purchase.

In 2022, these are the monthly premiums per device value.

Device Value Monthly Premium
R 1 – R500 R 23.00
R 501 – R1 000 R 36.00
R 1 001 – R1 250 R 39.50
R 1 251 – R1 750 R 49.50
R 1 751 – R2 500 R 59.50
R 2 501 – R3 500 R 75.50
R 3 501 – R5 000 R 86.50
R 5 001 – R6 500 R 133.00
R 6 501 – R8 000 R 168.00
R 8 001 – R9 500 R 188.50
R 9 501 – R11 000 R 217.00
R 11 501 – R12 500 R 248.00
R 12 501 – R15 000 R 263.00

They have separate premiums for laptops.

Laptop Value Monthly Premium
R 0 – R5 000 R 66.00
R 5 001 – R6 500 R 71.00
R 6 501 – R8 000 R 81.00
R 9 501 – R12 000 R 151.50

*These premiums are reviewed annually.

Eligibility for a TFG device insurance

1. TFG only insures devices that have been purchased from a TFG store in South Africa.

2. The device cover must be taken within 30 days of purchase.

3. Only phones worth R15,000 or lower can be insured.

4. Only laptops worth R12,000 or lower can be insured.

How to make a cellphone insurance claim with TFG

Fill out this form and a claim assessor will get in touch with you within 48 hours.

Alternatively, you can call them on 0860 000 388


2. MTN Device Cover

best cellphone insurance south africa 1Just like TFG, this insurance plan covers portable devices like cellphones, laptops and tablets. It also includes routers and wearables.

There are 4 categories of the MTN device insurance, each covering specific things. These are: All Risk, Theft and Loss, Liquid and Accidental Damage, and Repair only.

Here’s a table breaking down what is covered by each.

Theft Loss Accidental Liquid
Damage
Accidental Physical
Damage
Accidental Screen
Damage
All Risk YES YES YES YES YES
Theft & Loss YES YES NO NO NO
Liquid & Accidental
Damage
NO NO YES YES YES
Repair Only NO NO NO YES YES

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MTN also has extras like Cyber SIM cover, which covers loss or theft of your SIM card, as well as fraudulent cloning.

Insured phones can only use an MTN SIM card.

Upon making a claim, you’ll get a replacement device sent to your address, or to the nearest MTN store within 24 hours.

How much does MTN cellphone insurance cost?

MTN is quite cagey with the exact prices of their device insurance.

However, we were able to find this chart that shows their prices to be almost in line with TFG’s prices. The all risk insurance is obviously the most expensive.

mtn device insurance prices

How to apply for MTN Device Cover

* To apply for MTN device cover, simply fill out this form.

* Alternatively, call 083 123 6084.

* You can also email mtnapplications@admyntec.co.za or mtninfo@admyntec.co.za

* The device must be less than 30 days old from the day of purchase, and must be used with the number on your insurance application.

How to make an MTN cellphone insurance claim

1. You can make a claim on the MTN app available on Google Play of the Apple App Store.

2. You can also make a claim by calling 083 123 6084, or by sending an email to mtnclaims@admyntec.co.za

3. For a theft or loss claim, you are required to first blacklist your device by calling 083 135.

4. The claim must be submitted within 30 days of the incident, along with the supporting documents.

5. The mobile device is only covered whilst being used by the cell number listed on the policy.

6. Any claim resulting from loss of device that happened in an unlocked and unattended vehicle will not be paid. The same applies to devices left unattended in public places, office, malls etc.

How long does MTN take to replace an insured phone?

As mentioned, it takes about 24 hours from the time of making a claim to have a replacement device. This can be sent to either your address or picked up at an MTN store.

However, this period can be longer depending on how fast you fill out your claim and provide all the supporting documents.

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3. Telkom Device Insurance

Telkom also offers a basic device insurance, underwritten by Mutual and Federal Risk Financing Limited.

It insures handsets and tablets with a maximum value of R20,000.

Currently, they only offer two types of insurance: A comprehensive one that covers theft, accidental loss and accidental physical damage; and a SIM card cover for the replacement of a SIM card in the event of loss, theft or damage.

How much does Telkom cellphone insurance cost?

Telkom device insurance appears to be slightly cheaper than both TFG and MTN.

Here’s a table breaking down the prices.

Device Value Monthly Premium
R 0 – R1 000 R 33.00
R 1 001 – R3 000 R 63.00
R 3 001 – R5 000 R 83.00
R 5 001 – R7 500 R 119.00
R 7 501 – R12 500 R 151.00
R 12 501 – R15 000 R 194.00
R 15 001 – R20 000 R 242.00

How to make a Telkom cellphone insurance claim

1. A claim for repair or replacement must be made within 30 calendar days from the date of the event.

2. The device must have been used with the cellular number registered in the policy.

3. In case of theft or loss, the phone should be blacklisted through the Telkom Customer Care number: 180 or 081 180

4. In case of theft or loss, a police report must be filed using the reference number obtained from Telkom after blacklisting.

5. Report your claim to Telkom insurance on 0861 005 674 and fill out the form.

6. Send the completed form plus all supporting documents to Fax no: 0865 347 119 or email TelkomInsurance@finrite.co.za

7. In case of accidental damage, skip the blacklisting and the police report.

8. Take your handset to the nearest Telkom store or service centre for processing.


4. Vodacom Cellphone Insurance

best cellphone insurance south africaVodacom has 2 device insurance plans covering new Vodacom devices, for Vodacom customers.

The plans are: Comprehensive, and Accidental Damage.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s covered by each.

Theft Loss Water
Damage
Accidental
Damage
Worldwide Cover
Comprehensive Insurance
YES YES YES YES YES
Accidental Damage Insurance
NO NO YES YES YES

How much does Vodacom Cellphone Insurance cost?

Vodacom does not provide a comprehensive price breakdown, but they state that it starts from R20 per month. That is at par with the other providers.

To qualify, you must apply for cellphone insurance within 7 days after device purchase. This is way lower than other providers, who give you up to 30 days.

How to make a Vodacom cellphone insurance claim

Vodacom promises 48-hour device replacement in case of loss or theft.

If your device is lost or stolen, these are the steps to follow:

1. Blacklist the device. Do this by dialing 082 135.

2. Submit your claim by going to your nearest store, or dialing 082 1952

3. Track your claim by dialing the same number.

4. Upon claim approval, pay an excess fee determined by your policy, and your device will be ready for collection within 48 hours.

5. A claim must be submitted within 30 days of the event.

Does Vodacom device insurance cover smart watches and other wearables?

Vodacom does not offer a stand-alone wearables insurance package.

However, with the comprehensive cellphone insurance, you can add extras such as insuring your smart watch, and other tech accessories.


5. Cell C Cellphone Insurance

Cell C offers 4 different insurance packages, namely:

Device Insurance – Theft, Accidental loss and Accidental damage: This provides you with the widest cover, protecting you from theft, loss or damage. You can also chose an option ‘excess buy-down’, which reduces your excess by 50% in the event of a claim.

Device Insurance – Accidental Loss and Theft: This plan only covers theft or loss.

Device Insurance – Accidental Damage: This plan covers accidental device damage. For a device worth more than R7 500, you have an optional ‘excess buy-down’, which will reduce your basic excess by 50% in the event of a claim.

SIM Card Insurance: This one only covers your SIM card in the event of a clone or swap. Here’s how it works.

* SIM card cloning: If another person clones your SIM card to create another duplicate SIM card without your knowledge you will receive an airtime and data combination worth R500.

* SIM card swap: If another person replaces your existing SIM card with a new SIM card without your knowledge, you will be covered for the cost of an authorised SIM card swap, up to a value of R115 (inclusive of VAT).

* Unlawful usage: You will be covered for any charges debited to your account up to a maximum of R1 000 (inclusive of VAT). This only applies to charges for a period of 24 hours from the time that your SIM card or device is lost or stolen, to when it is blacklisted.

How much does Cell C Cellphone Insurance Cost?

Here’s a breakdown of what you would expect to pay for your Cell C cellphone insurance.

Device Value Monthly Premium
R 0 – R1 000 R 35.00
R 1 001 – R2 500 R 45.00
R 2 501 – R5 000 R 69.00
R 5 001 – R7 500 R 119.00
R 7 501 – R9 000 R 149.00
R 9 001 – R12 000 R 189.00
R 12 001 – R15 000 R 239.00
R 15 001 – R20 000 R 299.00
R 20 001 – R25 000 R 375.00

In addition, Cell C is quite transparent on the excess fee you will pay in the event of a claim.

Here’s a table breakdown for that.

DEVICE VALUE BASIC EXCESS FOR THEFT/LOSS CLAIMS BASIC EXCESS FOR DAMAGE CLAIMS
Up to R 1000 R 250 R 150
R 1001 to R 2500 R 250 R 150
R 2501 to R 5000 10% of device value R 200
R 5001 to R 7500 10% of device value R 300
R 7501 to R 9000 15% of device value R 500
R 9001 to R 12000 15% of device value R 650
R 12001 to R 15000 20% of device value R 750
R 15001 to R 20000 20% of device value R 1250
R 20001 to R 25000 20% of device value R 1750
R 25001 to R 30000 20% of device value R 2250
R 30001 to R 35000 20% of device value R 2750
R 35001 to R 42500 25% of device value R 3500
R 42501 to R 50000 25% of device value R 4500

How to get Cell C cellphone Insurance

To qualify for Cell C cellphone insurance, the cover must be taken within 30 days of device purchase. The device must also belong to you or a family member for whom you are financially responsible.

1. Apply for Cell C device insurance online.

2. You can also request for device insurance at your nearest Cell C store.

3. You can also apply by SMS by texting the word ‘Insurance’ to 14770. An insurance adviser will call you back.

4. Alternatively, you can call Cell C on 084 157 0007.

How to make a Cell C cellphone insurance claim

1. Claims must be submitted within 30 days of the event.

2. Complete this form and email it to claims@deviceinsurance.co.za, or fax it to 086 527 8902.

3. In case of loss or theft, Cell C must be immediately contacted for device and SIM card blacklisting. Call them on 135 or 084 135.

4. Police must be notified within 48 hours of the device being blacklisted, and provided with the reference number you got from Cell C.

5. Provide the insurance agency with your police case number and an affidavit confirming the details of the claim incident.

6. In case of device damage, take it to your nearest Cell C store.

7. Once your claim is approved, pay your excess fee before the device is repaired or replaced.

8. Claims that happen within 60 days of start of policy, or a second claim within 12 months of the previous claim, attract an additional excess of 50% of the basic excess.

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