Brits face £1 billion phone bill to repair broken mobiles due to lack of insurance

2.4 million Brits have a phone with a cracked screen – but two thirds don’t have mobile phone insurance meaning people put up with broken screens for up to six months

A smartphone is one of the biggest personal lifestyle investments we make, however new research released today has revealed that approximately 2.4 million of us are currently walking around the UK with a cracked screen, as current repairs total more than £1 billion.

With the new iPhone launch, research from Nationwide FlexPlus reveals that British mobile users are not protecting one of their most valuable everyday assets, with more than two thirds (68%) of those that have a smartphone not having any mobile phone insurance, and a further ten per cent unsure if they’re covered. This is despite more than a quarter (26%) saying they couldn’t last up to a day without their handset.

Four in ten (42%) of those polled have damaged their devices at some point, with the three most prevalent issues being broken screens, battery and software issues. When it comes to how people damage their phones, dropping it was the most likely reason (45%), with a fifth (21%) dropping it in the toilet and a further tenth (11%) dropping it into a full sink.

The most likely part of a phone to be damaged is the screen, with the research showing six per cent of the adult smartphone population are currently using handsets with shattered or split glass – equating to 2.4 million Brits. Of those who had cracked their phone screen in the past, almost a quarter (24%) have done so three or more times.

Due to this lack of cover, many are left with lingering issues until they can afford often expensive repair jobs. The poll of 2,000 UK smartphone owners shows Brits go an average of six months without repairing their broken screens, while two per cent go two years or more before getting their phones fixed.

The cost of fixing typical mobile phone problems can be expensive, particularly where more than one type of damage is experienced at the same time. The average costs per item according to the poll are:

Smashed/ cracked screen: £55
Water damage: £54
Cracked reverse of phone £43
Broken buttons: £40
Screen colours affected: £40
Overheating: £37
Volume damage: £36
Software issues: £37
Battery problems: £27

Dan King, Nationwide’s Head of FlexPlus Current Account, said: “With new handsets being released all the time and with constantly increasing functionality, the cost of replacing a handset could set people back hundreds of pounds.  For most, this will be a significant hit to their finances, or could mean they are left without a phone at all.

“But despite these risks, most people have no mobile phone insurance in place, meaning they would have to stump up the cost of replacing their phone themselves.  It’s worth considering taking a good quality mobile phone insurance policy, such as that offered through Nationwide’s FlexPlus current account, to avoid ending up out of pocket. The last thing you want or need is a big bill or to be left with no option but to talk through a cracked screen until your contract winds up”.

Nationwide Building Society will be helping Brits to avoid these mishaps by handing out free mobile phone cases and screen protectors on Saturday 4th November 2017. Grab a freebie if you’re in London Westfield Stratford City, Birmingham New Street, Cardiff City Centre, Leeds Briggate and Glasgow Buchanan Street.

Fabuk Magazine