Your phone goes everywhere you go, and as its capabilities increase, so does its role in your life. Whereas your phone might only contain a contact book and text messages in the past, it now has access to your bank account, emails, and photographs – often tied to both your device and SIM card. With these added conveniences comes a heightened responsibility to keep your cellphone safe. 

More and more South Africans realise the importance of getting phone insurance from a reputable phone insurer. Budget’s cellphone insurance gives you the peace of mind you need.

Is cellphone insurance really worth it?

According to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre, an increasing number of criminals are stealing phones to use them to gain access to confidential information or documents, such as ID, bank statements, or proof of residence[1]. They often use social engineering methods to access a phone and its’ application credentials. In some cases, people record or share their credentials on their phones or use the same credentials to access multiple applications. The number of phones stolen for this purpose increased from 8% in 2019 to over 26% in 2021. It’s important to note that even if you have a password, facial recognition software or a fingerprint reader controlling access to your phone, most phones are stolen in a crime of opportunity. Unfortunately, your phone could be stolen while unlocked and in use – giving a criminal free rein to explore its content.

Can you get phone insurance after purchase?

Surprisingly, in South Africa, cellphone insurance isn’t a legal requirement when purchasing a cellphone on a contract – something that’s mandated with other large purchases. Put simple, your cellphone provider might offer you insurance, but you don’t have to take it. Thankfully, most devices can be protected with a phone insurer after purchase, depending on the value and condition of it.

What does cellphone insurance actually cover you for?

Generally speaking, cellphone insurance covers you for loss or damage due to:

  • theft (including smash and grab and accidental loss)
  • damage (including accidental and water damage)

You won’t be covered if:

  • Your phone was stolen from an unlocked car
  • You’ve damaged or lost your sim or battery
  • You’ve scratched or damaged the outer casing
  • Design or manufacture defects (provided the device is still in warranty, the manufacturer will replace it.)
  • Battery or hardware failure, breakage, rust, wear and tear, depreciation, perishing, fading or breakdown 
  • Deliberate damage to your phone by yourself or someone acting on your behalf
  • Losses caused by your phone being stolen or not working
  • Loss or damage of your phone or its data due to viruses 
  • Fraudulent claims 
  • Loss or damage due to contractual liability or consequential loss – in other words, using the phone in ways it wasn’t intended for use.

How would a phone insurance claim work?

Getting your cellphone replaced is designed to be as quick and painless as possible. As long as you acted responsibly and did what you could to prevent or mitigate the loss, you should not run into any issues when making a claim. It’s best to be honest with your phone insurer about why you need to replace your phone. 

To make sure your claim goes through with minimal hassles, make sure that: 

  • Your policy details are correct and updated.
  • You report any theft to the SAPS within 48 hours.
  • You’ve called the administration number to blacklist your stolen device.
  • You’re making your claim within 60 days of the loss or damage.
  • You’re able to provide your phone insurer with the requested documents within 30 days.
  • You’re able to pay any excess due.

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

The cost to insure your phone will depend on its make, model, brand and purchase price. At Budget, we have a specialist cellphone insurance product available for a low monthly cost.

If you have more than one device, it might be worth looking at portable possessions insurance, which comes standard with many home content insurance products. You might pay extra for more coverage, but not only with your cellphone be insured, but also your handbag, cameras, and jewellery.

It’s important to remember that your phone is only insured for the amount you have insured it for! If your phone needs replacing, it will be replaced with a new one with the same specs and model. 

Where to find the best cellphone insurance in South Africa?

Taking out portable possessions insurance or cellphone insurance is the easiest way to insure your phone. Budget Insurance can customise a portable possessions insurance product that covers your own specific needs – and cellphone insurance is one of the many value-added products you can look forward to when you insure your belongings with us. For more information about how to insure your phone, leave us your contact details, and we’ll call you back to discuss your options. 


The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or medical advice.

Budget Insurance is a licensed non-life insurer and Financial Services Provider. Terms and Conditions online.

Article written by

Nelson Kalula is a Content Writer with loads of SEO experience writing articles o Lifestyle, Outdoors and various attractions around Cape Town.