Telstra insurance cover pays for thieves' internet use

By Ry Crozier on May 19, 2011 1:15 PM
Filed under Communications

Option for iPhone buyers caught by 12-month warranty.

Telstra will cover smartphone users whose devices are lost or stolen for up to $800 of unauthorised calls or internet use through an insurance product launched today.

The 'premium care – mobile insurance' product was underwritten by insurer CGU.

Users of smartphones contracted to a Telstra postpaid plan for less than six months could take up the insurance for $14.95 a month.

A 'basic' insurance product for non-smartphone devices was also available for $9.95 a month.

The insurance was not available to prepaid customers, those with 3G dongles/data cards or tablet users.

Both policy tiers covered "theft, accidental loss or accidental damage".

But only the higher 'smart cover' product aimed at smartphone users included cover for "mechanical/electronic breakdown or failure".

 

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That appeared partially aimed at iPhone users who were offered only one-year warranties on handsets bundled with 24-month contracts.

The telco's product disclosure statement [pdf] indicated that smartphone users whose devices broke down outside of the manufacturers' warranty could be covered for up to $2,000 in repairs or replacement costs, as long as they paid for the insurance.

The Age reported in February that iPhone users would be slugged at least $270 to have their handset repaired outside the warranty period.

Telstra said in the product disclosure that the telco would decide whether to try and repair a handset or just replace it.

Insured users with handsets lost or stolen overseas would be paid less than half of what they would if the device theft or loss was in Australia.

However, affected Telstra users overseas could claim some of the cost of buying or renting an "emergency handset" until they arrived back in Australia to lodge their insurance claim.

Claims could only be lodged by phone during business hours. After hours incidents were captured through an online interface.

 
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