Angry people drown 400,000 mobiles phones a year

Squabbling couples, prankster colleagues, children and stroppy bar staff are responsible for nearly 400,000 insurance claims a year in the UK for mobile phones being dropped in drinks.

Supercover Insurance, the UK’s longest-established mobile phone insurance provider, surveyed customers who had made claims for lost or damaged mobile phones.

“We wanted to understand how nearly half a million phones a year end up in drinks, so we asked a cross section of our customers how their phones ended up being drowned,” said Carmi Korine of Supercover.

“For men, the main cause is stretching across a table and their phone falls out of their shirt pocket into a drink, or a phone being knocked into a drink during a meeting. For women, the main cause is a child, toddler or baby playing with a phone that they drop into a cup or glass.

“Those are the single biggest causes at around 30% each (120,000 each), but there is a surprising amount of phone rage or phone envy when the owner of the phone is not responsible for it finding its way into a drink,” Korine continued. “Arguments between couples result in around fifteen phones a day being dropped into drinks deliberately (5,500 a year), with suspicions of two-timing, an affair or an impending split being the key reasons. Working on holiday, or simply working too hard are other issues; we believe there’s around 1,000 incidents of that nature.

Office parties and drinking sessions with work colleagues often result in an ever-ringing phone being dropped in a pint, and Supercover does get quite a few claims when a client or customer has dropped a supplier or adviser’s phone in a drink because they keep answering it during meetings, said Korine.

“People ‘posing’ or showing off their phones, or talking embarrassingly loud in bars or restaurants resulted in around a thousand incidences of snatch-and-dunk,” she explained. “But at least once a day a stroppy pub landlord will take a phone off a customer and drop it in a drink – usually in the north, and usually because the pub has a phone ban.”