Carelessness leads to phone damage and theft

Under the Phonesafe brand, CPP is one of the largest insurers of mobile phones in the UK and generates thousands of claims each month. Analysis of claims data from January 2006 to September 2008 has revealed that despite increased value of handsets, consumer carelessness is still the main driver for damage and theft claims.

Analysis of more than 30,000 claims has revealed nearly half (46%) of all mobile phone damage occurs in the home, with one in six handsets damaged at work. The remaining locations where mobile phone damage is likely to occur is in the street, and while travelling or shopping.

A cracked screen is the most common type of damage with just over a quarter of mobile phones broken in this way (28%). A fifth of mobile phones are dropped and just 6% of handsets are smashed. Four in ten mobile phones are damaged in the afternoon with damage most likely to occur on Saturday (16%) followed by Tuesday (15%).

The capital remains the centre of mobile phone crime with one in three mobile phones stolen in London. The top ten locations for phone theft are:
London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Glasgow, Nottingham, Sheffield, Ilford, Luton.

Most Brits have their mobile phones stolen in the evening with one fifth of thefts occurring in a pub or club. One in six phones are stolen while people are travelling or commuting. This type of theft is more likely to happen in the afternoon than at any other time of day. Approximately one in ten mobile phones are stolen in the street, with around 40% of these thefts taking place in the evening. Phone theft peaks at the weekend with more than one third of phones being stolen on Saturday and Sunday.

Danny Harrison, product manager at PhoneSafe, commented: “Considering the level of importance people put on their phones, it is surprising to see just how many phones are damaged each month through sheer carelessness. In some instances we’re finding that people are making claims because the damage affects how the mobile phone looks as well as its functionality. For example, over a quarter of all claims accepted relate to a damaged screen which may not stop the phone from functioning.

“In terms of theft, the increased value of mobile phones continues to make consumers an attractive target for opportunistic criminals. Our data reveals that people still need to take more care when using their mobile phones, particularly in places like pubs and on public transport. This hammers home the importance of education about handset theft and the dangers of using phones in public places,” he added.

In order to weed out fraudulent claims, CPP has just appointed a new fraud Tsar, Raphael Lawson, who is looking to identify and stop fraudulent activity across the CPP book.