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Virgin Media Inc. : Brits say ‘neigh’ to mobile phone insurance

06/12/2012 | 08:54am US/Eastern
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  • More than two thirds of Brits lose a phone every two years
  • 72% of Brits admit to having no insurance cover for their phones
  • Claims include handsets falling foul of careless lawn mowing and a particularly hungry race horse

Virgin Media today released the results of its research into consumers' perceptions of mobile insurance. After speaking to 1,000 people across the UK* Virgin Media has uncovered how often careless Brits have lost or damaged their handsets and what their attitudes are towards mobile phone insurance.

The findings revealed that more than 72% of Brits don't have mobile phone insurance - despite 70% admitting to breaking or losing up to seven phones in the last decade - leaving them facing the prospect of having to fork out for a new handset if their phone meets an untimely demise. An overwhelming number of Brits (64%) won't consider taking mobile insurance from their mobile network providers, with nearly 60% stating they feel it's too expensive.

Despite the alarming frequency of consumers losing their phones, the vast majority (79%) of mobile phone users surveyed believe mobile phone insurance is unnecessary. Brits may also be concerned that certain types of damage may not be covered by their policies. For example, 47% of broken phones are attributed to water damage, which insurance policies may exclude.

One in four people pay up to £120 a year for insurance cover without knowing if the handset would be replaced if lost of stolen. This can lead to nasty surprises when something goes wrong - indeed, a shocking 23% of those who have insurance cover claimed that they had previously been forced to pay for a replacement handset by their providers.

Jamie Heywood, director of mobile at Virgin Media said: "If you've ever dropped your phone into your drink or inadvertently put it through a cycle in the washing machine, you're not alone, as these are some of the most common causes of damage to handsets.

"With smartphones being core to our daily lives and many of the latest devices costing up to £500, it's shocking to learn that so many consumers aren't protecting their investments.

"Clearly there's an opportunity for the mobile industry to transform consumer perception about the importance and value of mobile insurance; it's time to shake up the market…"

More eccentric reasons given for the loss or damage of handsets included the accidental shredding of an expensive handset with a lawn mower and even the unfortunate chomping of a BlackBerry by an opportunist (and presumably peckish!) race horse.

For further information on Virgin Media's products and services visit

www.virginmedia.com.

*The study with OnePoll (www.OnePoll.com) was commissioned by Virgin Media in May 2011 and surveyed 1,000 people across the UK.


Ashley Scott
Virgin Media
t: 0207 909 3285
e: Ashley.scott@virginmedia.co.uk

Virgin Media is the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK.

The company's cable network - the result of a multi-billion pound private investment - delivers ultrafast broadband connections to over half of all UK homes, with speeds of up to 100Mb, and is being expanded to reach thousands more people across the country.

Virgin Media has developed the most advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box powered by TiVo. The company was the first to offer HD TV and 3D on demand to millions of UK households.

Virgin Media also operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world's first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.

Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and the London Stock Exchange (VMED).

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