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Buyer Guide

27 July 2000
By Lilian Lim

The good thing about owning a mobile phone is that you are able to take it wherever you go. It is a silent partner, a "personal assistant" with your own specifications to it, some even call it a friend, and most will not leave without it. When on the go, it is somehow easy to have things lost, damaged or even stolen. 

If one of the above happens and you are not insured, you might be liable to oblige to the following:

  • Contractual obligations will still have to be met. That is, monthly access fees will still need to be paid (even though you do not have a phone)
  • If your phone is stolen, you will be liable for unauthorised calls made from your phone after the theft has occurred
  • You will need to purchase a new phone
  • If you cancel your mobile digital service whilst still under contract because you no longer have a phone to use, cancellation fees will be incurred, and you will lose your mobile number.

It is therefore so, that service providers such as Optus have come up with insurance plans to help guard against your phone if ever gets lost, damaged or stolen.


For as low as $3.95 a month, Optus will help to insure your mobile phone. There are three different plans on offer, to give users the flexibility of choosing their own cover plan.

SafeGuard Basic
(Excludes CDMA)
SafeGuard Essential SafeGuard Business
Monthly Charges $3.95 $7.04 $10.10
Claims covered Theft, accidental loss of damage Theft, accidental loss or damage Theft, accidental loss, damage or electronic breakdown/failure
Geographic coverage National National International
Limit of liability* $220 $1,650 $3,300
Contractual obligations* N/A Up to $440 Up to $660
Unauthorised calls* N/A Up to $550 Up to $825
Cover for accessories N/A Yes Yes
Repair N/A $50 $50
Replacement $50 all claims $100** $100**

*Liability amounts are GST inclusive. If you are registered for GST any cash settlement amount will be adjusted by the extent to which you are entitled to claim a full or partial Input Tax Credit on your SafeGuard premium.
**If insurance clam is within the first 3 months of insurance cover, an additional $65 is payable by the claimant. For second and subsequent claims within any 12 month period, an additional $75 is payable.

Rates quoted include GST and are effective from 1 July 2000

Optus provides for an extra bonus for staying insured as a further reduction on the general excess level is offered to customers who have continuous insurance cover for greater than 12 months.
* 12 - 24 months: $75 excess payable (normally $100)
* 24 months or more: $nil excess payable (normally $100)

Numbers to ring:

Reporting loss of phone: 1800 320 937
Proceding with SafeGuard insurance claim: 1800 501 971
SafeGuard enquiries:  1300 302 937

For more information, please visit http://www.optus.com.au/mobile/1,1648,1037,00.html


TeleCare Australia
TeleCare Australia is an independent company that provides mobile phone insurance for owners. Offering two services, TelSure and TeleSure Plus, it offers owners of mobile phones with varying levelsof coverage against accidental damage, loss or theft and unauthorised calls to specific limits.


Charges for the premiums are as follows:
* TeleSure (Basic Cover) - $78 per annum OR 
- $6.50 per month by 12 monthly credit card payments

* TeleSure Plus (Comprehensive) - $108 per annum OR
- $9.00 per month by 12 monthly credit card payments

Numbers to ring:
Customer Claims: 1300 732 422
Enquires: (03) 9882 2054

*Editor note: (26-09-2005)
This company is no longer exist.


Steps can be taken ahead of time to prevent people from using your mobile phone. A PIN (Personal Identification Number) code is supplied to you when you receive your SIM card. This is usually "0000". Ensure that you change your PIN and leave it activated so that whenever you switch the phone on, it will ask you for the code. If a thief or unauthorised person tries to use your phone, they will not be able to use your SIM without knowing your code.

In the case of a loss or theft of your mobile phone:
  • Report loss to service provider - as soon as it has been notified, your service provider will temporarily suspend services to prevent unauthorised use of your phone. If services are not suspended, you will be liable for any unauthorised calls
  • Report loss to the Police - give the Police full details of when and where it was lost or stolen, plus the phone make and a model number along with its serial number (also referred to as an IMEI or ESN number)

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