Instant cover on handsets worth up to £150

Tesco has launched mobile phone insurance to complement its existing offering of motor, pet, home and travel insurance.

But unlike its other insurance offerings, Tesco's mobile phone insurance product, Surefone, is supplied by its telecommunications division, rather than its personal finance division.

The product, which is available both off-the-shelf in Tesco stores and online at, is provided on a white label basis by mobile phone insurer Policy Administration Services (PAS).

PAS director Steve Nobes said the product, which offers instant insurance for pay-as-you-go handsets up to the value of £150, was unique to the UK market as it was the only insurance product activated by swiping a card at the checkout. He said future PAS products could also evolve in this way.

Surefone provides cover against theft, breakdown, accidental damage, malicious damage and liquid or water damage. It costs £19.99 and is valid for 12 months or for one successful claim.

An enhanced version of the product, Surefone Plus, is only available online, and at £29.99 provides additional cover against loss.

PAS, which is part of the Caudwell Group, which owns mobile phone retailer Phones 4U, is the UK's largest provider of mobile phone insurance. Established in 2000, it reached the one million customer mark this month.

PAS recently signed a deal to provide BT Mobile with a new mobile phone insurance product.

Tesco Personal Finance half-year results

Tesco and Royal Bank of Scotland Insurance, its joint venture partner, recorded a pre-tax profit of £84m for the six months to 14 August, up 53% on the same period last year. The total number of motor policyholders was 1.4 million. It said the total number of customers was growing by 90,000 a month.