'iPhone envy' fuels insurance fraud

Posted by Emma Woollacott

We're sure none of you would ever do such a thing, obviously, but apparently naughty Brits are bashing their iPhones with hammers just get a free upgrade out of their insurer.

Supercover Insurance, which specialises in insuring gadgets, says that whenever a new model comes out, insurance claims jump by 50 percent. It says it reckons that at these times, as many as 40 percent of claims are fraudulent.

Carmi Korine, director of Supercover Insurance, said: "For short periods around new model or upgrade launches, claims for lost, stolen or damaged iPhones go through the roof.

"The issue appears to be that most iPhone owners can only go for so long realising that they're a generation behind the latest must-have spec before they resort to extreme measures."

It might please Apple to know that people often have to go to some lengths to actually destroy their iPhone. Korine said that one user claimed to have dropped his phone, which was then driven over by a car. But, she said, when the technical team pieced it back together they found signs of at least six hammer blows.

Others are even more inventive.

"We’ve also been able to identify the patterns of shoe heels – again, multiple impacts – water damage including, rather alarmingly, the scent of toilet bleach drifting out of the packaging, and claims of fire damage which the claimant found very difficult to explain," she said.