It is becoming harder by the day to lose valuables. Our phones have GPS capabilities and apps created to help us find them. Apple have even released AirTags recently that you can attach to valuables to help you locate them when lost. The reality is that losing your phone is only likely to happen if your phone is out of battery or if it gets stolen.
What do you do if you can’t find your phone? First, you need to go through the process of searching remotely.
Finding your phone remotely
With an iPhone, open Find my iPhone on a tablet or computer and follow the instructions. With an Android phone, log into your Google account on android.com/find. Click on your lost phone. Your phone will get a notification and it will show up on the map. If your phone is no longer on or signed into your Google account, the map will show its last known location.
You can make your phone ring at full volume for five minutes if you think it is near you or someone trustworthy. You can send a message to the lock screen for anyone who may have picked it up.
If you believe it has been stolen, you can remotely lock and erase the contents for your security and privacy. Of course, you'll only want to do this if you are fairly certain your phone has been stolen or are particularly worried about someone finding sensitive information.
Once your phone has been erased, you will be able to unlock it and restore it with your Google login details.
What happens if your phone is off or no longer logged into your account?
Retrace your steps
It is worth going to the places you may have left your phone. Even if it seems clear that your phone was stolen, the owner of the establishment might have an idea of who could have stolen it. They may be able to get it back or give information to the police who can retrieve it.
Retracting your steps will at the very least give you an idea of whether there’s any chance of getting your phone back. If no one has any information for you, you will feel more confident in giving up on it. They may also be able to tell you what might have happened to your phone and that you're unlikely to get it back.
At this point, you're going to need to start thinking about your next steps. Do you have the right insurance?
What insurance covers my phone?
Few people specifically insure their phones. However, even if you haven’t specifically insured your phone, it may be covered by your homeowners or renters insurance. Homeowners insurance does not just cover your home and accidents or thefts that occur on your property. It can also cover your possessions, even outside of the home.
Renters insurance offers coverage for people who live in rented properties. It covers your possessions, including your phone and other devices. Homeowners and renters insurance generally covers your phone in the event of theft, vandalism, and other damages. Check out Lemonade for more information on when your phone is covered by renters or homeowners insurance coverage.
Make your claim
If your instinct is to wait and see what happens, you are likely in for frustration and disappointment. Your phone plays an active and important part in your day-to-day life. Without it, you will struggle to get in touch with people and even run your household (if it is a smart home). In other words, you need a replacement as soon as possible.
Claim from your insurance sooner rather than later. Good insurance providers will see to your claims immediately, providing a replacement or the cash for a replacement in no time. You will have to go through the process of your particular provider.
Trying to find a lost phone can be a frustrating and despiriting process. See whether you can locate it remotely. If you have good reason to believe it has been stolen or is lost for good, make a claim through your homeowners or renters insurance.