In Case Of Nuclear Strike, Your Cellphone Insurance Is Void

Your cellphone is not insured against loss in a nuclear crisis or a warzone.

Reader Jonathan found this out when skimming his Cingular contract, with cellphone insurance administered by Asurion, who supply insurance for every major cellphone carrier.

Asurion certainly has thought up some imaginative warranties and exclusions delimits.

Let’s read that sexy legalese, inside.

We will not pay for Loss caused directly or indirectly or resulting from events, conditions or cause of Loss identified in this Section II. Such Losses are excluded regardless of any other cause or event that contributes concurrently or in any sequence to the Loss.

L. Any Loss or damage caused by or through or in consequence, directly or indirectly, of Nuclear Hazard, meaning any weapon employing atomic fission or fusion; or nuclear reaction or radiation or radioactive contamination from any other cause; but we will pay for direct physical Loss caused by resulting fire, if the fire would be covered under this Certificate.

Loss caused by or resulting from war, including undeclared or civil war; warlike action by a military force, including action hindering or defending against an actual or expected attack , by any government, sovereign or other authority using military personnel or other agents; or insurrection, rebellions, revolution, usurped power of action taken by government authority in hindering or defending against any of these.

And that’s why you always read the fine print. To mine comedic gold.


Edit Your Comment

  1. RumorsDaily says:

    In all fairness, can you imagine the liability cell phone insurance companies could incur in the case of a full scale nuclear assault on the United States? It would be BILLIONS! I’m glad they’re forward thinking.

  2. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    If you’re standing in the path of an EMP pulse of sufficient magnitude to destroy your cellphone, you have bigger things to worry about! (It makes me feel better to know that if nothing else survives in a post nuclear-holocaust world, at least Cingular won’t be bankrupt).

    Besides, even if your phone worked, the fixed equipment that comprises the network would all be fried anyway, along with any other electronic device that isn’t EMP hardened. If you’re expecting a nuke blast, you might want to hang on to that 1950’s vacuum tube radio that used to belong to grandma, because that’s the only thing that’s going to work in a post EMP environment.

    Even when your phone and the network are in perfect working order, don’t count on them working during any kind of mass disaster. The network was never designed to handle that kind of traffic. Even as it is, I suspect Verizon of intentionally dropping existing calls during peak hours so that users who are just signing on will be able to get a dialtone (and hopefully not notice that the network is at full capacity).

    Conspiracy theories anyone? Am I the only one who has ever been dumped in the middle of a call for absolutely no good reason?

  3. Ben Popken says:

    Ingen, this is assuming anyone’s left alive to file a claim, or process it.

  4. homerjay says:

    Can I just put some tape over the little white radiation sensor sticker under the battery?

  5. Mike_ says:

    You guys act like you’ve never read an insurance policy before. These are standard exclusions.

  6. Trai_Dep says:

    Does witnessing cat-fights between Lindsey and Paris void coverage? Those girls get m-e-a-n.

    Oh, people, when deciding to buy coverage, look at the term amt per year ($50?) plus deductible ($50?) then the odds of your losing/breaking your phone before signing on.

    I caught several friends that were paying $100 coverage for $50 phones that they lose once every two years.

    You’ll be glad to know that they cancelled after I enthusiastically slapped ’em about the head and shoulders, hurling aspersions regarding their intelligence. Loudly, in public.

  7. NeilMcD says:

    I think this is actually geared toward a “dirty bomb” scenario or nuke power plant accident. Both of these are far more likely to occur than a full-fledged nuke bomb in the US.

    When you go through the standard decontamination process, all material goods such as pagers, cell phones, etc. must be discarded and treated as contaminated waste. This even applies to disability items such as hearing aids, oxygen canisters, air purifiers, and whatever other medical gadgets people carry around with them.

    Which brings me to another question: Would that EMP pulse also screw up a person’s pacemaker (assuming they live long enough for it to be needed?)

  8. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Which brings me to another question: Would that EMP pulse also screw up a person’s pacemaker (assuming they live long enough for it to be needed?)

    Anything that has semiconductors would be fried unless it’s been specially shielded. Although I’m not a doctor and don’t even play one on TV, yes, EMP would destroy a pacemaker.

  9. Antrack says:

    Mike’s right. Almost any insurance policy contains a nuclear exclusion. Very standard for the past 60 or 70 years. You all should check out your homeowner’s policy if this surprised you.

  10. Paul D says:

    My renters’ insurance policy from USAA does not cover me in case of “insurrection or civil war”.

    I’m not making this up.

    Good thing I don’t live in Iraq.

  11. acambras says:

    So if the planet get nuked, the only thing to remain will be cockroaches. And Cingular. The irony gives pause.

  12. kegsofduff says:

    As several have said before. If a nuke, or even a dirty bomb goes off, I’m really not going to care if my cell phone gets fried. Sure I’d love if it still worked and I could call family or friends around the country to let them know I’m ok (if I am) but really, I’m probably going to be looking for food and water.

    That said, good to see huge companies are covering themselves even in the worst case scenarios.

  13. cynically says:

    My favorite is the “including action hindering or defending against an actual or expected attack” part.

    So if your phone is broken in the process of saving the world, you’re still screwed.

  14. capturedshadow says:

    So if you take your cell phone into the room with the linear accelerator (at the hospital for your cancer treatment) and it gets damaged by the radiation you are out of luck?

  15. synergy says:

    I like seeing this just days after reading about Bush’s signature on martial law legislation. They’re not setting up for war in the next few years or anything, no.

    *putting on tinfoil hat*

  16. Plasmafire says:

    In all likelyhood the insurance agents and their headquarters are extremely likely targets for Russian and maybe even Chinese nukes, the major cities they are in and all forms and centers of communications are prime targets. Oh and the Corporate Hq’s of all major cell phone providers and services are probably targets too. Most likely the nukes will knock out most cellphone towers too, rendering cellphones useless. Land lines would be slightly more difficult to destroy. Oh and if anyone detonates a nuke in space, they instantly render all sattelite communications void for a full month till the background radiation settles down. So the moral is who the hell cares if your contract is void if an idiot starts a nuclear war, you’ll most likely be dead anyways.

  17. Trai_Dep says:

    The good news is that the five remaining survivors will be able to link hands and generate enough glowy power to run our cell phones.

    The bad news is that we’ll have to use our last, hair-shedding, limb-discarding, nuclear-powered minutes trying to get past Cingular customer support’s wait queues.

    Pray for serin attack?

  18. Mike’s right. Almost any insurance policy contains a nuclear exclusion. Very standard for the past 60 or 70 years. You all should check out your homeowner’s policy if this surprised you.

    It’s in my health insurance policy. I wonder which insurance companies the nuclear power plants use.

  19. acambras says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that there’s a nuclear exclusion — it’s just funny (in a sad tragic sort of way) the lengths that insurance companies and their lawyers will go to to avoid paying claims.

  20. eliasg says:

    This policy has existed since back when it was AT&T Wireless. I remember reading that many years ago and thinking it was ridiculous.

  21. do you know what those things can do? suck the paint off your house and give everyone in your network a permanent orange afro!

  22. homerjay says:

    Dave- you’re beginning to sound like a true GLG-20.

  23. velocipenguin says:

    My Liberty Mutual car insurance policy contains similar exemptions regarding nuclear catastrophes, wars, and the like. I don’t think this is particularly unusual (though it’s still pretty entertaining.)