People lose mobile phones and mobile insurers are paying claims.
But, in a straight comparison of policies, Vodafone's wins on price, but Telecom's comes out on top in terms of simplicity, and in having far fewer tricky exclusions.
Britain's regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last month found that many mobile phone insurance contracts' descriptions of what was, and was not, covered were often too "broad and ambiguous".
That charge is harder to level at the policy provided to Telecom customers by its subsidiary Teleco Insurance (NZ), than the one ACE Insurance provides to Vodafone customers.
But consumers could still be forgiven for scratching their heads over some contract terms in each policy.
Broadly speaking, mobile phone insurance (which is not sold by 2Degrees) covers policyholders for loss, serious damage to and theft of their mobile, as well as covering the cost of use in the hands of an unauthorised person.
The price is not negligible, adding $13.95 to the monthly charges on a $39-a-month iPhone 4S package at Telecom, and $11.44 to the monthly charges of $45 on an iPhone 4S package at Vodafone.
But while a loss is a loss at Telecom, providing "all reasonable steps" have been taken to keep the phone safe, the definition of a loss under the Vodafone contract is more complex.
Excluded on the Vodafone contract is: "Any loss where the mobile has been left behind in an unknown location, or you have forgotten its whereabouts."
That's a description that sounds bemusingly like losing your phone, but Vodafone explained there were "genuine" losses, and losses that were not genuine.
That was what the clause was trying to get across to the policyholder.
"This varies on a case-by-case basis," Vodafone said. "If your phone falls out of your pocket but you are not sure where, it's covered as it is genuine loss. If you left your phone at one of three bars you went to last night, but aren't sure which - it's not covered.
"It's not a genuine loss, but an example where you've not shown reasonable care."
Also excluded under the Vodafone policy is any loss, theft or damage "caused by your negligence".
These clauses are hard to interpret since, by default, lost phones are caused by negligence and a failure to take care, so we asked Vodafone for examples to illustrate how it might interpret them.
"We assess each on a case-by-case basis, and look for evidence that the person making the claim has shown reasonable care," it said.
"For example, leaving your phone on a bus would be covered - this is a genuine loss."
It gave illustrations of how it would view some other scenarios.
"Burglary is always covered providing the property is secured," it said. "Swimming at the beach would not be covered if you left your phone unattended under your towel while you are swimming."
Ditto leaving it in your bag on the side of a field while playing rugby, or on a table in a restaurant while you go to the buffet, or in view in your unattended car.
Despite the contract seeming to suggest leaving your phone on your desk at work was a risky business, it said: "If your phone's left charging on your office desk and is stolen by someone servicing your office coffee machine, you'd be covered. The thief needs to gain authorised access. You have shown reasonable care."
But, if you work in a shop and your phone is stolen by when it's left charging on the counter, it is not covered.
"In this environment, members of the general public have access to your phone, and you have not shown reasonable care," Vodafone said.
Telecom's policy provides no cover if a phone is left in the "open air" or any "public place".
In both cases, the telcos require immediate notification of loss or theft, or the policyholder risks their claim being turned down.
Vodafone has some specific exclusions that the Telecom contract does not. For example, it excludes all damage caused by fire and it limits a policyholder to three claims in any 12-month period, though three claims in a year would seem to add up to serial negligence.
Telecom also has exclusions which Vodafone does not. Telecom does not trust your children, or little brother, and there is no cover if the phone is lent to a non-family member, or a family member under the age of 16, for example.
Vodafone has higher excesses. It charges $125 on a claim leading to a repair, or resulting in a refurbished phone being supplied to the policyholder. A first claim that results in a new mobile being given to the policyholder carries an excess of $200, rising to $250 for a second claim, and $325 for a third.
The excess on the Telecom policy is $150.
Cosmetic damage is not covered by either providers' policy. Nor is anything covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
Vodafone will not pay if another insurance policy, such as your contents insurance, will.
Telecom excludes claims by people not up to date with their premiums or their monthly payment plans, while Vodafone seems to only care that the premium has been paid.
Not every policy exclusion seems as though it needs to be there. Telecom excludes if a "mobile device has become obsolete", though by then the cost of replacing such a phone would presumably be less than the $150 excess.
Both policies share a common blanket exclusion against any losses caused by war, terrorist acts, invasion, pillage, nuclear weapons material and ionising radiation, or from the combustion of nuclear matter.
Vodafone and Telecom have another thing in common: neither of the call centre staff the Sunday Star-Times spoke to made any mention that some home contents insurance will replace lost and stolen mobiles, even if loss happens outside of the home.
Vodafone said there is a long script that its agents must run through when selling insurance, but this is regulatory information.
"We do not mandate they mention about home insurance - although if a customer asks, the team is able to provide the detail required."
Either way, offering such policies appears to be very profitable.
Accounts from Telcom's Teleco Insurance show that in the year to the end of June 2012, the company was paid $4 million in premiums by consumers, and paid $1.9m in claims.
Teleco invests its capital by lending it to Telecom's TCNZ Finance, earning 6 per cent interest.
Vodafone will not release premiums to claims ratios, and would only say that 1 per cent of policyholders made a claim in June.
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