Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/10/sharia_rules/

Phone insurance firm reveals Sharia rules policy

Still worth reading the small print though

By Bill Ray

Posted in Mobile, 10th April 2008 11:08 GMT

Been searching for ethical mobile phone insurance, based on Sharia rules? Well stop, because FoneShield UK has launched just such a product, though you may find yourself splitting hairs over what "ethical" actually means.

Sharia rules don't allow money to be made from interest, as well as forbidding investment in specific industries - including porn, weapons, alcohol and pork-related businesses. Takaful, insurance that complies with Sharia rules, is a growing market amongst European Muslims, though thus far limited to life insurance and such rather than mobile phone cover.

But FoneShield feels there's a market, and believes that non-Muslims will be attracted to their adherence to ethical standards - though even the most ardent customer should still check the small print on their policies.

While the insurance itself might only cost you £43 a year (that was the quote we got), you'll have to cough up to another £50 each time you make a claim, and yet another £50 max if you want to borrow a phone while your one is being fixed, according to the terms and conditions (pdf).

At least you'll be entitled to a brand new replacement, as the website states clearly "the phones we give to our customers are all brand new boxed". That jars when the small print explains that in case of theft "we will replace Your Mobile Phone... This item may be a refurbished unit".

Mobile phone insurance used to be just a matter of telling punters, when they tried to claim, that they were covered under their house insurance and had been paying for nothing - which is surprisingly often true.

We tried to contact FoneShield to ask them if they would cover a handset which was already covered by the house, and for an explanation of the 50-quid fees, but they've not got back to us yet.®