Beware of thieves: One-quarter of all cell phone thefts happen in July and August

Bild: AXA
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Claims statistics of AXA show that the most cell phones are stolen in summer. Since the end of the pandemic, a clear trend has also been observed: Thefts have increased by around 40 percent. However, not all cantons are affected in equal measure – people from Geneva, Basel-Stadt, and Bern are exposed to the greatest risk.

Street parties, open-air cinemas, festivals: celebrating outside – for many, that is what a good summer is all about. But when you reach into your pocket or bag and suddenly realize your smartphone is gone, that can quickly put a damper on your mood. AXA’s claims statistics over the past ten years show that pick pockets have their high season in summer. Nearly one-quarter of all cell phone thefts reported to insurance happen in July and August. The fewest occur in April, when only one in every 15 cell phone thefts takes place. “In summer, people are outside more often. This gives thieves more opportunities to strike – especially in larger groups of people,” explains Stefan Müller, Head of Property Insurance Claims at AXA. It’s not surprising that most thefts occur on weekends when many events take place. Over 40 percent of all cell phone thefts happen on Saturday or Sunday. The lowest risk is on Wednesdays: Only 10 percent of cell phone thefts happen then.

Increase of 40 percent

The fact that people are on the go again and more events are on the calendar is one of the reasons why the number of stolen cell phones has risen since the end of the pandemic. In 2022, 40 percent more cell phones were stolen than in 2021 and even 50 percent more than in 2020. “Cross-border crime, which is also possible again, is presumably also contributing its share to the increase in thefts,” according to Stefan Müller. In first half of 2023, AXA's figures reveal another increase of 20 percent relative to the same period in the prior year, meaning that it is likely the level of thefts seen before the pandemic will be reached once more.

Caution in Geneva, Basel, and Bern

AXA’s analysis shows there are big differences not only between the years, months, and weekdays, but also between the cantons in which insured persons live. People in the canton of Geneva reported five times more stolen cell phones to AXA than the Swiss average and even 11 times more than people in Ticino, who seem to be exposed to lowest risk. Insured people from the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Bern are also disproportionately affected. In Graubünden and Uri, in contrast, cell phone theft is much less frequent. These two cantons and Ticino report fewer than half as many stolen cell phones per insured person than the Swiss average.

Has your cell phone been stolen – what should you do?

If your cell phone is stolen, you should report this to the local police and your insurance. With AXA, cell phone theft outside the home is insured through household contents insurance provided coverage has been included for ordinary theft away from home or all-round protection for smart phones, tablets, and consumer electronics.

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