High-end smartphones often cost north of $600 outright, so insuring them makes sense. Telstra's new insurance option saves you from panicking if you lose your phone or it gets damaged, but that protection doesn't come particularly cheap.
The new insurance option, which is only available to contract (postpaid) customers, charges $14.95 a month to protect smartphones against accidental loss, damage or theft. It also covers you for the cost of any calls made on a stolen phone in the period before you notify Telstra. If your phone breaks down twice in a 24-month period, it will be replaced under the policy, One clause to watch: the amount offered to help replace a damaged phone when overseas is lower than in Australia.
Owners of older handsets can also choose a cheaper $9.95 a month package. I'm dubious about the value of this — given the low price of "feature" phones, it might be more effective to save that amount of money yourself as self-insurance, and buy a new model if you have problems. (As ever, buying additional insurance doesn't negate your basic warranty rights.)