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When your iPhone decides to fall into a kettle

A fifth of iPhone users made an insurance claim during the last 12 months, according to provider Some of the more interesting claims include dropping one from a hot-air balloon.

How much do you love your iPhone?

Do you think about it late at night? Do you secretly keep it under your pillow and occasionally stroke it when your more human loved one isn't looking? Or do you allow your son to play ping-pong with it?

This is not a spurious question. I want all iPhone users to be at one with their machines. Which is why I was close to being a victim of nefarious embalmment when I read information from, which seems to be a site that makes money out of insuring things like, oh, your iPhone.

According to Protectyourbubble's research, a fifth of iPhone owners made an insurance claim last year. The most popular were "cracked screen" and "stolen while texting." But the details of some of the claims might make you wonder about the source of humanity's difficult direction.

You see, apparently, one iPhone owner declared that he had "lost it while skydiving." This, at first, made me sputter uncontrollably. But then I realized that if I were ever insane enough to go skydiving, I, too, would take my phone to make one or two last calls in the event that the chute had been tampered with. Still, don't those flying suits have zippers?

James Martin/CNET

The skydiving excuse isn't even at the top of Protectyourbubble's list. That would be, "I dropped it from a hot-air balloon." Again, I can understand this. The individual was taking pictures, a gust of unexpected wind affected balance, and the iPhone sank to a difficult demise.

Can one, however, find sympathy for the individual who claimed that their iPhone had fallen into a kettle? What kind of suicidal iPhone does that? Why would anyone be holding an iPhone while filling or emptying a kettle?

Then I located the small, merciful area of my cranium. I wondered whether this individual had his or her iPhone tucked under the chin, while filling the kettle, and enjoyed a heated discussion with the bailiff. Just as the kettle was being filled, the iPhone slipped from beneath a smooth but perspiring chin and dived into the water.

But who could even make up the story that their iPhone was irretrievably damaged when their son used it as a table tennis paddle? If you were the claims agent who received this explanation, would you immediately recognize the destructive behavior of the immature? Or would you consider that your customer was smoking product of dubious provenance?

Having worked quite extensively with the insurance industry, I can reveal that customers do, indeed, occasionally lie in order to obtain some money for, say, a week in Cancun with their personal assistant. And I must say I detected the whiff of mendaciousness in two other alleged iPhone insurance claims.

The first was "juice from a defrosting piece of meat leaked into it." Well, now. Yes, I can see that you left it on the kitchen counter next to a piece of defrosting meat. But don't most sane people put defrosting meat into the sink? Or at least on a plate? So why would you have put your iPhone into the sink? Or on a plate?

Perhaps the most suspicious claim, though, is "I accidentally buried it in the garden." I have tried. Truly, I have tried. But I cannot picture a way in which one could accidentally bury one's iPhone in the garden. Perhaps any reader who has done this might help me out. But my own suspicion is that this claim was filed by a Mr. Bernard Madoff Nixon-Pinocchio.