Camping is a great way to get away from the everyday grind of work, bills, meetings and whatever else you might have on your plate.

My husband and I recently returned from a camping trip to the Russian River, which lies about an hour north of San Francisco. It’s a beautiful area, punctuated by rolling vineyards, towering redwoods, and of course, the winding Russian River.

Things were going along fine until someone stole my cell phone. That’s right, my cell phone – that lifeline that connects us to friends, family and current events in the news. I had left it on the picnic table at our campsite and noticed it was gone just before we were set to take our annual canoe trip down the river, courtesy of Burke’s Canoe Trips.

We spent an hour looking for it, to no avail. It was simply gone. If this happens to you, your homeowners insurance will cover the loss. But you’ll likely have to meet your deductible first, which often is $1,000. So that might not make sense.

My husband was thinking of bringing his cell phone along for the canoe ride but I managed to talk him out of it. That turned out to be a wise decision because less than 1,000 feet into our ride we capsized going around a sharp bend!

 So does your insurance pay if your phone gets damaged by a river? It depends on the type of policy you have.  “Named Peril” covers the following:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Theft
  • Water damage from specific sources (this is for water pipes that burst and similar incidents)
  • Falling objects
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Hail or windstorm
  • Explosions
  • Vandalism
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Damage from the weight of snow or ice
  • Freezing pipes
  • Riot or civil disturbances
  • Accidental discharge or flow of water from household appliances and/or systems
  • Sudden and accidental damage from specified types of electrical current
  • Smoke

Since “Falling into the Russian River” is not a peril listed above, you would not be covered.

Now if your policy is “Open Peril,” it would most likely cover anything, except for what is specifically excluded – including that cell phone that just got dunked in the Russian River. But again, you will likely have to first meet your deductible.

So the lesson here is keep close track of your phone and DON’T take it on a canoe ride – even if you have an Open Peril policy.