Phone Insurance: 5 Tips on How to Pick the Right One

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By: Jimmy Rhoades Posted: 11:43 AM, Jul 19, 2018

If you’ve owned a phone, you’ve probably broken a phone. And when that happens, it can get really expensive. That’s why we reached out to Consumer Reports Smartphones Editor Bree Fowler’s to get the breakdown on cell phone insurance and if it’s really worth your cash.  

1. Phone Insurance from Manufacturers

For starters, you can get phone insurance from manufacturers, like Apple’s AppleCare. “You pay once, and you’re done,” Fowler explains. “This covers up to two incidents of damage. There’s a small deductible, but it really pales in comparison to what you would pay.” Samsung offers insurance, too.  

You sign up when you buy, but you pay about $12 per month and you can cancel at any time. Their deductible is about $99 usually and you can get up to three replacements each year for that. Note that the Apple and Samsung plans do not cover loss or theft. 

2. Carrier’s Insurance 

Next, remember you can also get phone insurance from the major mobile carriers. A lot of times they contract with a traditional insurance company like Assurian, so rates and deductibles vary depending on the tier you choose. But in this case, you usually are covered for loss and theft. 

3. Third-Party Insurance 

And finally, there’s always the option to go for a third-party insurance like SquareTrade. With this option, you can pay $80 for a year or $129 for two years. Keep in mind, you’re going to get paid for the value of the phone, or a replacement. “It’s not necessarily going to be enough to get you a new one,” Fowler says.  

4. You Might Already Have Insurance 

And here’s a twist – when it comes to protecting your smartphone, you might already have insurance. If you purchased your phone with a credit card of if you’re auto-paying your monthly bill with a credit card, the card may offer insurance automatically. This is something that a lot of people know about. 

Then, you can also check your homeowner’s policy. Sometimes you have to pay a little bit more on your homeowner’s and that will give you an additional $1,000 in coverage on your phone.  

5. Fix It Yourself 

But if this all sounds too complicated for you, you can always skip insurance altogether and fix it yourself. We tried fixing a phone ourselves and we quickly found that the most annoying part were the tiny screws inside the iPhone. BUT, we only spent about $15 on tools and $35 on a replacement screen for an iPhone 6. If you’re super patient maybe this could work, or a lot can also be avoided if you buy a good $30-$40 case. 

So, there you have it. Accidents happen and when you’re faced with a broken phone, it’s definitely best to be prepared and know what your options are. 



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