Smartphone Insurance Tips
Should I Get Insurance for a Smartphone?
Whether you are upgrading to a MyTouch Slide, iPhone, or Blackberry Bold from your current cell phone there is always the inevitable question: do you want to purchase cell phone insurance in case you drop your expensive smartphone breaks or gets lost?
After the Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T representative gives you several catastrophes that can happen to your new phone, such as the scary toilet drop, or the possible theft of your iPhone or MyTouch Slide because they are now hot commodities, you are faced with a pressure decision. Is smartphone cell insurance worth it? Most consumers buy smartphone cell insurance after the rep scares them broke.
Every cell phone carrier charges different smartphone cell insurance prices, although they are similar, and they have their own rules about insurance. T-Mobile, for example, charges $5.99/month for their smartphone cell insurance coverage. On face value that doesn't seem too bad considering they tell you that your phone will get replaced and there's no need to worry...if you buy the cell phone insurance for your expensive smartphone. On the other hand, if you do not buy the smartphone insurance for your cell then you will incur the retail cost to replace it. The replacement cost is what scares people into buying the smartphone cell insurance even when they can't really afford the extra expense. As Verizon starts selling the iPhone, insurance sales will likely go up too, unless consumers are informed. Every cell phone carrier does their smartphone insurance differently, too, so don't expect the same results if you change carriers. Many people actually have coverage, but they pay anyhow out of fear.
The following reasons are why you should think carefully then refuse buying smartphone cell insurance. Before the outright refusal though make sure to take the two weeks you get to play with your MyTouch, iPhone, Blackberry, or other smartphone. Within this time they allow for return you can decide whether or not to buy cell phone insurance.
Should I Get iPhone Insurance? Tips to Consider About Smartphone Insurance:
- Budget. Add up the $5.99/month for 24 months. This equals approximately $143.76. That is not even the flat fee because every month that the smartphone cell insurance is being added to your cell phone bill you are paying extra money in tax. Over two years that adds up.
- Under what conditions can you actually return your MyTouch or iPhone for a complete and total replacement? The rep will not mention that there are many little things that are not covered under these smartphone cell insurances, but because the insurance claims are handled through a separate company, it is the rep's job to sell the cell phone insurance not talk you out of it. One example is theft of your smartphone. This seems simple enough. Your iPhone was stolen, but in order for them to process the insurance claim you have to call the police to file a police report. You cannot file your cell phone insurance claim or even get a replacement under your smartphone insurance until you have a police report number.
- Smartphone cell phone insurance deductible. What is the deductible that you have to pay if something happens to your MyTouch Slide? It is $175. The cell phone insurance companies rank the phones and charge different deductibles for different cell phones. The MyTouch Slide insurance deductible is the highest on the charts along with the Blackberry Bold (for T-Mobile) and most likely the iPhone has a similarly priced insurance deductible since the MyTouch is supposed to be the touch screen iPhone equivalent
- Think about the likelihood that your smartphone will get stolen or that you will lose it. Yes, there are those who lose things all the time, and perhaps for some it is reasonable to buy smartphone cell insurance. However, if you treat your MyTouch Slide like a mini laptop or a very expensive item then the chances decrease exponentially. Get a case and cheap screen protectors from Amazon (cheaper than cell phone bundle, works just as good).
- Add up all of this before you buy smartphone cell insurance. The approximate total with these examples (taken from a recent MyTouch Slide smartphone purchase) equals $318.76.
- Look up the replacement price of your iPhone, Blackberry, MyTouch Slide or other smartphone. For these smartphones the price runs around $400-$450, maybe a little bit more depending on the company.
- If you buy smartphone cell phone insurance and nothing ever happens to your cell phone then you will have wasted over $300.
- If you do not buy the smartphone cell insurance and your phone breaks you are covered for one year under the manufacturer warranty. The manufacturer warranty is devised for general cell phone failure, but it means that you are somewhat covered if anything should happen to your smartphone.
- Replacing your phone without insurance can be done. You can always use Amazon, eBay, or some other place to find a cell phone for temporary use until your contract is up and you can buy a new smartphone. The biggest issue seems to be that cell phone companies lock customers in to 2 year contracts, so they have to wait that long. But, considering the one year warranty on the cells, it is probably an okay gamble to skip the insurance. If you are really worried about not having smartphone insurance then save $5/month in a jar toward a new cell phone.
- Buy a prepaid cell phone in the meantime if your Blackberry breaks and you cannot afford the new one yet. They are affordable cell phones.
People buy smartphone cell insurance because they think they are being proactive and preventing putting out money in the future. They are worried something will happen and put money on their fear. The reality is that cell phone insurance is a big money maker. Most likely it pays to not buy smartphone insurance and just take good care of your cell phone. Instead of buying smartphone cell insurance through their companies a better idea is to use renters insurance to insure smartphones. One thing you can do is use caution with your smartphone. When you play music, access bank apps, and take cell phone pics pay attention. The top reason cell phone users lose or break their phones is inattention.