Smartphone Insurance: Is It for You?
It’s not too often you find someone who has paid full price for their mobile device. Most have paid the contract price which ranges around $200, and for some that still is expensive, but better than $600. Even though you only paid half price what happens when it stops working, or somehow gets broken or lost? Unfortunately you don’t get that great price you first paid for the device. In order to get a working and operable phone you would have to pay the full price of a phone. I know it sucks, and I have been in that situation before, so I know first-hand what this feels like.
CNet’s very own Marguerite Readron provides some insight and tips to a question asked by an iPhone user by the name of Karen in a “Ask Maggie” session. She asked the following:
I am getting my son an iPhone 5 for Christmas. I was wondering if I should also consider getting an insurance policy for the phone. Is it a good idea or a waste of money? Would I need to get Apple Care in addition to an insurance plan? And do you think I should get the insurance from a carrier or through a third-party company?
Sounds like a pretty good question right? Maggie responded with several good tips, ideas, and suggestions for Karen. The number one problem with figuring out if you should take insurance or not is the fact you have NO IDEA what will happen to the device. Some people can go years without as much as a scratch whereas others may only have it for two weeks and accidentally drop it in the toilet (yes, this has happened to me).
Obtaining insurance really depends on the person, because some can go without it no problem, whereas others enjoy knowing that they have that ‘peace of mind’ should something weird or disastrous ever happen.
Here are the steps Maggie outlines:
- How much does the insurance cost?Will the insurance cover lost or stolen devices?
- Does the insurance plan cover: lost devices?
- Theft or burglary?
- Damaged devices?
- “Mechanical Breakdown or malfunction?”
- Is the insurance plan through the carrier, or through a third-party company?
- What is the deductible and fees?
These are important questions to ask, and should be considered before jumping into any insurance plan just offered by a sales agent. Currently right now I have mobile insurance, and I’m on Verizon, however, it’s not actually Verizon’s insurance. It’s a third-party company that you have to ship the device to while using Verizon as the medium and claim submittal.
I’ve been through this situation more than twice and both times it was water damage and I had no insurance. Now, I’m on my phone constantly so just waiting for a phone wasn’t a feasible option, but I lucked out. The first time they had a returned unit that had been “refurbished” and priced at $150, which was way better than the $500 I would have had to come up with. The next time I had a good enough back up device to help me get through the year.
Insurance can be tricky and needs to be researched. I pay $6.99 a month and have a $50 deductible and there’s always a good chance the insurance company can find some way to make you dish out more money. I’m one of those people who, thanks to my unfortunate accidents, enjoy knowing that I have that added security for my phone should something happen. Verizon Total Equipment coverage for users comes with the following:
- $6.99 per month per covered phone.
- $45 non-refundable deductible per approved claim.
- 2 replacements in a 12-month period with an equipment maximum of $400 per claim (in New York, 2 claims per policy year)
It also provides a mobile recovery option should you decide to use it.
In conclusion, mobile insurance is really up to the user and their preferences, but should you decide it’s an option you will want to make sure you research it, and get all the facts before you sign yourself up. Make sure that plan covers the essential things that could occur like theft or lost devices.
Is there anyone else who’s had similar situations happen to them? We’d also love to hear from those who absolutely refused to have insurance, and if you could tell us why?