Long gone are the days when cell phones cost $100 or so. The iPhone X retails for $1029 and up.
When you spend a grand on a small device that you take everywhere, you want to make sure your investment is protected.
Read on to learn how to choose the best phone insurance and how different policies work.
Phone insurance works much the same way as home or car insurance. You buy a plan and if something goes wrong, you’ll get compensation for it.
There are 3 major types of phone insurance options.
Your cell phone carrier likely offers phone insurance as a monthly fee that you can tack onto your bill.
If you need to make a cell phone insurance claim, you contact the carrier and they send you a replacement after you’ve paid a deductible. Or, you might be able to swap your phone for a new one at one of their retail store locations.
You can also opt to get cell phone insurance from your manufacturer.
Depending on what type of phone you have you can get AppleCare+, Google Device Protection, or Samsung Premium Care.
Let’s say you have an iPhone 8. AppleCare+ will run you $129 but you must purchase it within the first month of owning the phone. If you have an iPhone X, the insurance is $199.
AppleCare+ gives you two years of coverage for wear and tear and accidental damage.
Many people ask does phone insurance cover water damage? Under Applecare+ it does. But, you can only get two replacements maximum.
It’s important to note that replacement phones from Apple are not free with this insurance. Each time you make a claim you will be charged $99 plus tax as a service fee.
Also, AppleCare+ doesn’t cover lost or stolen phones.
You can choose to purchase cell phone insurance from a third party that is not affiliated with your manufacturer or cell phone provider.
You can buy this type of smartphone coverage for a small monthly fee. Some insurance companies let you buy one or two years of coverage up front.
Most third-party insurance plans also don’t cover lost or stolen devices.
The advantage of these plans is that you aren’t limited to a certain number of clams. You can submit as many claims as you need during your contract.
The deductible for these cell phone insurance claims is often lower than through the manufacturer. And, you can buy coverage for an older phone, not just within 30 days of buying it.
The coverage you get for your cell phone depends on which insurance provider you choose. It’s important that you fully understand all the details of what is covered before you sign up.
Here are some things that you’ll want to ensure are covered by your plan.
Once your manufacturer’s warranty is up (typically one year), even if something goes wrong with your device, you aren’t covered.
The best phone insurance plans cover any defects the phone may have, even if it is something that isn’t covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
Let’s say you fumble your phone and drop it on the floor. Or you spill your coffee on it. Or maybe your charging port doesn’t work because your toddler pulled the cable.
The best phone insurance plans will repair your phone that is accidentally damaged.
One of the most annoying things about a phone is when it stops holding a charge. This happens over time, sometimes sooner than you’d think is reasonable.
Look for a plan that offers battery replacement.
The best phone insurance providers provide excellent customer support as well as good coverage.
This means there is someone you can call or talk to in person about a claim or question.
Don’t underestimate the value of friendly, personable reps to help you.
Water damage is a big concern for many people. It’s not hard to spill water, drop your phone in the sink, bathtub, or puddle outside.
Some insurance plans don’t cover water damage at all. Don’t bother choosing those ones.
The best phone insurance plans will cover small liquid spills or full submersion if you go with a premium replacement plan. Find out before you sign up.
It’s best to know the steps in making a phone insurance claim before you sign up for insurance.
Some providers make it simpler than others. And the claim process can give you insight into whether you want to choose a certain provider.
Sometimes, insurance providers ask you to mail your phone to them and you have to foot the shipping cost. Then they repair your phone and send it back to you.
But this could take from 3 to 10 days. And that’s a long time to be without a phone.
The best cell phone plans allow you to bring your phone to a local repair shop or mail it, whichever is easiest for you. Some providers even allow you to drop your phone off at an Apple retail store near you.
Once the repair shop has your phone, they will try to repair it. If they can, they’ll give it back to you, fixed. If not, they will give you a replacement. Most of the times the replacement is a refurbished device.
If the service center can’t fix your phone, they will likely give you a check for the current retail value of your phone. You can then buy a replacement phone with that money.
Before you buy any insurance plans, ask what you can expect if you need to submit a claim. That way you aren’t disappointed with the process.
The best phone insurance for you depends on what is most important to you.
You may want to pay as little as possible for a deductible. Or you may want to know that you can drop off your phone for repair at a local shop.
At CPS, we offer extended warranty coverage for consumer purchases ranging from mobile devices to major appliances and more.
Read more about our warranty options for your smartphone or other purchase.