Why I Don’t Have Cell Phone Insurance
Your cell phone often comes with a limited warranty, usually a year. However, those warranties don’t include loss, theft, or accidental damage. Some companies may offer a free or discounted upgrade if you stay with your cell phone provider long enough.
When I first purchased a cell phone 19 years ago, I went with cell phone insurance. It was fairly cheap and had no deductible or co-pay. The last time I had cell phone insurance over a decade ago, the billing cycle rate was $5+ and the deductible was $80+. I could get a decent cell phone replacement for $30 – $50 or $60. Also, you may only be able to get one or two phone replacements in a 12-month period. File enough claims and they will dump you. According to a recent article on NerdWallet – Understand Your Cell Phone Insurance Options: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/utilities/cell-phone-insurance/, your deductible can be as high as $299 on top of what can easily be $17+/billing cycle for insurance. For basic phones, it may be as low as $5/billing cycle. For smart phones, expect it to range from $7 – $10/billing cycle. For deductibles, plan on at least $50 with many companies charging $99 or more. See also Consumer Reports article: Is Smartphone Insurance Worth Buying? https://www.consumerreports.org/insurance/is-smartphone-insurance-worth-buying/. Whistle Out – Is Cell Phone Insurance Worth it?: https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhones/Guides/is-cell-phone-insurance-worth-it.
Don’t be surprised if an insurance plan doesn’t cover water damage. Some don’t cover loss or theft. Don’t be surprised if they send you a refurbished phone. The last time I received a replacement phone, I checked to see how much time it showed. Over 660 hours. It looked fairly new, but it was a refurbished phone.
You don’t have to use your cell phone provider’s insurance plan. There are companies willing to insure cell phones, prices vary, sometimes significantly.
I rarely need to replace my cell phones and it’s usually do to age as opposed to damage, loss, or theft. One reason I opted to keep several low-cost phones (two on Tello.com, one on TracFone, plus my Unreal Mobile Unlimited Talk/Text + 2 GB plan) is on the off-chance I am in a situation where I can’t get a cheap replacement phone from a place like C7 Recycle: https://www.c7recycle.com/ or similar place that sells refurbished phones. Ebay and Amazon are good alternatives.