Smartphones can feel more like a necessity than a luxury. The thing is, smartphones can also be expensive. This is especially true if you’re into the flagships from big names like Apple and Samsung.
Smartphones are also notoriously not the most rugged products. A small mishap could cause damage that is expensive to fix or, worse, may require you to replace your phone altogether.
Protecting yourself from these unforeseen high expenses via device insurance might seem like the smart thing to do, but is cellphone insurance really worth it? Let’s take a look.
How much does cellphone insurance cost?
To determine if cellphone insurance has any real value, we must first look at its costs. Most cellphone carriers sell insurance through a third party (usually Asurion or Assurant).
Let’s take a quick look at the major carriers to see just how much you might expect to pay for cellphone insurance.
AT&T offers two tiers of device protection. At $8.99 per month, you’ll get basic protection that includes up to two claims a year, next-day replacement and a $49 deductible on screen repairs.
For $15 per month, you’ll have access to three claims per year, same-day replacement, unlimited battery replacement, a $29 deductible for screen replacements and a few extra perks. There’s also a $40 per month plan that allows you to share these benefits across four devices.
For $14 to $17 per month depending on the device, Verizon’s cellphone insurance plan provides you with same-day replacement, a $29 deductible for screen repairs, battery replacement and security/ID protection features. There’s also a $50 per month plan for covering multiple devices.
T-Mobile’s Protection 360 starts at $7 per month, though you can expect to pay significantly more for higher-end phones. It includes unlimited screen replacements, early upgrades and AppleCare (if applicable).
Is cellphone insurance worth the cost?
It might depend on how clumsy you are, but keep in mind how much you’re actually paying compared with what you’re getting back even if you do make claims.
Screen replacement is probably the most common issue. Between the deductible that goes along with these insurance plans plus the monthly premium, it often works out to about break-even compared with forgoing insurance and paying completely out of pocket for the replacement.
Typically, you’d have to make at least two claims per year to make cellphone insurance worth it, and if you need to do that, there are probably some habits you should consider changing.
Cellphone insurance is probably not very worthwhile, considering that basic care can help you avoid the need to replace or repair your device.
Get a good, strong case for your phone, and make sure not to put your device in risky situations.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.