We all know that phone insurance can be essential, especially if you are prone to dropping your phone. As is the case with most types of insurance, some policies provide excellent coverage at a low price, while others may gouge you and offer less coverage. Here are four things you need to know before you buy cell phone insurance:
What’s Your Deductible?
Like health and car insurance, most phone insurance plans come with a deductible. If you file a claim on your phone for repair or replacement, the deductible is the amount of money that will have to be paid upfront before the insurance takes care of the rest. Make sure to read the information about the deductible carefully, and don’t be afraid to do some math. Some deductibles are the same cost as the original price of the phone, or only a few bucks less. In this case, having the insurance isn’t going to do you much good, because you’d be able to repurchase the phone brand new for the same price as your insurance deductible.
What are Your Coverage Limits?
Don’t assume that the insurance you are buying will cover anything that goes wrong with your phone. Many insurance plans have specific things they won’t cover. These can include things like water damage and software malfunctions. Again you need to read this section carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear. According to recent studies, more than half of American adults claim that they have never lost or broken their cell phones. Software malfunctions, on the other hand, can happen to anyone. If your coverage doesn’t cover device malfunctions, you could end up holding the bag for a problem that’s not your fault.
What Happens When You Make a Claim?
When you purchase an insurance policy, make sure that you are familiar with the actual claims process and the consequences of filing a claim. Most phone companies will drop you from your plan if you make more than two claims in 12 months. For most people, that’s not going to be a problem, but if you are buying insurance because you are incredibly accident-prone, then this is a real downside.
When you make a claim, where do you have to take the phone? Does it get sent out of state? What is the waiting period like for a repair or a replacement? What kind of replacement will I get? These are the sorts of questions the small print on your insurance policy should answer. Be aware that with most plans, you won’t have much control over what kind of phone you are sent if your phone needs to be replaced. You might end up with a completely different model. You could also have to send your phone in by mail and wait several weeks for a new one.
What Insurance Options Do I Have?
If you’ve read the small print on the insurance policy your carrier tried to sell you and weren’t pleased with what you learned; don’t worry, you have options. Most carriers sell insurance from a company called Asurion, but they aren’t the only ones who provide cell phone insurance. Plans from companies like Fixit Mobile are less expensive per month and offer smaller deductibles that most other plans. Shopping around for phone insurance can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.