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Choosing the best smartphone insurance plan, warranty program or best cell phone insurance plan can leave your head spinning. But now that smartphones retail for over $600, you don’t want to be caught without a plan in the middle of a contract if you break or lose your iPhone or Android handset. So after 30+ hours of research, the best of the best is AKKO. It’s comprehensive, covers your laptop and camera gear (and more), and replaces your device with a brand new one.
With that in mind, most mobile phones come with at least a limited warranty – but these plans often don’t cover drops or loss, much like a 3rd party phone insurance can. Moreover, you may not have the option to purchase an additional protection program after a certain amount of time expires. An insurance plan essentially enhances or extends your phone’s warranty, and could also protect you in the case that it is stolen or you misplace it. You can also read about the best cell phone plans to find out which is best for you.
Some important things to consider:
Many smartphone protection plans are available through Asurion, a third-party insurance company that offers coverage on various phones through each specific participating cell phone carrier: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, Clear, Clear Wire, Metro PCS, nTelos, Time Warner Cable and Virgin Mobile. (You cannot buy an Asurion program on its own without a provider.) Though they all use Asurion, each cell carrier has a different name for their protection plan, so it’s not possible to distill Asurion’s features into a single list. Additionally, some carriers also combine Asurion’s protection plans with their own extended warranty programs. Some credit card companies also offer phone insurance. To learn more, check out our credit cards with cell phone insurance guide.
Before purchasing, be sure to check the specific benefits of your provider’s Asurion plan. This can be especially confusing.
For example, Verizon’s Extended Limited Warranty does not cover liquid damage or batteries, but these areas are covered under Asurion’s wireless phone protection, which is part of Verizon’s Total Equipment Coverage package. (If you choose Verizon’s Extended Warranty but not the Total Equipment Coverage, be sure to familiarize yourself with the differences.)
For many consumers, price is the most important factor in choosing a warranty program – but keep in mind that most plans include a deductible, the amount of money you have to pay if you lose your handset. A cheaper monthly fee likely means a higher deductible. Also be aware that varying state laws can result in variations of plan terms and conditions.
Here are the 5 best smartphone insurance and warranty programs we’ve found:
iPhone plans click here. (Most iPhone repairs can be completed at an Apple Store if you so choose, or at another repair provider.)
Android and other smartphones plans click here.
AKKO, while a new entrance into the smartphone and device insurance space, is perhaps the most simple and comprehensive. Their phone insurance plans range from $6 – $12/month so that you always have the most affordable deductibles, which range from only $29 to $99 based on the phone and claim. Even for theft, the deductible is still only a maximum of $99 for any phone! Putting it less than half the cost of the deductibles most other companies charge such as Asurion or AppleCare+ Loss and Theft.
In addition to their affordable and flexible phone protection plans, they also offer their one-of-a-kind AKKO Plan, the perfect solution for those with multiple devices and gadgets in need of protection. Their AKKO Plan is $15/month ($12/month if a student) with discounts if you pay annually, and while that may be a bit more expensive than paying just $6 – 12/month to only protect a phone, you get a TON more coverage.
In our opinion, an AKKO Plan is the last protection plan you’ll ever need to buy because it protects not just your iPhone (be sure to check out their page on how to switch from AppleCare to Akko) their ar or Android phone, but also your other electronics like laptops, tablets, headphones, smartwatches, camera gear, audio equipment, and so much more at no extra cost. The deductibles for phones are the same on an AKKO Plan, ranging from $29 – 99. For your other devices and items, like tablets and laptops, the deductible is always the exact same cost keeping things simple and affordable; $99 for adults and $49 for students for any damages or theft.
In the event of a claim, you also won’t ever be given a used iPhone or Android phone as a replacement. You’ll get the money equal to the replacement value of any of your devices when they are unrepairable or stolen and can do whatever you’d like with the cash. Even buy a NEW or upgraded replacement.
Read Full Review: Akko Phone Insurance Plan
iPhone plans click here. iPhone repairs can be completed at an Apple Store if you so choose.
SquareTrade has a lower base price than many other plans, but a somewhat higher deductible ($99). Loss and theft are not covered, but water immersion is. Note: Through Costco, you can get an even better SquareTrade plan with a lower based price and lower deductible, provided of course you buy the product in their warehouse.
Type of Replacement: You will be given a new or refurbished product of equal features and functionality, or a cash settlement or a Gift Card reflecting the replacement cost of a new item of equal features and functionality up to the Coverage Amount.
Replacement Time: No guarantee of time. Submit claims online or by phone; if your phone can’t be fixed with troubleshooting, you’ll be directed to an authorized service center or given a free shipping label. Though they do say that they’ll fix it the day it arrives and overnight the phone back to you.
Cancellation Policy: You may cancel any time. Within the 30 days, you will receive a full refund; If you cancel after 30 days, you will receive a pro-rata refund based on the time remaining on your service agreement. You may also want to read about the best unlocked phone.
View iPhone Plans
View Android Plans
Read Full Review: Squaretrade Cell Phone Insurance
Protect Your Bubble does not cover loss and theft (updated March 2016) – and it can also be purchased within 12-35 months of buying your smartphone, as long as the phone is still under warranty (most plans only give you 30 days). You can also get money off when you add an additional plan if you want to buy one for a family member. The biggest drawback of the plan is its $150 deductible for iPhones. Update: iPhone deductibles are now $50)
Type of Replacement: You will get a replacement of like kind and quality, but claimed devices may be repaired or replaced with new or refurbished equipment or a different model than the original equipment.
Replacement Time: PYB will ship your replacement device to you for next day delivery if your claim is approved by 8:00 pm.
Cancellation Policy: You have the right to cancel your coverage at any time without penalty and receive a refund of any applicable unearned premium. Also, check out the best SIM cards for USA.
Read Full Review: Protect Your Bubble Phone Insurance
Since the Apple Care program is only available for the iPhone, other smartphone users can ignore this section. Keep in mind that even without Apple Care, you’ll get one year of hardware repair coverage through Apple’s limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary support (but you can’t decide to buy Apple Care after your one-year limited warranty has ended). One of the biggest drawbacks of the Apple Care program is that it does not cover loss or theft.
Type of Replacement: A phone that is new or equivalent to new in both performance and reliability
Replacement Time: For fastest service, bring your iPhone in to the Genius Bar at an Apple Store. Mail-in service is also available.
Cancellation Policy: You can cancel at any time for any reason. If you cancel within 30 days, you will receive a full refund less the value of any service provided. After 30 days, you will receive a pro rata refund less a cancellation fee of $25 or 10% of the pro-rata amount, whichever is less. Learn about the best smartphone.
Read Full Review: AppleCare Phone Insurance
Geek Squad smartphone protection plan is offered through Best Buy, but is also available for smartphones purchased at other stores, provided that the products have been purchased within the last 30 days, are covered under a current manufacturer’s warranty, and are in new and working order. What makes this plan stand out is its convenient in-home service and its lack of deductible and cancellation fee. However, loss and theft are not covered.
Geek Squad’s Standard Plan extends your manufacturer warranty, but doesn’t cover much on its own; we recommend purchasing the Accidental Damage from Handling Coverage (ADH) plan for the best protection (you can compare the plans here).
Type of Replacement: You will be given a new or refurbished product of like kind and quality that is of comparable performance.
Replacement Time: You can schedule in-home service by phone or Internet 24-7.
Cancellation Policy: You may cancel at any time; you will receive a pro-rata refund of the price you paid for the Plan based on the percentage of the Plan’s unexpired term, less the cost of any service provided. If you cancel within 30 days, a full refund is given. You might also want to read up on the best smartphone plan.
View Insurance Plans
Read Full Review: Geek Squad Phone Protection Plan
Update: Mobile Rhino has shut down and is no longer in business.
Mobile Rhino can be purchased at any time. Unlike Apple Care, Mobile Rhino covers loss and theft, and can be renewed year after year – but Mobile Rhino’s price and deductible are a bit high. Still, we’re rating Mobile Rhino’s plan #1 because it covers loss and theft. With most plans, you’ll be completely out of luck if you lose your phone – and that doesn’t seem worth a monthly fee.
Price: Personal: $129, Business:$119, Education:$99Deductible: $99Coverage Length: 1 yearNumber of Replacements Allowed: 2 per year or $1000 worth of merchandise, whichever comes firstTime to add the program: May be purchased at any time
Type of Replacement: You will be given a replacement the same model as your phone; equipment may be reconditioned.
Replacement Time: You will get a replacement in 24-28 hours; if your claim is submitted and approved by 2pm CST, you will receive your replacement by 2pm CST the next day.
Cancellation Policy: You may cancel at any time; any unearned premium will be refunded in accordance with law. If you like Verizon, check out the best Verizon smartphones.
The world of cell phone insurance can be a pretty confusing place. That said, by understanding just a few key points, cell phone insurance becomes as straightforward as buying your phone in the first place.
Phone insurance generally pays for a device replacement or for covered device repairs, typically after charging you a deductible. Coverage may be billed monthly or upfront for a one-year period or longer. Two main types of phone insurance are manufacturer or retailer extended warranties, and carrier-based or third-party insurance.
Phone insurance purchased from aftermarket services differs in many ways from that provided by a phone service carrier. For example, aftermarket insurance is usually broader regarding what you can get insured. Still, carrier insurance can typically resolve phone claims more quickly.
There are many companies that offer insurance policies specifically designed to cover smartphones. The relative value of these plans depends on the individual. If your phone is already under the manufacturer’s warranty, you may not need to purchase a dedicated insurance plan. You could also forgo buying a plan if you are especially careful with your phone. If you can’t afford or do not want a smartphone insurance plan, be sure to equip your phone with a high-quality case and a screen protector.
Not everyone needs insurance, but there are instances where it is a smart financial choice. If you are clumsy or work in a high-risk trade, phone insurance is probably a good idea. The difference between phone insurance and no insurance could be hundreds of dollars.
STAT: 54% of Americans believe smartphone repairs cost $150 or less. However, it costs approximately $279 to repair an Apple iPhone 12 screen out of warranty and $249 to repair a Samsung Galaxy S20 out of warranty. (source)
In addition to the previous phone insurance options, there are also other choices. You may think cell phones are only covered by phone-specific insurance, but that isn’t the case. Services such as gadget insurance or renters insurance might also provide coverage.
There are a whole lot of smartphone insurance plans out there, each with its advantages and disadvantages. To make an informed choice on which plan to purchase, you should be aware of your needs and the needs of your phone.
Picking the right phone insurance depends on the features you think you’ll need. For some, basic coverage should suffice, but those with certain jobs may need more. These 9 Steps should help you find the right insurance.
STEP 1 What Amount Of Phone Insurance Coverage Do You Need?
The first step is to determine what sort of coverage you’re likely to need. Of course, not everyone needs to plan for the most extreme cases, but nearly everyone could benefit from an insurance plan that takes care of things like loss, theft, or water damage.
STAT: 45% of phone repairs are due to screen damage, 19% to battery failure, and 12% to water damage. (source)
STEP 2 What’s The Enrollment Time Limit To Add The Cellphone Insurance?
Usually, people can only buy phone insurance within a month of opening a new line or upgrading a device. Other than that, they can wait for an open enrollment period or look for insurance with no enrollment time limit.
STEP 3 When Do You Want The Cell Phone Protection To Start?
Sometimes you need immediate cell phone protection. Insurance usually has a wait time of two or more weeks before you can make a claim, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
STEP 4 What Is The Length Of The Phone Insurance Coverage?
Phone insurance through a carrier can last the life of the mobile contract (usually two years). That said, most third-party insurers do not limit how long you can insure a cell phone.
STEP 5 What Phone Protection Claim Limit Do You Prefer?
A claim limit is when you can request a fix or replacement for an insured phone within a year. If you are in a high-risk career, you may need to look for insurance policies with a higher or unlimited claim limit.
STEP 6 How Much Does Ease of Claim With the Phone Insurance Matter To You?
Filing an insurance claim is never ideal, but some companies make it more challenging to file a claim. For example, some require more paperwork, and others take longer to respond to claim. However, if you depend on your phone, you can resolve insurance claims quickly.
STEP 7 How Do Replacement Phones Work?
If the worst happens and you lose your phone, it’s essential to know how you’ll get a replacement phone from your insurance provider. Not every policy claim results in a brand-new phone. Sometimes, you’ll receive a refurbished replacement or a completely different cell phone model altogether.
STEP 8 Does Your Family Need Mobile Phone Insurance?
While mom and dad may not be accident-prone, kids can be pretty rough on electronics. So many recommend insuring kids’ phones. Also, phone insurance family plans could save a multiple-child family much money in the long term.
STEP 9 What Is The Phone Insurer’s Cancellation Policy?
It is important to know if your phone insurer’s cancellation policy. Due to how fast technology moves, there may come a time that your current cell phone is no longer worth insuring. Depending on your insurance policy, cancellation might be easy, difficult, or impossible.
The price of phone insurance can vary wildly depending on the quality of the coverage. In addition, you can sometimes choose between paying yearly or monthly, which will also affect the price.
There are usually two options for phone insurance: annual fee or month-to-month. Generally, yearly insurance is cheaper than month-to-month but requires a more considerable sum of money for each payment.
A deductible is either a dollar or percentage amount that an insurance company takes before paying out a claim. For example, if your cell phone is worth $1000 and your deductible is $200, you would receive an $800 payout if your phone malfunctions. Generally, the lower the deductible, the more expensive the insurance is every month.
While many third-party companies insure phones, most cell phone providers offer their insurance coverage. So, whether your network is through Verizon, T-Mobile, or someone else, there are options for insurance coverage.
Most phone manufacturers, like Samsung, offer their own forms of cell phone insurance. In addition, if you have an iPhone or Google phone, you have options like Applecare and Google Preferred Care.
If insurance from your cell phone provider or manufacturer isn’t what you’re looking for, consider trying a third-party insurer. Services like Squaretrade, Asurion, and AKKO seek to offer better insurance for less.
AKKO phone insurance protects against theft, vandalism, and accidental damage, so it is a solid option for comprehensive coverage. In addition, AKKO insurance can be expanded to cover other items such as tablets and even clothing.
It has become more important than ever to understand phone insurance fraud so you can avoid the serious penalties that come along with it. While it may be tempting to tell a small white lie about your claim to avoid time limitations, that lie can result in fines and criminal charges. There are a variety of different types of phone insurance fraud and the specific penalties can vary by state. Read this article to learn more about phone insurance fraud so you can file a claim the right way.
STAT: 65% of smartphone owners don’t know they can purchase phone protection from somewhere other than where they bought their phone. (source)
Modern smartphones can be extremely expensive, with experts suggesting they boast an average lifespan of around two to three years. If you are looking to increase the overall life of your phone, we would recommend starting by purchasing and installing a heavy-duty protective case. You should also consider buying and affixing a screen protector, as they can prevent the touchscreen from becoming cracked. Other tips to increase longevity include keeping the operating system updated, closing unused apps, and keeping the phone at a moderate temperature. If an accident does occur, many repairs can be performed before having to purchase a brand-new phone.
DID YOU KNOW?
Only 21% of phone users recycle their old phones. —Allstate Protection Plans August 2020 Repair Study
Filing smartphone insurance claims doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. The process only takes about 10 minutes and involves you researching your exact policy details and then filing the claim either online or via the phone. The process will be a bit different depending on your insurance provider, but it stays overall the same, whether you have insurance through Asurion or Verizon, for example.
If you have decided to cancel your smartphone insurance, you should be able to do so at your convenience. We recommend contacting the customer service number of your insurance provider, for example: Verizon, be it a wireless carrier or aftermarket insurance company. There is also typically an option to cancel insurance on the company’s web portal URL address. These insurance providers also typically offer a smartphone app, which can also be used to cancel your insurance plan. Early cancellations may accrue a small fee, however, so be sure to read the fine print.
If your phone is freshly damaged but not insured, you may think you have to buy a new phone. That’s not so because you still have many options to get your phone back to working order without insurance.
Repairing your phone by yourself can feel like a daunting task but many routine repairs can be done at home without the need for a trip to your mobile carrier. Many common glitches can be managed by simply restarting your phone or removing programs that are buggy or occupy too much storage. Cracked screens and prolonged water exposure are repair projects that are usually best left to the professionals, same with issues caused by having your phone hacked or infected with viruses. And if an aging phone is to blame for whatever issues you’re facing, take it as a sign that it’s time to upgrade to a new phone.
An insurance claim isn’t the only way to take care of a broken phone. You can bring your broken phone to third-party repair shops, or you can take advantage of manufacturer repair options. Some phone carriers and manufacturers offer their own branded repair services, so it’s always worth checking to see if they can offer you a way to get your phone repaired. Sprint, for example, offers a repair service for their screens.
STAT: 63% of phone users avoid repairing a phone because of high repair costs. (source)
Before you take your phone to the repair shop, you need to make sure paying for repair is worth it. Four key factors will determine if repairing or replacing your phone is the cheaper and better option.