Recently I dropped my beloved sidekick (my iPhone) in Lake Erie. I was enjoying the weather, hanging out by the water and I set my phone at the edge of the dock. One wrong move was all it took. One nudge and plop! There it went!
With the hot weather in full swing, most of us are probably headed to the water to cool off. But, unfortunately, water and technology don’t mix and accidents are bound to happen. There is no worse feeling than reaching for your phone and it not being where you last had it.
I found myself searching for options on replacing my phone and wanted to do it FAST. In today’s world, ESPECIALLY during a global pandemic, going without a smart phone for an entire day can feel like a lifetime.
Getting coverage for your phone is probably one of the last things you want to deal with- because losing a phone happens to everyone else except for you, right? But it only takes one snatch or plop into the lake to make you wish you had the right coverage. Phone Insurance is readily available and you should know what your options are if you ever have to replace/repair your phone.
Here are some of the questions I came across throughout this process:
-Does renters insurance or homeowners insurance cover phones (even if I’m not at home)?
- What’s the difference between mobile phone insurance and renters/homeowners insurance?
- Which phone insurance plan is worth getting?
- How do I insure my phone?
Does renters or homeowners insurance cover phones?
Most people don’t realize this, but renters and homeowners insurance will cover your phone, and everything else you own. Home insurance companies automatically cover your phone (and other valuables) for incidents such as theft, vandalism, fire, and other damages (‘perils,’ in insurance speak) under your base renters policy.
So if your new phone was snatched while you were at a concert, or pickpocketed while you were traveling abroad, you’re in luck: your home insurance will cover you.
In order for the phone to be covered you would be subject to your deductible which is most cases is $500 or $1000. If this is the case it might not be the best route to go.
But understanding the difference in benefits between homeowners insurance and what’s called ‘mobile phone insurance,’ is crucial.
What’s the difference between mobile phone insurance and homeowners insurance?
There are a few other different types of phone insurance plans, that are offered by your phone retailer (Apple: AppleCare) and by your phone carrier (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T).
While each phone carrier’s plans are slightly different they are consistent with differences between phone protection plans and a homeowner’s policy.
First off, nearly all of these plans cover accidental damage such as cracked screens or water damage, while homeowners insurance does not. On the other hand, retailers such as AppleCare don’t provide insurance for phone theft or loss in their base plan, while phone carriers and home insurance policies do.
Which phone insurance plan is worth getting?
Deciding what phone insurance plan to get really depends on you and your lifestyle, habits, hobbies, and how much you could afford to pay upfront if you needed get a replacement
Let’s say your new iPhone X cracks while you have phone insurance. Since iPhone screen repairs cost around $290, and each plan has a deductible, here’s roughly how much it would cost per plan:
- Homeowners insurance – $500 or $1000
- Carrier plan – $140
- Retailer policy – $170
So as you decide which plan is right for you, ask yourself these questions:
- How much would you be able to pay if something happened to your phone that wasn’t covered by a plan – $50? $100? $250? $600?
- Are you more likely to have klutz-y moments like spilling water on your phone, or forgetful ones like leaving your phone on a coffee shop table, only to have it stolen, or both? I definitely am both.
- Are you looking to protect all of your valuables, or just your phone?
Bottom line: If you’d like to protect your phone against multiple incidences of accidental damage like a cracked screen, getting covered through your phone carrier makes the most sense.
But, if you’d like to cover all of your valuables, including your phone, a homeowners or renters policy is the way to go.
If you feel you need extra coverage on your phone you could get a plan through your retailer and obtain a homeowners or renters policy. The more coverage the better.
Thankfully, I ended up having insurance through my carrier, Sprint. I was able to have a replacement phone mailed to me the next day and only was required to pay a $250 deductible. My plan covered the loss of my phone for only $250 compared to purchasing a new iPhone for $900 (or more!). I hope my experience helps you to prepare for the future and maybe will help you be a little more careful with your phone around the lake, pools, or whatever body of water you’re using to cool off this summer.
Written by: Allie Engle - Customer Service Represenative at Janasko Insurance