You’re ready to buy a new mobile phone. You’ve done your homework, you know which features you want, which carrier offers the best coverage in your area, and which plan and model are right for you. You’ve answered all the big questions. But then, someone asks if you want insurance. At first, it feels like an unnecessary cost, but then you remember the time you dropped your brand new phone and cracked the screen a week after you bought it. Maybe that insurance policy is worth it after all. Here’s what you need to know.
Protection Above and Beyond the Warranty
Image via Flickr by mjaysplanet
Your mobile phone probably comes with a manufacturer’s warranty that lasts from one to three years. You may have the option of paying to extend that warranty. But before you sign on the dotted line, you should understand the difference between a warranty and an insurance policy.
The manufacturer’s warranty generally covers the phone’s hardware, so if something goes wrong due to a mechanical or programming problem, you’re protected. Some warranties also offer limited accident coverage, so if something unexpected happens within the warranty period, you may not have to pay the full cost of repair or replacement.
However, your phone’s warranty is limited in several ways. First, it probably only applies for a short period of time while the phone is relatively new. Second, it likely does not cover loss, theft, or certain kinds of damage. An insurance policy can provide the same coverage as a warranty and give you additional protection. In addition to loss and theft, mobile phone insurance may provide coverage for accessories, apps and software, music and other purchased media, and unauthorized use.
You Have More Choice Than You Think
It is also helpful to know that you don’t have to take the insurance plan offered by your carrier. Mobile phone insurance is available from a range of companies, and the best way to find a plan that works for you is to do some research. Look for providers like Assurant Review that allow you to read about the experiences of other customers. Compare plans carefully and pay attention to the fine print. Some plans may seem like a steal, but you may find there are so many exclusions that you’re not getting the coverage you need.
Choose the Right Plan for Your Situation
Not all plans are the same, so be sure to think about what kind of coverage is most important for your specific needs. If, for example, your job requires round-the-clock access to a mobile phone, consider a plan that offers instant replacement, so you don’t have to wait for your claim to be processed. Some insurance plans offer location-enabled phone tracking, but if your phone has this functionality built in, you probably don’t need to pay for this service in an insurance plan.
You may be surprised to learn that your warranty, renters, or homeowners insurance doesn’t provide adequate coverage for your mobile phone. A mobile phone insurance plan may not be the right choice for everyone. But if you place a high value on peace of mind, it’s well worth considering.