What Are My iPhone Insurance Options?
I just recently got off the phone with my automobile insurance company because we were adding another used car to the family fleet. What does this have to do with iPhone insurance? Well, I had a decision to make. Do I insure this 13 year old vehicle with full comp and collision or just liability? Liability is the cheapest monthly rate, but it’s bare bones coverage. I could insure liability and tag on comp, which seems better but it’s more expensive. And oh…this vehicle is for my 17 year old son. Good driver discount is offered, as well as a good student discount, and if he takes an online course that costs $90 we can save $110 every six months on his insurance. Yet, we’re adding another car but there’s a multi-car discount…and on, and on it goes. Bottom line, we made the decision that was best for our family at this moment. We’re all glad we have it in case something happens but monthly premiums can be a financial burden.
In some ways, deciding upon an iPhone insurance plan is similar. There are many factors that contribute to deciding which insurance plan is the best for you. If you are struggling with a decision to purchase insurance for your iPhone, check out my article on Why Pay for iPhone Insurance, and read on for popular insurance options.
AppleCare+ for your iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus will cost you $129 up front (older models less). You will be limited to using only Apple authorized technicians. The benefits include a $29 screen damage service fee and a $99 service fee for any other damage. If you live next to an authorized Apple dealer, you are in good shape for personal service; otherwise, it’s access via chat or phone 24/7. If you’re like me, I live 160 miles from the nearest Apple dealer. It’s something to consider when shopping for insurance. Like with any insurance, it’s pay now or pay later. $129 up front is a bit of a hit if you never need to use it. Statistically, in 2015, 34% of smartphone users in the U.S. have broken their smarphone screens. Are you 3 of the 10 that are likely to break their phone? Or will you play the odds?
Asurion is a third party insurance company that is a great option if you’re looking for a low monthly payment (premium). Your carriers all use Asurion, but they may call it by a different name. AT&T calls it a “Mobile Protection Pack” while Verizon offers “Total Mobile Protection”. You can’t buy an Asurion plan outside of using your carrier. Plans and prices vary. You can expect to pay anywhere from $7.99-$10.99 per month with coverage ranging loss, theft, damage (including liquid damage) and malfunction. Carriers also provide a Multi-Device program that covers multiple devices. Although affordable monthly fees that are simply added to your cell phone bill, the replacement deductibles for the most recent iPhone models can be as much as $200. That’s far less than buying a brand new iPhone, but still hard on the pocketbook.
Square Trade mobile protection plan is another third party option for insuring your iPhone. It boasts of much lower fees and has some unique differences. Square Trade covers drops, spills and malfunctions but does not cover loss or theft. It allows you to take your iPhone to any local repair shop for repair instead of waiting for delivery via a shipping carrier. You can actually go to a local repair provider for same day repairs and send Square Trade the receipt to get reimbursed. Plan pricing is as follows: 1 year = $89, 2 year = $149, 3 year = $179. Family plans save $10 per phone. It’s important to note that a $99 deductible applies to all claims.
Geek Squad offers a protection plan for $7.99 a month that covers drops, spills, cracks, batteries and mechanical failure. Their complete protection plan for $10.99 a month adds loss and theft. If your iPhone needs replacing because of loss, theft, or damage, service fees from $149-$199 will be charged. Geek Squad protection must be purchased with the product within 15 days.
To Insure or Not to Insure
After being in the repair industry for several years, I’ve dealt with many customers who have decided to pay a repair fee to me instead of filing a claim. Two reasons for this. 1) Unless the iPhone is brand new, it’s typically equal to or less expensive repairing a cracked screen or other hardware component than paying the deductible. 2) The benefit of keeping your iPhone and all its data is sometimes not worth the hassle of dealing with the time or cost of transferring to iCloud or another storage device. However, you can’t repair what you don’t have when your iPhone is lost or stolen. Check out my article on stolen iPhone statistics.
The Best Protection for Least Cost
BUY A CASE. Although I don’t have quantifiable data, the majority of iPhone repairs I perform are due to its owner not having it in a case, and I don’t recommend the cheap cases. You get what you pay for, and you don’t get much protection with cheap. I can attest that both of my teenage boys have never broken their iPhones in their Otterbox cases. Great case = Great protection.
The big criticism of Otterbox is how bulky they are; however, the Commuter and Symmetry series are low profile. For solid protection combine it with a tempered glass screen protector.
iPhone insurance plans vary, but the bottom line common denominator is that protecting your investment should be a priority. If you’re going to own an expensive high tech piece of equipment then you should protect your investment.
Let me know your thoughts. What’s your story with your iPhone insurance claim? Have any questions? Any comments? I hope you enjoyed this article and it was helpful to see this insurance review.