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Should You Get Cell Phone Insurance
Dated: July 23 2018
Should You Get Cell Phone Insurance?
By Kimberly Lankford, Kiplinger.com
Question:Now that new cell phones are more expensive, should I consider getting cell phone insurance? What are the best options? –M.S., San Diego.
Answer:Cell phone insurance isn't worth the cost if you rarely lose or break your phone. Plus, the manufacturer's warranty usually covers malfunctions in the first year. Logan Abbott, president ofWirefly.com, a website that analyzes phone plans, says you're better off buying a sturdy case, such as an OtterBox ($18 to $40).
But if you tend to be hard on your phone (or have a teenager who is), you may want some extra coverage. You have several options, with different prices, deductibles and exclusions.
For iPhones, AppleCare+ provides the best coverage. For $149 for most iPhones (or $199 for the iPhone X), it provides two years of tech support and hardware repair. It also covers two incidents of accidental damage, with a $29 "service fee" for a cracked screen and a $99 charge for other damage. If Apple decides to replace rather than repair your phone, you may get a replacement the next day.
AppleCare doesn't cover lost or stolen phones, but the insurance sold by most wireless providers does. Sprint charges $13 per month for Total Equipment Protection Plus, which now includes tech support from AppleCare. Sprint's plan charges a $29 fee for cracked screens and a $99 replacement fee for most broken iPhones. Sprint-authorized technicians repair non-iPhones, though with higher repair and replacement fees. The plan also covers lost or stolen phones (after a deductible). Verizon charges $13 a month for similar coverage, with an $89 fee to replace most broken phones.
Best Buy's Geek Squad covers non-iPhones for $7.99 per month for repairs or $10.99 to add theft and loss coverage. You'd pay about $60 to fix a cracked screen at a repair facility (available for Samsung phones in 11 states). Otherwise, you ship your phone to be repaired or replaced, and the replacement fee runs $149 to $199.
Reprinted with permission. All Contents ©2018 The Kiplinger Washington Editors.Kiplinger.com.
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