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What are your best options for phone insurance?

Phones break all the time, but phone insurance can make your life a whole lot easier.
By

Published onJuly 28, 2023

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus back corner crack

Many flagship phones now cost more than $1,000 without a contract, and they’re more fragile than ever. Millions of people carry small, expensive devices that can be dropped, stolen, or otherwise damaged. If you find yourself in this category or rock a budget phone you’re highly attached to, you might want to consider purchasing a phone insurance plan for your device.

Let’s take a look at several phone insurance plans available for Android and iOS devices and also discuss whether or not you need a smartphone insurance plan in the first place.

Editor’s note: We will regularly update this list of the best phone insurance plans.

Carrier phone insurance

Many people choose to buy expensive smartphones from a wireless carrier. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and UScellular sell optional insurance and protection plans for their phones. Let’s take a look at what’s available.

Major US wireless carrier insurance plans:

AT&T

ATT logo on phone stock photo

AT&T offers two insurance plans for its smartphones with monthly fees. For $14 or $17 a month, billed to your regular AT&T account, you can insure one phone or tablet against “loss, theft, physical or liquid damage.” It also covers out-of-warranty malfunctions. AT&T says a replacement device could be sent out the same day a claim is filed, although it may take longer. You will have to pay a deductible for each claim (the fees are different per device), but those fees go down by as much as 50% if you don’t file a claim for six months or more. You are allowed three claims per 12 months, with a maximum value per claim of $3,500.

AT&T insurance plans

If you pay $45 a month, you get everything in the cheaper plan, plus coverage for up to four devices. The four devices don’t even have to be a part of your wireless plan. It also includes unlimited free cloud storage. And you can make up to eight shared claims over 12 months. Like in the other plan, you’ll have to pay a deductible that can range from $25 to $275.

Verizon Wireless

Verizon logo on phone stock photo

Verizon offers what it calls Mobile Protect for devices, which comes to $17 a month for one device. Verizon also offers multi-line Mobile Protect for $60 a month, which covers three lines on an account, and you can add more lines for $11.40 a month for each additional line, up to six more lines.

Mobile Protect and its Multi-Device version replace lost, stolen, or damaged devices with a new one, or one that’s been certified as “like-new,” which will be sent to the customer as soon as the next day. You will also get access to the company’s Tech Coach support service. The plan also covers $29 cracked screen repairs.

T-Mobile

T Mobile logo on phone stock photo

If you want to get your phone from T-Mobile, the carrier has its basic Device Protection plan. The cost of both plans are dependent on what device you have. If your phone experiences a mechanical failure, T-Mobile Device Protection covers costs with the deductible being based on the model of phone you have.  

T-Mobile also has what it calls Protection 360. The cost is dependent on your phone and it offers everything in the Basic Protection plan, plus a few extras. It has the McAfee Security app and service that includes theft protection and support from Tech Ph.D. by Assurant. You also get access to all AppleCare services for eligible Apple devices at no extra cost. Finally, it offers unlimited screen protector installations for your phone if you purchase the protector in a T-Mobile store and have it applied by one of the support employees in the store.

UScellular

UScellular MVNO carrier stock photo 2

America’s fourth-largest carrier claims it has something better than standard phone insurance with its Device Protection Plus plans. The standard version costs $9.99 a month per device and offers a replacement device for phones and tablets if lost, stolen, damaged, or have a mechanical failure, with deductible fees ranging from $49 to $249. Your replacement phone is available the next business day, and you’ll keep your protection long after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

The advanced plan costs $14.99 a month and offers the same deductible fees for losing a phone. However, deductible fees range from $19-$249 for lost, stolen, or unrecoverable devices. It also drops the repair price for a cracked screen down to just $29. You can also sign up for Device Protection Plus with AppleCare if you have an iPhone for $15.99.

UScellular’s plans don’t sound too different from its rivals, although we do like the credit monitoring feature if someone steals your phone and finds any financial information on it.

Third-party phone insurance plans

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra hero image

Of course, if you have an unlocked phone that you use on a carrier other than the major ones, you may want to try out a third-party mobile insurance plan. Here’s a look at just some of them that are available.

Samsung Care Plus

Samsung covers its most recent flagship phones, including the Galaxy S23 series, with its own Samsung Care Plus mobile insurance. It offers four tiers including an $8 tier, $10 tier, $13 tier, and $16 tier that you pay per month. If you go with this option, you can make up to three claims per 12 months for accidental damage to your Samsung phone. As for the deductible, you’ll have to pay $29 for cracks and repairs and $99 for ADH repair or replacement, but mechanical breakdown service is free. It also provides round-the-clock setup assistance and remote technical support.

StayMobile Phone Insurance

StayMobile boasts one of the nation’s largest device insurance platforms with its Protect program. You can choose from three-, four-, or five-star insurance plans, though nearly all three offer equal protection. Whether you want to insure one device or an entire fleet, StayMobile goes the extra yard and will often come to you and pick up your device for repair — no waiting on shipping or delivery.

SquareTrade Phone Insurance

SquareTrade, which is now part of Allstate, offers single plan protection for as little as $12.99 per month. It also offers a family plan for $24.99 per month for up to four devices. In addition to providing accident insurance with same-day repairs in some cases, it also features tech support, identity theft protection, and even one Allstate Roadside Assistance service call a year for your car’s needs. Yes, this is the only phone insurance plan that can help you if your car breaks down.

Geek Squad

Geek Squad is the electronics repair and support division of the Best Buy retail stores. They have both a basic plan and complete plan with monthly costs dependent on how much your phone is worth. For the basic plan, you’ll be able to choose between one or two years of coverage. Whereas the complete package only offers the option of two years. It will provide repairs for accidental damage or mechanical issues, and it will even replace your phone’s battery if it no longer holds a charge. The coverage even extends to a phone’s accessories, such as chargers and earbuds. There is a limit of three claims for drops, spills, cracks, mechanical failure, wear and tear, or one-time battery replacement within the term of your plan. However, you only get two claims for loss or theft for every 12 months. 

AppleCare Plus

Last on today’s list, and the way to go for iOS users, is AppleCare Plus. All Apple products start with one year of AppleCare phone insurance as a warranty, but it’s easy to extend that coverage. The plans include battery service and up to two incidents of damage coverage. If you have AppleCare, screen replacements will run you just $29. Any other damage is $99, and you can add theft protection to replace your device for $149.

Do you really need mobile phone insurance?

Cracked Pixel 4 XL screen 2

Of course, this article is for people who think they need insurance for their smartphones. If you have a mid-range or a high-end device, getting such a plan might be a good idea. However, suppose you want to purchase a phone that doesn’t have the most up-to-date hardware or features for everyday use. In that case, it might be best to buy a cheaper phone without a contract, which can be replaced with a bit of cost if it gets damaged, lost, or stolen, without having to pay any monthly fees or deductible claims.

There’s also the option of purchasing a tough and sturdy case for your phone to help protect it from any spills or drops. It may bulk up your phone, but it’s a lot cheaper than spending money on insurance for any accidental damage.

Our best advice for purchasing phone insurance is to determine what kinds of needs you want for such a plan. If you want to protect against damage or mechanical failure, you can likely purchase a cheaper plan, but if you want more coverage, especially for lost or stolen phones, be prepared to pay more.