We now have reached a point where many flagship phones cost over $1,000 without a contract. Tens of millions of people now put small, expensive devices in their pockets, bags or purses that can be dropped, stolen or otherwise damaged. If you’re in this category – or if you 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 a number of phone insurance plans available for Android and iOS devices owners, and also discuss whether or not you need a smartphone insurance plan in the first place.
Editor’s note: We will update this list of the best phone insurance plans regularly.
Carrier phone insurance
Many people choose to buy expensive smartphones from a wireless carrier. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and US Cellular all sell optional insurance and protection plans for their phones. Let’s take a look at what’s available.
Major U.S. wireless carrier insurance plans
- U.S. Cellular
AT&T offers three insurance plans for their smartphones with monthly fees. For $8.99 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 percent if you don’t file a claim for six months or more. You are allowed two claims for 12 months, with the maximum value per claim of $1,500.
If you pay $11.99 a month, you get everything in the cheaper plan, plus free access to the company’s ProTech support. It also includes 50GB of free cloud storage with AT&T’s Photo Storage app and identity protection. Finally, there’s the $34.99 a month plan, which covers up to three smartphones, tablets, and even laptops. The photo cloud storage goes up to 300GB, plus there’s identity protection and you can make up to six claims over a 12 month period. AT&T also offers a screen repair plan with an $89 deductible and a one-year warranty.
We like the fact that AT&T cuts the deductible fee if you don’t file a claim for six months or more, but we think that 50GB and 300GB of cloud storage is a bit small for what you are paying per month for the $11.99 and $34.99 fees.
Verizon offers what it calls Total Mobile Protection for devices. Basic phones and tablets are covered for $12 a month, and smartphones are covered for $15 a month. Verizon also offers Total Mobile Protection Multi-Device for $45 a month, which covers three lines on an account, and you can add more lines for $11 a month for each additional line, up to seven more lines.
Total Mobile Protection and its Multi-Device version replace lost, stolen, or damaged devices with a new one, or one that’s been certified as “like-new”, that 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 cracked screen repairs.
While we think offering shared claims on the Total Mobile Protection Multi-Device plans is a great idea, it’s too bad that Verizon’s insurance doesn’t offer cloud storage like AT&T’s plan.
Customers on Sprint can sign up for a mobile phone insurance plan called Sprint Complete that costs either $15 or $19 per month, depending on your device. If your phone breaks outside of the warranty period, Sprint Complete can fix it, but you will have to pay a deductible of between $225 and $275. The service offers up to three claims in a 12-month pay period, along with a maximum replacement value of $2,000. The replacement phone could be sent to you as soon as the next business day. If your smartphone display is cracked, Sprint Complete lets you take it to one of the carrier’s stores and it can be repaired for as low as $29, although the price could go as high as $140, again depending on your device.
The Sprint Complete service also has an app, and if you sign up for the service you also get unlimited high-resolution cloud storage for your photos and videos. It also has password protection and online tech support for the phone. Overall, the price of the service is pretty reasonable, and the unlimited cloud storage for photos and videos is very nice.
If you want to get your phone from T-Mobile, the carrier has its basic Device Protection plan. It costs between $6 and $14 a month, depending on your device. If your phone experiences a mechanical failure, T-Mobile Device Protection covers all of the costs, with no deductible. Accidental damage, or the loss or theft of the phone, does have a deductible fee, which can range from just $10 to $249. The maximum device replacement value is $1,200.
T-Mobile also has what it calls Protection 360. It costs between $7 and $15 a month, 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, along with support from Tech PHD by Assurant. 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.
The fifth biggest US carrier claims it has something better than normal 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 if they are lost, stolen, damaged or have a mechanical failure, with deductible fees ranging from $50 to $175. Your replacement phone is available the next business day, and also get 20GB of cloud backup space. The advanced plan cost $11.99 a month and offers the same deductible fees for the loss or theft of a phone, but accidental damage fees are reduced to either $50 or $99. Your data cloud storage space goes up to 100GB as well and you get 90 days of credit monitoring for free.
US Cellular’s plans don’t sound too different from its rivals, although we do like the credit monitoring feature in case someone steals your phone and finds any financial information on it.
Third-party phone insurance plans
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 Premium Care (Samsung phones only)
- Worth Ave Group
Samsung Premium Care
Samsung covers its most recent flagship phones, including the Galaxy S10 series, with its own Samsung Premium Care mobile insurance. It costs $11.99 a month and offers an extended warranty for your Samsung Galaxy phone, along with up to three claims per 12 months for accidental damage to your Samsung phone. The amount of the deductible is, of course, dependent of which Galaxy phone you have under the Samsung Premium Care plan. It also provides for round-the-clock setup assistance and remote technical support.
Worth Ave. Group
Based in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Worth Ave. Group offers smartphone insurance for iOS, Android and even Windows Mobile phones. It offers one, two, and three-year coverage plans that start as low as $4 a month, depending on the phone, with a minimum of a $50 deductible. In addition to covering phones from accidental and mechanical damage, it also covers theft, cracked screen damage coverage, and more. You can purchase plans for your new phone, or even for older or refurbished devices, and it offers an unlimited number of claims.
This smartphone insurance option sounds on the surface like an excellent way to protect your phone, but we do wish it also included some tech support options as well.
SquareTrade, which was recently acquired by Allstate, offers what it calls Phone Protection Plus for $11.99 a month. 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 even help you if your car breaks down.
Geek Squad is the electronics repair and support division of the Best Buy retail stores. Geek Squad Coverage offers any smartphone user some extra protection for $8.99 a month. It will offer 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 its charger and earbuds. If you pay $10.99 a month, it adds protection for lost or stolen phones. There is a limit of three claims within 24 months, with service fees for each claim that range from $149.99 to $299.99.
We like the fact that this coverage extends to batteries and accessories, but the prices and the high service fees are a bit of a downer for the Geek Squad.
Do you really need mobile phone insurance?
Of course, this article is for people who think they need insurance for their smartphone. If you have a mid-range or a high-end device, getting such a plan might be a good idea. However, if you just want to purchase a phone for everyday use that doesn’t have the most up-to-date hardware or features, it might be best to buy a cheaper phone without a contract, which can be replaced with little 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 figure out what kinds of needs you want for such a plan. If you just 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.