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Smartphones are getting bigger, more powerful and more flashy with each and every generation. They are also becoming arguably more fragile. Instead of phones that were half keyboard, half display from a few years back, the vast majority of smartphones are now all-touchscreen phones with giant 4-inch (or greater) displays. Not to mention, they are now covered by glass as opposed to plastic coatings (for resistive touch input) before. (Plastic covers did, however, lead to a lot of busted LCDs, too.)

Despite some cell phone makers adopting Gorilla Glass, a chemically hardened glass to combat breaks and scratches, phones still break and screens still shatter. The glass cover of the display isn't the only breakable part of a phone. Quite often, in fact, internals can get jarred around and break loose before the display will shatter. Or maybe the LCD will bust while the glass stays intact. There are a hundred different things that can happen when you drop a phone, and it will always happen when you least expect it.

The obvious solution is to either not drop your phone, or to put it in a protective case. Even then, cases aren't always perfect and don't always do their job. For example, I dropped my iPhone on concrete from shoulder-high about a month ago. Despite being in a very tight-fitting case, the phone landed on one of its corners and the phone went one way (onto the asphalt, as my luck would have it) and the case went the other (into the grass, go figure). As you would expect, my heart stopped. But I was lucky and the phone only suffered minor scuffs. Call me crazy, but I don't think the case was designed to shoot off of the phone in the event that I drop my phone.

The sure shot way to protect your phone is by paying for a protection plan. Depending on where you buy your phone and which carrier you use, your protection plan – or insurance – can differ. But most of them are similar; you pay a monthly fee and if any physical damage (water damage is usually excluded) is done to your phone, you pay a deductible and a refurbished or “re-manufactured” phone will be sent to you in the mail.

This is nothing new. Cell phone insurance has been around for ages, but it's something people have never wanted to pay for. Owning a smartphone is expensive enough as it is. Paying an extra $5 to $15 per month (also per phone) can be a tough call to make on top of expensive data plans. I know several people who have upgraded to a smartphone and made a trade-off – canceling their insurance – to justify paying for the extra data fee.

While working in wireless sales, the hardest part of the entire sale was convincing customers that an insurance plan was worth their money. More often than not, the customers had no idea that by signing a contract, they were paying a reduced price for their phone. Trying to explain that the pocket-sized computer they just bought was actually worth $600 instead of $100 was often more trouble than it was worth. I wouldn't want to pay $14.99 per month for insurance either if I thought the phone was only worth $100. Nonetheless, some insurance plans are better than others and come with added perks, like covering lost or stolen phones, etc. And not all insurance is bad or overpriced.

That said, I don't practice what I preach. (So shoot me.) I do not pay for insurance of any sort for my phones. I run the risk of having to go out and throw down several hundred dollars for another unsubsidized phone if mine breaks. But I switch phones so often that the odds of me breaking one of them and not having a backup are pretty slim. It's happened before, but to me, it's worth not paying yet another fee every month. I have quite a few friends that refuse to pay for insurance, too. Of course, this leads them to contact me when their phone breaks and ask if I have any phones laying around that they can buy off of me – actually, this is about the only interaction I get on Facebook anymore.

I can't tell you how many smartphone users walking around in the Charlotte Metro area with a busted display. This tells me that they do not pay for insurance either. I'm curious, guys and gals. Do you pay for insurance for your phone? Or does the price outweigh the benefits?


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87 Reactions to this post

"Do you pay for a protection plan for your phone?"


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Ateeb Tallaat Khan No...that's what a ballistic cover is for
Elisha Mitchell Nanney @Zach Cline- sprint is planing to release the newest iPhone this October
Erman Guido Hell NO!! :O
Luis Lopez No, I take my chances, but for an iPhone I'll make an exception. However I take excellent care of my electronics, in fact back in February my iPod nano died and I went to the Apple Store to have it replaced and the Apple employees were impressed of how brand new it looked. Still technology isn't entirely reliable and will sometimes without warning malfunction on its own.
Ryan DeClue Sure do! My phone so much as gets dirty, and Sprint replaces it at no charge. On my 4th Evo 4G :-)
Adrian Salazar Jr. Yes on my HTC sensation, have a co-worker who lost his sensation and now is using a flip phone lmfao
Kevin Joel No, I do not have protection plan, I am careful not to drop mine, but if I do, its an excuse to get a new one :D
Angel Miguel Peguero no insurance but i will oay it when i get my epictouch tommorow
Larry Waters Yes. I take good care of my phone but accidents and acts of God can happen. The cost of replacing a current high-end smartphone without activating a new line justifies the cost of the insurance to me.
Lucas Haas I have sprint and the Epic 4g insurance is a must have sure ill have to pay 100 bucks when I lose it.. but its deffently better than buying a new phone. and yes they are getting more fragile.. maybe not the evo 3d that thing is fairly solid!
Jean Pacrim Hell no!!! With a 50 to $100 deductible too damn expensive
Jean Pacrim $8 Bucks x 24mos =$192..
Romeo Cyril No, i just use a condom:)
Lance Johnson Nope, the cost is too high. I will take my chances and if something does happen Ill go to cheap phone from craigslist for voice and text only and drop my data until Im eligible for a phone upgrade. I cant justify paying over $100/yr besides having another $100 deductible on top of that. And Im going without for a HTC Tbolt too. If I have 1 out of 3 phones damaged or lost Ill be ahead in the long run.
Jeff Daunis You bet!!
Fan OfDreaming If u mean insurance, the answer is yes
Zach Cline @Mark fisher- Sprint isn't getting the iphone.
Arron Bartlett Not when you pay more than your phones worth over your 2year contract! Seriously, do the maths! (I would rather save money and replace my phone myself. Not that that's ever happened yet)
Winston Bhagirath If you don't you will pay one way pay the other....
David L. Clark AppleCare has replaced four iPhone 3GS of mine. One was water damaged (red indicator, even), one was dropped and the display cables came disconnected (was in Otterbox, so no sign of abuse - Apple couldn't contest that one), and another would not sync to iTunes. Don't remember the other one. Point is, if you keep your iPhone securely wrapped in a nice case, AppleCare is all you need. I have heard horror stories about TigerDirect, SquareTrade, and others. Best Buy Black Tie program is a great program also.
Pierce Geoffrey Hohenstein Not an Apple protection plan but I have insurance
Joseph Alan Richardson Nope. I plan on getting rid of this phone soon anyway.
Ed Plnia i do! but only one time a need to use it, now they are charging $8.00 monthly abusing us
Mark Fisher Jr. Im not getting a iphone til spint gets it.
Kenny Hernandez Dude get ghost armor
Henry Lavender No, the money you spend on the plan may as well pay for any repairs or a new handset. Or buy a case to protect from most accidents
Matt Allen Never paid for insurance, the deductables are outrageous, and I don't like refurbished devices. When. I cracked the screen on the mytouch 3g iordred a new one off eBay for 30 dollars and replaced it myself. Just replaced the digitizer and screen on a friends thunderbolt with no problems.
Gaspar Heller I do. $7 a month to Sprint.
Jose Medina Had it canvelled it bc the deductable was 130 when I paid 150 for the phone.
Will Cowell Yes you just never know especially if u have kids
Rozie Martinez Yes I had insurance but I canceled it because its not worth it! It doesn't cover anything plus I had to pay a deductable. So I'm paying 8 bucks a month and if my phone breaks I have to pay 100 bucks to get a new one when the phone now is only worth 50 bucks! Lame so not worth it!
Dylan Habkirk 13 bucks a month from future shop on my 9900
Boss Roberts Yes.. I think insurance is a must have mostly because of the possibility of damaging the screen..
Jacob Bessey Yes I usually take care of my phone but its nice to have the extra protection just to be on the safe side that something does go wrong or if its stolen. Phones now a days are to expensiveto replace at full retail price.
Kuya Vince Rap Tu I'll only pay if it was for my phone to protect me in any situation.
Sylbert Joseph I've had cellphones since 2003, and i've never needed to use insurance. I almost never drop my phone, and keep it immaculate. If a phone is defective, it will come under the one year replacement agreement. You should play it safe, and get insurance, but if you're good with caring for electronics, you don't need it
Leon Smitherman Yep, AppleCare on my iPhone 4. They already replaced it once (no charge) so it's paid off big time!
Skye Villanueva My family plan is covered by best buy warranty.
Guillermo De León No. I take care of my stuff.
Eddie Cobb Nope I have an otter box it does the job nicely
Joe Czo Nope! I don't wanna spend money on something that I might not even use. So far I've been good to my Verizon iPhone 4. If it breaks I have my Droid 3 just in case.
Justin Alan Smith No because it's called a "pocket."
Joel Gomez It shouldn't be necessary. A well designed phone should withstand normal impact. The iphone 4 is too fragile. After 5 iterations they might finally have learned a lesson. Practical before looks.
Derrick Stevenson Geek squad black tie protection baby! No deductible rapid exchange!
Penny Kelly I have insurance through my serrvice carrier at $8.00 per month. Thanks to all yous guys that mentioned the name of your carriers...I'll check them out as well...
Nicolas Crespin Hell ya!! 70 dollars or 1000 dollars. Kinda a no brainer!!!
Jason Lane Yeah got a discount with squaretrade
Diego Akd Aranda yes of course
John Stephens Yes. TigerDirect offers a great one.
Isaac Johnson Meaning insurance, yes. Never used it. Hope i dont have to. But I take great care of my phones.
Stephanie MeineLiebe When I had my blackberry, the plan was awesome because they replaced it as soon as it was lost or stolen. Apple doesn't replace their phones. And their protection plan that comes with the phone is only good for one year. That's all I need really. Plus an Otterbox to protect the phone itself.
Tim Moore I take pretty good care of my phone. My next one though I might cave. My child will be a toddler then so... you can guess why.
Shannon Smith I always have insurance on my phones, you are just plain stupid if you dont these days.
Jose Ocampo Only pay $7 with Sprint and its handy when u "miss place" your as often as i do
Mark Gittens I have premium hanset protection but I have never used it ( knock on wood) but I take excellent care of my phone but itz better to be safe than sorry or an iphone owner lol
Harold Crump I have mine through Best Buy. 9.99 a month no stupid deductible if I need my phone replaced.
David Long And I have a case
Jordan Jodore Crosland I have insurance on every phone I've had now I have it on my iPhone 4
David Long I didnt get AppleCare too expensive but I have a one year warranty
Susie Tracey No... I buy off Craigslist or eBay. I never want to be stuck to a company for 2 years again!
Scott Schumacher For what phones cost out of contract you would have to be a dumb ass not to have it
Kyle Pvirre I did for the first two years of my plan, but I just upgraded, and took it off my plan. 8 dollars a month for 2 years and never once used it. So I'll keep that money in my pocket.
Benny Lane Jr. Yep I'm always losing my phone or dropping it causing the screen to crack.
Cheri Moushey Roby Co pays sucks then Bill gotta be paid.
Wei Zhann Getting phone changed once a year is a norm and not very environmentally friendly.
Don Ovan I'm obviously not a deranged monkey.....
George Kosta Petroff I upgrade yearly also, and really treat my phone well. Screen protector etc.
Anthony Evans Jr need to remove ausron from the proection plans and use a new company ausrion is ripping people off
Derek Simmerman Square Trade for two years! They cover it all. Either that or add it to your insurance. It's really cheap to do.
Dexler De Jesus Nope...i often change my phone...
Johnny Cababe Nope. I upgrade yearly.
Christa Rucker Yes I do.. Mistakes happen
Gabe Karl I used to work for Sprint/Nextel so I am aware of the benefits of the protection plan
Athena Athens Yes and I already used it. I have insurance through verizon/ aussrion
Gabe Karl for my Mom yes
Arnulfo Aviña Torrés No. I know how to take care of my phones..!




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