Is insurance necessary for your phone?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| November 1, 2012


It’s an argumentative question that I hear debated about all the time. Almost every time you purchase a new device, if you’re in a retail store the associate will most likely ask you if you want to participate in whatever insurance program they are running. Many will say yes, but many will also say no.

I understand that when you hear that $7, $8, or even $11 or $12 being tacked on to your already expensive phone bill it doesn’t sound like much fun. Consider the fact, though, that if your expensive phone breaks beyond functionality, you’re going to have to pay full price in order to get another one, when compared to a smaller lump sum of money if you have insurance. Yeah, it’s still pretty expensive, but I’d rather pay $100 or so for a replacement device than $500 for a brand new device.

Personally, I always carry insurance on whatever device I’m carrying. I prefer some insurance methods over others, such as Sprint’s Total Equipment Protection plan (which covers everything) seems a lot more “doable” for me than Apple’s AppleCare+ plan, which doesn’t cover lost or stolen. However, there are two main reasons I still carry insurance on my device: a toddler, and clumsy tendencies. I always recommend that parents with small children get insurance on their devices for obvious reasons. Kids love technology, and they’ll probably end up getting their hands on your phone one way or another because they’re clever little foxes.

I come across a lot of people who have the “it won’t happen to me” mentality. They think they’re immune to criminal behavior and their phone will never get stolen, or they’ll never forget to pick up their device from the gas station counter or leave it on the top of their car and drive away. Even if you’re addicted to your phone like I am, there might be a time sooner rather than later where you realize you’ve left your phone somewhere, and some swiper came by and swiped your stuff. That’s about the time when you want to be prepared.

I will tell people that insuring your phone is somewhat comparable to insuring your car. Most people’s cell phones are their lifeline now, and since we rely so heavily on them it might be an unpleasant change to have to live life without one by our side (although, I’ve heard that some people welcome the change with open arms, but as welcoming as they may be they always come back because phones just so important whether we like them or not).  Even if you never end up using your insurance, I always find it brings more peace of mind knowing you’re over prepared rather than unprepared.  

Even if you’re not interested in paying extra for insurance, at the very least I recommend keeping a backup device that you can use in case such a situation arises. I have one, because I like knowing that even if I have to wait for a replacement device, I have something to use in the meantime. It might be cracked and have the worst battery life imaginable, but at least it’s something to get me by.

I do feel that insurance is necessary if your phone is important to you, which means it’s definitely necessary for me. Do you carry insurance on your phone? Why or why not? Let me know what you think in the comments!