Life Hacks

Cell Phone Protection Plan: Is Smartphone Insurance Worth Buying?

July 27, 2021

The market for smartphone insurance is expected to grow to a whopping $32 billion by 2025, reports show, indicating that more and more people are beginning to understand the costs associated with phone repair (and want to avoid it). And, sure, smartphone insurance isn’t for everybody. However, if you’ve paid a lot for your phone and don’t want to have to pay the price of a whole new one just to repair any damage that occurs, insurance might be for you.

How Much Does Cell Phone Repair Cost?

Let’s say you opt not to get insurance for your phone or that your insurance (such as AppleCare, which comes with most new iPhones) lapses. Then, you break your phone or it gets stolen. Now what? Well, if you don’t have any sort of insurance, you’ll have to replace the phone entirely in the event that it’s been stolen. If it’s just been damaged then you’ll need to repair it at full price for the service.

For most users, the most common type of phone damage is water damage, which can cost around $50 to fix. A broken screen on an iPhone, however, can cost upwards of $100 per screen. A cracked screen on a Samsung S8+ can cost close to $300. If anything else has broken, such as the camera, a processor, or the battery’s just getting old, fixing it can get pretty expensive. 

Cell Phone Protection Plan: Is Smartphone Insurance Worth Buying? | Cheese Debit Card
Apple Official Phone Repair Pricing without Phone Protection

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that you don’t usually encounter these types of repairs often. Ask yourself, how many times in the past one to five years have you broken your phone and needed to replace it? If the answer is “not at all,” then you likely don’t need to waste money on phone insurance. If you dropped it more than a few times and it could use a major update at the end of each year, insurance could be a good idea for you.

How Much Does Phone Insurance Cost?

Cell Phone Protection Plan: Is Smartphone Insurance Worth Buying? | Cheese Debit Card
Phone Protection Prices

One of the best ways to gauge whether or not phone insurance is right for you is to compare the cost of monthly phone insurance plans against the cost of any potential damage. As mentioned above, if you know that you drop your phone quite a bit and are pretty rough with it, insurance could save you hundreds of dollars down the road.

AT&T phone insurance starts at $8.99 per month per number and allows you to make two claims every 12 months. At just over $100 a year, you have to weigh this cost against the cost of any potential repairs you’d need, keeping in mind that AT&T and Sprint both use the same insurance company, Asurion, while T-Mobile and Verizon use a separate company called Assurant. This means that insurance plans directly via carriers don’t vary much in what they offer if you purchase it directly through them. For upgraded insurance services, it’s better to compare pricing and get quotes from third-party providers. Or, you can check with the phone manufacture company directly, such as Apple, Samsung, or Huawei.

What Does Phone Insurance Include?

If you still think that purchasing phone insurance is the correct option for you, you’ll want to make sure that the insurance plan you purchase covers the type of damage you’re worried about. If you have an Apple phone, for example, AppleCare covers protection from drops, spills, and cracked screens. The Walmart protection plan for phones is similar in price and in terms of what it covers, but the only downside is that you won’t receive support and service from an Apple-certified tech.

In general, a good, comprehensive phone insurance plans should cover:

  • Theft
  • Water Damage
  • Cracked Screens
  • Internal Defects

While addressing the issue of theft, however, it’s important to note that, more often than not, home insurance plans and other types of personal insurance protect you and your belongings as well. If your phone has been stolen and you don’t have insurance on it, check your home insurance plan to see if it’s covered.

But, what about the costs? AppleCare+ is included for a year with the purchase of every new iPhone, but you’ll have to pay a deductible for certain services. The deductible is $29 for screen damage, and the plan doesn’t cover loss or theft at all. Samsung Premium Care is $12 per month and requires you to pay a $99 deductible for screen damage. However, you’re able to replace your phone up to three times per year.

A Better Alternative to Traditional Cell Phone Protection

Cell phone insurance can be expensive, especially if you are trying to cover multiple phones. However, there’s now a cheaper alternative. Cheese has partnered with Mastercard to offer a unique benefit to our users.

As long as you pay your phone bills with the Cheese Debit Card, which is a Mastercard, you are eligible for a protection plan with a $500 annual claim (up to $250 per damage event).

How does it work? 

You become eligible for coverage the first day of the calendar month following the payment of your cell phone bill with your Mastercard (i.e. your Cheese Debit Card). If, however, you fail to make a payment or use another card, they’ll suspend your coverage the first day of the following calendar month. To avoid this, simply set up automatic payments!

There are a few things to keep in mind here. The coverage offered is only $250 per event and a deductible could apply. Keep in mind that you must also report claims within 90 days of the incident or damage for it to qualify. Learn more about it here (be sure to enter your Cheese card number).

Protect Your Tech & Your Finances

Unexpected costs are never fun, especially when they come from a damaged phone that you use every single day. Planning for unexpected costs is a great way to safeguard against any major surprises or issues when it comes time to pay the bill. With Cheese, that’s easy.

To protect your finances, sign up for a Cheese Debit Card at no cost to you. You’ll enjoy:

❌ No Monthly Fee                                     🧀️ $5 cash bonus    

❌ No ATM Fee                                          🧀️ Up to 10% cashback with every purchase/transaction

❌ No Overdraft Fee                                  🧀️ Potential Double Cheese Cashback

❌ No Insufficient Fund Fee                       🧀️ Up to 3% Deposit Bonus

❌ No Minimum Balance Requirement      🧀️ Early Paycheck

Plus, don’t forget...if you pay your phone bill with your Cheese Debit Card, you can take advantage of the Mastercard protection plan. Sign up for your Cheese account today to get started or go ahead and download the free mobile app on the App Store or Google Play Store.