What to Know About Mobile Phone Insurance in 2021
87 million Americans had some sort of smartphone damage last year. That’s nearly a third of everybody in the country, meaning that we all should probably be investing more in mobile phone insurance, especially given how expensive phones are these days.
If you’re paying thousands of dollars for a brand new smartphone and want to protect your investment, it’s a good idea to have it covered with phone insurance. Whether that comes from the phone carrier itself as an incentive for purchasing the phone or you get it elsewhere, it’s a good idea to cover everything from theft to broken glass to simple technical failures.
Not sure what’s included in phone insurance? Here’s everything you need to know about mobile phone insurance in 2021 to help you make your decision.
What is Mobile Phone Insurance?
Mobile phone insurance is a form of coverage that protects your mobile device in the event of theft, loss, software or mechanical damage.
Typically, mobile phone insurance can be purchased with an initial deductible from $0 to $99 and monthly premiums between $10-$30 per month. However, plans vary from provider to provider. In general, you'll pay less for mobile phone insurance if you buy it as part of a bundle when purchasing your new cell phone.
iPhone insurance, for example, can be purchased straight through Apple, which costs between $99-199 for the first two years of coverage. However, that plan only covers two incidents and comes with a deductible ($29 for screen damage, for example). Other phone protection plans range from about $8-15 per month and also include deductibles.
Why You Need Mobile Phone Insurance
If you’re clumsy or put your phone through a lot of wear and tear, it can make sense to take out phone insurance for sure. Why? Depending on what you damage, without insurance you could be looking at paying nearly the cost of the entire phone in repairs.
Consumer Reports shows that the average cost of a screen repair for a Samsung phone is just over $275, for example. Other common repairs such as a charging failure, power button failure, and camera problems average around $75-100 per repair. While that might not seem like a lot, if you’re constantly breaking your phone during the entire time you have it (at least a few years), those repairs can add up.
Cell phone insurance is just like any other insurance in that it might sound like a costly monthly investment that you likely won’t use. However, as soon as you do need it, you’ll be glad you’ve got it.
Why might it not be a good idea to take out insurance for your smartphone? If you’ve never damaged or lost your phone in the last two years, chances are that you’ll be fine without the insurance. As well, you might not need to take out additional phone insurance if one of your other insurance plans cover it. Check your home insurance plan if you have one to see if things like theft of personal belongings or phone damage is included.
Is the Cost of Phone Insurance Worth It?
To answer this question, you’re going to have to do some math. First, you’ll have to calculate the retail cost of your phone. Let’s say you have an iPhone 11. In 2021, the retail price of that phone is about $700.
Let’s say you’ve also decided to take out iPhone insurance in the form of Apple Care+. The cost of that for two years comes out to a total of $219 with theft and lost protection. If, during those two years, you need to repair your screen, you’ll end up paying $29 for that versus the $200 that you would if you didn’t have insurance. So, the phone insurance actually comes out to be more expensive there.
However, if during those two years you need a screen replacement twice, have to repair the headphone jack, and need to replace the battery, your total would be about $575 for all of those repairs instead of the $477 that it would cost you for the price of insurance and deductibles. That’s $100 in savings.
What Are Some of the Best Cell Phone Insurance Plans in 2021?
This is one of the most well-known phone insurance plans, in part due to their impressively low rates and the fact that they insure even older phones. This phone insurance plan is especially great for families and allows up to four to eight claims per year.
Plans with SquareTrade cover screen damage, touchscreen issues, water damage, audio and speaker failure, battery failure, and charging port failure. While plans come as low as $8.99 per month for single device coverage, it’s important to note that deductibles are pretty high at $149 regardless of the damage.
Have car insurance with Progressive? You can get your phone insurance through them too! Unlike SquareTrade, Progressive is super flexible with their plan options, catering to those who want coverage based on the phone type and terms.
If you’re an existing Progressive customer, you can get a 5% discount on your premium, which already comes cheap as $8 to $10 per month. Deductibles are a bit cheaper than SquareTrade as well, coming in at just $75.
Asurion phone insurance plans rank top due to the ease with which you can file a claim. And, the fair pricing plans don’t hurt either. These plans are typically purchased straight through your phone carrier and come with a monthly fee of $12 to $15.
And, while Asurion does offer deductibles as low as $9, newer phones come with higher deductibles for repairs. Similar to Apple Care+, however, screen damage costs a nice $29.
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).
How to Finance a Fix
Need to finance a fix and don’t have mobile phone insurance? Instead of a mobile protection plan, it’s easy to save while you swipe with a Cheese Debit Card. Instead of paying a costly monthly fee for insurance that you may or may not use, plan on saving a bit more each month that you can put towards emergency fixes or other phone issues.
With the Cheese Debit Card, you can enjoy savings perks of up to 10% cashback at select stores and up to a 3% deposit bonus. With those kinds of savings, you’ll be able to put some cash back each month to put towards any unforeseen emergencies that arise. Plus, you can enjoy these other perks, too:
❌ 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% Saving Bonus
❌ No Minimum Balance Requirement 🧀️ Early Paycheck
❌ No Int. Incoming Wire Transfer Fee 🔐 FDIC Insured
To get started, download the Cheese mobile banking app. Create an account in minutes and then start saving!