4 startling things about cellphone insurance

You forsaken your cellphone (again). And this time, it was into a pool.

Thankfully, we opted for cellphone word — though how many do we unequivocally know about your plan?

You’re substantially wakeful that policies cover lost, stolen or shop-worn phones. What we competence not know, however, could fill a book — and it would be a intolerable read. Consider this a Cliffs Notes.

1. Your deductible could equal a volume we paid for your phone. Right now, we can buy a new iPhone 6S with a two-year agreement from Sprint for $199.99. To word it, we competence pointer adult for Sprint’s Total Equipment Protection, that costs $11 per month. But mangle that glossy new phone, and your word deductible will be $200.

That’s since carriers heavily financial cellphone prices when we pointer a contract. The sell cost for an iPhone 6S is scarcely $650. Installment plans, that mostly need no upfront remuneration for a phone, simply widespread a cost out over your agreement term.

2. You don’t have to buy word from your carrier. Wireless carriers are in a business of offered phones, not insuring them. For that, they rest on a third party, typically a association called Asurion. So if you’re looking to switch carriers since of a bad claims experience, know that you’ll expected be traffic with a same insurer elsewhere.

But we customarily don’t have to get word by your carrier. Companies like SquareTrade will cover your device opposite repairs and defects for a fragment of what carriers typically charge.

3. You have small control over your replacement. If we make a claim, your word association will try to give we a deputy of a same make and indication — though they don’t have to. So your new phone could be a opposite tone or type. It competence not even be new.

“To be means to get a patron behind in a same make and model, we use a brew of both new and refurbished phones to safeguard adequate register is available,” says Bettie Colombo, a spokeswoman for Asurion.

4. You can get forsaken from your devise for creation a claim. Most word providers top your claims during dual in a 12-month time frame. This can be a problem for a quite accident-prone. The difficulty is, those are a people for whom cellphone word creates a many sense.

If you’re severe with your phone, cellphone word is a correct investment. But some-more than half of American adults have never shop-worn or mislaid a cellphone, according to a new investigate by Verizon.

If you’re among them, keep in mind that we could spend hundreds in premiums over dual years and never make a explain — and if we do, a deductible could be as high as $200 for a top-tier smartphone.

Cellphone word skeleton by carrier

These simple word options cover lost, stolen or shop-worn phones. They don’t cover phone malfunctions, though carriers mostly offer extended warranties finished with insurance. Customers are typically singular to dual claims in a 12-month period.

Verizon

Monthly fee: $7.15 (smartphones), $5 (basic phones, tablets).

Deductible: $99-$199 (smartphones), $49-$199 (basic phones, tablets).

ATT

Monthly fee: $7.99.

Deductible: $50-$199, depending on device. Could dump by 25% to 50% with a company’s disappearing deductible program.

Sprint

Monthly fee: $9-$11

Deductible: $50-$200, depending on device.

T-Mobile

Monthly fee: $10.

Deductible: $20-$175.

Other Insurance Options

AppleCare+

Cost: $99-$129 for dual years of coverage.

Covers: Damage (two incidents) and phone malfunctions.

Deductible: $79 or $99 per incident, depending on model.

SquareTrade

Cost: $119 for dual years of coverage.

Covers: Damage and phone malfunctions.

Deductible: $99 for all claims.

Also consider

Homeowners/renters insurance

Extended guaranty on credit label purchases

MORE: Best cellphone plans

MORE: 4 ways to get a cellphone devise with no credit check

MORE: 3 stairs to anticipating a inexpensive cellphone plan

Kelsey Sheehy is a staff author at NerdWallet, a personal financial website. Email: ksheehy@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @KelseyLSheehy.

NerdWallet is a USA TODAY calm partner providing ubiquitous news, explanation and coverage from around a Web. Its calm is constructed exclusively of USA TODAY.

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