Are Cell Phone Insurance Plans Worth It?
With the growth and popularity of cellular phones, there is a consumer urge to know that we are protected if issues arise. Consumers carry their mobile devices everywhere they go, whether it be at the office desk or on the hiking trails. It can be very easy to lose, drop, break, or get your cell phone stolen in the blink of an eye. With the dependency on technology and what the cell phone provides, what protections do consumers have? We all think that the cell phone providers give us a cheap and easy way to replace or repair our cellular phones should we have a problem, but how many have actually used the cell phone insurance provided by mobile providers?
For the record, mobile phone providers do not usually provide the cell phone insurance that consumers pay extra per month for. The service is usually provided by a third party, such as Asurion. This technology insurance company is the insurance provider for Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Providers like Verizon and AT&T charge consumers a monthly fee to have access to the services by Asurion and the fee will depend on your phone and plan. Most insurance will cost around $4.99 a month and goes up from there.
Consumers are quick to answer yes when they are being sold a new phone or upgrading at their wireless providers store. While it may seem to be a good deal, do you stop and think about what you may be actually getting for the money? Both Verizon and AT&T provide each account holder up to 30 days to add the cell phone insurance coverage whether they are getting new service or upgrading phones. With the 30 days, you can get the terms and conditions of the cell phone insurance and go over it with a fine tooth comb. This time will provide you with the insight of what process you have to go through in order to get your phone repaired or replaced. Some may find that they monthly fee is not worth the hassle.
On top of the monthly fee, there tends to be a non-refundable deductible if you need your phone repaired or replaced. Verizon charges $39 for what they describe as "phones" and $89 for "advanced devices". AT&T charges a tiered system that is $50 for tier 1 devices and $125 for tier 2 devices. Each claim that is submitted has to be approved before phones will be repaired or replaced. The largest issue with cell phone insurance plans is that when phones need to be replaced, most consumers are left with a different device. The cell phone insurance provider is allowed to substitute the replacement with something "similar" to the broken device if an exact substitute is not available. This could leave the consumer with missing or unwanted features. Replacement phones are often shipped without the broken phones data, so the consumer is left to gather that lost information on their own.
While cell phone insurance can be good for people that tend to lose or break their phone regularly, it may not be the right move for the "average" user. If you do not have a high-end smart phone that costs a couple hundred dollars, then skipping the cell phone coverage should be considered. There can be a lot of hoops that might have to jumped through in order to get your phone repaired or replaced and many times you can purchase a new replacement for same as the insurance deductible. It is wise to remember that since the insurance is through a third party, that many mobile providers are unable to assist with getting claims processed. This factor is just another point to think about when considering purchasing cell phone insurance.