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iPhone Insurance: Why do you need it and who has the best coverage?

Right now, your iPhone or Android smartphone is worth more than the contents of your wallet. The eBay market value for a two-year-old iPhone 4 in good condition is about $230. The overseas market value for a GSM phone (AT&T) is about double that. As a result, robbers now go after the phone instead of “requesting” your wallet. The phone is easier to snatch and run.

This has become a major problem, with police in larger metropolitan areas recommending people don’t use Apple’s trademark white ear bud headphones because it attracts too much attention to the phone and invites theft.

When traveling overseas, iPhones and Android phones have become an indispensable travel accessory and camera in one easy to carry device. Stories abound of people who have travelled to countries like Greece and Turkey and had their iPhones stolen out of pockets within 20 minutes of walking off the boat.

Even with all the security we deal with getting on airplanes, our possessions aren’t always secure as we would like to believe, on the way back from Europe. Easy enough to lose an item on a flight as it slides around under your seat—but it seems just as likely the flight attendant might have stolen it.

So much for the dangers of theft. And if someone’s not trying to steal the your electronic equipment from you, gravity is going to do its best to destroy it. Drop it the wrong way and the screen is trashed, resulting in a large repair bill.

Given how important your iPhone, iPad, and laptop are to your life, insuring them can be a very sensible idea. You would think it is covered by your homeowner’s insurance but take a closer look at your policy. Most have a $500 or $1000 deductible. This eliminates any real insurance benefit for something like an iPhone, an iPad or most laptops. Most homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover your electronics outside the USA when you are traveling.

There are several major sources of insurance for your iPhone. You can buy it from Apple, get it from your carrier like AT&T, or Verizon, from a third party like TripInsurance.com or from a major department store like BestBuy.

Applecare TripInsurance.com/ Worth Ave Group Squaretrade

Protect Your Bubble

AT&T or Verizon Best Buy
Insurance or Warranty

Warranty

Insurance

Warranty

Insurance

Warranty

Insurance

Limit on claims

2

Unlimited

4

2/year

2/year

1/year

2 year price

$99

$169.10

$94

$143

$168-$240

$14.99/month

Deductable

$49

$50

$50

$120

$99

$0

Accidental Damage Coverage

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Theft

no

yes

no

yes

yes

no

Waiting period

no

no

if used or refurbished – 45 days

14 days

Varies

no

Insures both new and used phones

new only

both new and used

new only

within 12 months of purchase

both new and used

new only

Applecare is one of the most convenient. You buy it at the time you purchase your phone, and Apple extends the manufacturer’s warranty to two years, and covers the phone for up to 2 damage claims. Advantages: If you are close to an Apple store, you can stop in and they will replace the phone on the spot. Disadvantages: no coverage for theft, and it is only available if you buy it when you bought your phone.

TripInsurance.com will insure your iPhone, iPad, computers, and camera equipment. You can buy it on an annual basis, with no limit on claims. Advantages: Will cover any product at any time as long as you have proof of purchase. Includes coverage for theft, and covers the product worldwide. Low deductible. Disadvantages: You may have to mail the damaged product into the claims department for repair or replacement. Must have a police report in the event of theft.

Squaretrade is intended to extend your manufacturers warranty, and includes coverage for damage. Advantage: You can pick where you want to repair the device. Disadvantage: No coverage for theft, and you are limited to up to 4 repairs.

Protect your Bubble is another insurance option. Advantages:They cover loss of the item, not just theft. Disadvantages: Very high deductible for an iPhone ($120). Policy must be purchased within 12 months of getting the insurance and be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

Verizon and AT&T provide an extended warranty for their phones. This generally runs $10 per month per phone. Over a two-year period, that’s $240, or the price of the average upgrade, so you’re paying for the phone again over the two year period. Advantages: Covers loss and theft as well as damage to the phone. Very easy to get a replacement or repair at any company AT&T or Verizon store, or by mail. Disadvantages: Expensive. Deductible is high too ($100).

 

About the author: Dan Skilken is the founder of TripInsurance.com and licensed to sell insurance in all fifty US states.

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