Cell phone insurance is typically a good bet, especially when the costs of buying a new phone vs getting an insurance replacement are extreme. Cell phones are tricky little things, and more often than not, a cell phone will have something go wrong with it before your cell phone contract allows you to get a new phone at a great rate. Here are questions you should ask about your cell phone insurance so you know how covered you really are if something happens to your cell phone.
The first question you should ask is whether the cell phone insurance is offered through your cell phone provider, or an outside source. Always go with the outside cell phone insurance provider if one is offered, since the cell phone insurance is better and covers more issues with your phone. Many cell phone providers have their own cell phone insurance and and outside insurance provider, and you get a choice of which one you want. Compare them side-by-side as far as coverage and cost, and you’ll most likely go with the outside insurance provider.
How long does your insurance cover your cell phone, and can it be renewed? This is big, since most cell phone providers require you to insure your new phone within 30 days of purchase, and when you have the phone for 1 or 2 years, you want to make sure that you are covered. Often, you get a discount if you pay the entire 2 years or 1 year at once (depending on how long the phone is required to be on the cell phone plan before upgrade), but usually if you pay for just one year, you can renew before your expiration date on the same phone for another year at the same coverage. If you miss the renewal insurance date, however, you won’t be able to insure your cell phone again.
What does the cell phone insurance cover? Loss, theft, water damage, technological issues, etc? Some cell phones are not covered by insurance when it falls under warranty (which is a joke- they always send you a refurbished phone), which is typically when the phone freezes a lot, shuts down randomly, overheats, etc. If your cell phone insurance covers technological issues as well as the warranty doing the same, the question you ask now is- which one will send you a new phone, rather than a refurbished one? Which leads to the next question…
If your phone does break, will you be getting a new phone, or a refurbished one? Usually, cell phone insurance through your provider means you will be getting a refurbished phone, where getting insurance offered through the outside source will get you a new one if your phone breaks down. You want to know what type of phone you are getting if your cell phone breaks.
And finally, remember to ask what your cell phone deductible will be if your phone does break or gets lost, stolen, etc. The more advanced the cell phone is, the higher the deductible, but even basic cell phones have a deductible that you have to pay above and beyond your cell phone insurance in order to get a replacement phone. Ask what your deductible will be in advance, so you aren’t totally shocked when you find out what it is when your cell phone tanks on you.
Note: when getting a replacement phone, always remember to send in your broken phone (if you have it) within 30 days to avoid being charged full price for the replacement phone. I saw this happen all the time when I worked for a cell phone company, and it takes about 3 months (or more) after finally returning the broken phone to get reimbursed for your phone charge.
being a former cell phone company customer service rep