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Is it a good idea to buy phone insurance?

When buying a new smartphone, most retailers/carriers will give you the option of adding insurance to your new device. Depending on which plan you get and where you're buying your phone at, this can include protection against theft, breaking your phone, and sometimes priority tech support.

This added coverage can be nice to have, but with deductibles sometimes going up to $199 or more, the extra cost that comes with this peace of mind might not be worth it for everyone.

One member of the Android Central forums recently asked if she should get insurance for her new Galaxy S9, and these are a few of the top responses.

There are 2 thinks I would consider. First, what is your comfort level with not having insurance? Second, how well do you generally take care of your phones. In my case, I haven't broken any phones since my first smartphone. So I'm fine with not having insurance. I figure, the money I've saved by not having insurance all this time will easily pay for a replacement.

CKwik240

I've never had insurance. I don't think it makes good financial sense, but if it gives someone peace of mind, or they drop their phones more than usual, it may be worth it to them.

edubb256

This phone has me nervous bc of the curved screen but I'll usually get insurance at least for the first couple months just in case until I get used to the phone and find the proper protection like screen protector and case or I'll do insurance for like the first 6 months or until I can get the same phone used for about the cost of what fixing them would be after the deductible and fees...I...

Beth Hahn

I was using an Otterbox symmetry case on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and I dropped my phone face down from 4 feet on the cement and damaged my screen!. Due to the fact that I did not have insurance on my phone, the cost out of pocket is $250.00, (through tmobile).. the average cost for repairs are $350.00!!!! this is the first time that I have EVER damaged a phone!...I always use the high end...

jerrycau123

Now, we want to hear from you – Do you buy insurance for your phones?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

33 Comments
  • I use an OtterBox Defender for any phone. That's enough protection for me.
  • I tell all my customers "if you want your phone to last 2 years, put it in an OtterBox defender" it's big and ugly though lol
  • OtterBox Commuter with a screen protector is just as good in my opinion and offers far less bulk and is way easier to pocket... unless you need the holster, the commuter is a better choice I think. It's just a shame that they're trying to replace the commuter with the Symmetry case on some phones... the commuter is a far better case in my opinion.
  • I know consumer's like to purchase unlocked phones. For myself I buy thru a carrier. Warranty & if something goes wrong they back it up. And for 11.00 I do buy insurance!
  • Nope. Phone insurance is a scam, IMHO.
  • I used to think insurance was a waste of money but then I started looking at how much I spend on screen protectors and cases over the years and I really hate using them. So, I'm taking a new strategy... No more cases but I'm getting insurance. If I break the phone I'll just pay the $100 deductible and get a new or refurbished one deleivered to me by Samsung.
  • $100 deductible? What insurance is that?
  • .. don't take it in blackjack, nor will I on a phone..
  • I have 10 lines in my account, about 7 of them, have used insurance at least twice in the last two years. Either from breaking the screen and use the device till it dies, or by losing it. One girl is already at her second device in one year.. So no more claims for her till may! We all use good non ugly cases, but it's all luck when it comes to these things. I have insurance on mine because I never know one day, I may get too drunk at a bar or whatever, and don't want to buy a device out of pocket, when I could pay 175. Also, what's 11 bucks a month for peace of mind.
  • I don't trade in (send back a phone worth $300 for a $200 credit) or sell the previous phone; that is my backup phone. I'm careful, I'll take the risk, I've never damaged a smartphone, I'm ahead of the game already by not paying insurance premiums.
  • Once phones past the $650 mark, I started buying insurance. It's pretty foolish to not buy insurance on pixel 2 xl. You're willing to risk another $1000 to buy another phone if you happen damage it, just to save $120, + deductible? People should be educated on the importance of insurance in general. They don't understand an intangible asset that reduces risk and claim its scam. So if that's the case, cancel your car insurance and your health insurance. Good luck to you.
  • So it's less foolish to gamble that I WILL break my phone, something which has never happened? I'd really like to play cards with you... The difference is phone insurance is often redundant anyway. Also, car insurance is a legal requirement, many people would forgo or concern the chance, I could go on about how that's a false equivalency... As for health insurance, I don't have it or need it. I live in a place with a functional public healthcare system lol. For countries that don't, basically the US, it's also a false equivalence. You can reduce your risks, but in the end cancer, heart disease and strokes, not to mention a million other things. can affect anyone. And if you think they carry the same risks and consequences as breaking your phone without insurance, I don't know what to tell you...
  • You're the exact person I'm referring to. As long as your risks don't affect others (which cars and health will), by all means, screw yourself over.. Cards? Lol..
  • In the US it is not a legal requirement to insure your car for repair or replace (AKA full coverage), whereas it is a legal requirement to have liability which covers only the other person's car if you are in an accident with someone else.
  • This is the dumbest thing I've heard today. LOL I never have broken a phone from accidental damage so why would I buy insurance? How many $120 fees would I have paid over the years and never have gotten anything out of it? That's silly. It's no different than extended warranties on other things. The consensus from professionals is to not get them. The opposite of what you claim is more true. It's foolish to buy phone insurance for the overwhelming majority of people.
  • I see you're proud of your ignorance, and you should be. And extended warranties are not even remotely similar. Those are not necessary typically.
  • Not agreeing with you doesn't make someone "ignorant". I'm cancelling insurance on my GS8. I've wasted so much money on insurance and I have my previous phones if my case failed to protect my device. In my many years of smartphone ownership, I've used insurance once and that was before phones were water resistant. Math is math. For 2 years at an average cost of $10, that's $240. Deductibles are getting ridiculous at $200-$250. You can buy a refurbished phone in that price range. Oh, when I did use insurance, they sent me a refurb. I feel that I'm making the smart move here, but I'm sure your retort will be "you're ignorant". Ugh.
  • No, it's usually a ripoff. If it was good value, it wouldn't be so readily available.
  • I'm not going to miss $13/mo but i will miss $400+ if it's been under a year for how much phones are. But I keep my coverage for the extended warranty. One year and one month in I don't want to have to pay for something that's not my fault. No deductible for warranty claims.
  • See, my issue is that I've had a phone for the last 19 years and never destroyed one... So that's $2964 I may as well have set fire to if I'd bought insurance. Not exactly life changing money, but if you're like me a saving account makes a lot more sense.
  • I once worked for a US company that had this policy on company cars; they had the cheapest third party insurance and absorbed all other costs themselves. They worked out that it was cheaper than any of the comprehensive fleet deals they were offered. In the 5 years I had cars, the total cost of repairs was around $1000. There was no way they could have got comprehensive insurance for $200 a year.
  • If insurance companies would guarantee to replace your new phone with a brand new phone it might be worth it. But most insurers say they can replace your device with a used or refurbished device. This might be fair if said device is a year old. But not fair for newer models.
  • Insurance on an expensive phone ( Pixel2 xl) what a waste of money!
    Until you drop it.
    (*explicative now)
    Insurance is not any good until you need it, just when will that be?
    Glad I had it.
  • I've had Android smartphones all the way back to the HTC G1, even before that I had a HTC Mogul, and I have never broke one of them, not even a cracked screen... over the last 11 years or so I would have paid close to $2,000 in premiums, and don't forget about deductibles, so if I drop my phone tomorrow and have to pay $900 to replace it it's going to break my heart that I didn't have insurance. Now if I start breaking my phone every year or two I'll probably think about getting Insurance cause then it would financially make sense for me. For me cases and screen protectors have been my insurance... cuz I drop my phones all the time and if I did not use them my phones would definitely not look brand-new after a year or two of of use.
  • Always get it. It only takes one time and then you realize that you wish you had it. One time wasn't even something I did. It was over a year old and out of the initial warranty period. The digitizer in the phone wouldn't recognize screen taps. Swapped out for $0 no problem. That was 5 years ago. Then this year I sat down in a chair on my concrete patio and the phone fell out of my pocket and cracked the 4 month old phone. Paid $60 deductible and fixed. So $7.99 a month to geek squad for 60 months is $480. Add in the $60 and that's $540 for two fixed phones. The first phone was an iPhone 3GS, the second phone was a Samsung s8+. So I'm getting my value.
  • Using some math here is what the real cost is for insurance.
    (assuming a standard 30 month AT&T next program)
    9/month * 30 months = $270 Now deductibles:
    Screen repair: $90
    Replacement: $225 So to fix a screen it would actually cost you: $360
    To replace a phone it would cost you: $495 Take into account you lost the $270 no matter what. IMO no its not even close to worth it unless you are in an environment or situation on a regular basis that increases the chances of damaging/destroying your phone.
  • Agreed
  • My phone dropped on a tile floor causing considerable damage to the phone and screen to the point it wouldn't power on. I had insurance for it ($99 at time of purchase) and could have gotten a new phone free, out-the-door. Instead I opted to upgrade to a phone with a larger screen and only had to pay the diff b/w the two versions, so $115. So for about $200, I got a new S8+. I can't complain lol Another option is getting a case (Speck is inexpensive with really good coverage/protection) and a Zagg screen protector. Everyone will have their own preference, but they work and are guaranteed for life. The second option is probably a lot cheaper than insurance and a deductible...
  • I've always had insurance on my devices but never break, crack, or lose it. I just know that once I decline coverage, that's when carnage will begin and I'd find myself shelling out more than half a grand for a new device.
  • It depends. When purchasing a new flagship, I usually get insurance for the convenience and peace of mind. However, I'm currently still using my HTC 10 and iPhone 7, so I'm willing to purchase a new phone outright if lost or damages occur. For people like my parents, though, insurance is pretty much mandatory. They need to take their phones to Verizon or Apple for repairs and replacements, not deal with a manufacturer located abroad, shipping, etc.
  • My insurance is never to buy a phone that would cause me to worry seriously about it getting broken. If I go anywhere I have any fear of theft, I have an old phone for that with a PAYG SIM.
  • Just bought a Pixel 2 XL and was conflicted about getting insurance. Then I realized I'm extremely hard on my phones. Every phone I've ever owned has broken before two years is up. Luckily I've always had insurance. So while I generally agree insurance is a money losing bet for the buyer, it isn't for me. But I go with squaretrade. Much cheaper than the carrier insurance and I've had good luck with them.
  • If you have the money AND are willing to pay the cost to replace your device if something were to happen, then don't get it. Or if you're one of the few who just don't break phones (me) don't get it. Or if you get cheaper priced phones, don't get it. But the other 70% of America should probably get it. I work in a carrier retail store, and people mess their phones up. Regularly. There's so many variables in phone insurance. My recommendation to most people is: get it for the first few months, because that's your highest risk time, and after you've paid for anywhere from half to 3/4 of the phone, take it off because you'll probably pay to upgrade instead of pay the deductible. In most cases.