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Should you get Device Protection insurance for your Google Pixel?

You might not think you need that device protection add-on for your shiny new device, but with Google's new Pixel smartphones, you might consider springing for it in the case of an emergency.

Google's new device insurance program is simply called Device Protection for your Pixel (opens in new tab). For a flat fee or $99 ($129 in Canada) for either the Pixel or Pixel XL, Google will cover accidental damage from a drop or water ingress, as well as any general malfunctions for two years.

If in the event that you do need to file a claim, Google will hook you up with a new device after you pay a deductible—$79 for the Pixel and $99 for the Pixel XL. Take heed that you can only make a maximum of two claims during the two years you have the device in hand. Because honestly, if you have a bad habit of throwing your phone at the wall in fits of anger…well, that's not something Google can help you with.

So, is the extra $100 worth it for Pixel device protection? Absolutely. You'll still get one year of manufacturer's warranty even if you don't opt for it, but try not to live life too dangerously—especially since the new Pixel smartphones already cost a pretty penny.

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.

84 Comments
  • If only it was available in the UK
  • That means then in India Times Global Insurance is offering better plans for Google pixel, you can claim 9 Times in 3 years and get 50% cash back if you don't claim. I already got two claims of my iPhone and Samsung S7 Edge from Times Global Insurance. Better to buy insurance from India.
  • So it's not $100.00, it's $100 to give you the opportunity to pay another $100 to get a replacement. That's actually $200.00 Haven't had insurance on any phone in a long time. Could have used it 3 years ago, but still far cheaper to put a good case on it, and just be careful.
  • Agreed. I'll buy a case and screen protector which has always been enough protection for me. If I do manage to break it, I should be able to find a 5x for under 200 to carry me over to my next phone. It's the deductible that seems ridiculous to me if I already paid for "protection". Why not just say all devices come with protection with a $150-$200 deductible.
  • Agreed. Actually if you buy a phone at Newegg you can get a 3 yr replacement warranty which will only cost 70$. No deductible and full price you paid will be reimbursed...
  • benjamin03, Your logic is flawed. You're paying $650+ for the phone and saying that you'd rather take the $200 and save it for another phone, if you break this one. I know that sounds financially wise at first glance. But by doing this you are essentially saying if you break the Pixel/Pixel XL you're willing to call it a loss and then pay an additional $150 - $200 on another phone. Meanwhile that phone you payed $650+ for just becomes a paperweight that can't be used and likely can't be sold for any worthwhile price. That is a MUCH bigger waste of money than spending the $200 to replace the $650+ phone. Especially since you will likely be able to turn around and sell the $650 phone for around $350 - $400 next year. This would put that $200 right back in your pocket with some additional cash to throw at your next phone. I agree that the purchase of a solid case and screen protector is a wise choice and a viable option in place of the insurance, with more risk. But to say that you're choosing to save that money with the idea to spend it on another phone if this one breaks just doesn't make sense.
  • You're probably better throwing the cash into a savings account, assuming you're relatively careful. I have friends who definitely need insurance. But personally, I've never lost or destroyed a phone, for someone like me it makes way more sense to throw the cash into my savings, it builds up over time, and doesn't have an expiration date. Phone insurance would be money for old rope.
  • You must be referring to a Savings account pre-1990's right? I can actually make a financial argument for parking your money in an insurance program than you could a savings account in today's market. I understand the logic of the case and screen protector, but the few times I've had damage to my phone, it was never caused by me and it was outside the scope of what a case protector would be expected to cover. For that, I buy the insurance every time.
  • Your $200 will devalue faster in a savings account than it'll make on interest. Just to let you know.
  • Well stated, but it's important to note that the insurance is $99, so you're not "saving" $200. You're saving $99, and only if you do not need to replace the phone.
    In the $200 scenario, it only becomes that much if you break a $769-$869 phone and want to replace it with another one, which would be a no-brainer in that scenario (having already paid the initial $99). So, the only potential "waste" in this scenario is $99 if you do not end up needing to replace the phone. In any situation where you would need to file a claim not covered by the manufacturers warranty (e.g. you drop it, get it wet, etc.), the insurance is a fantastic deal.
  • It's a good deal compared to Verizon's insurance or Best Buy's Geek Squad protection. Verizon is $10 a month, which is $240 for two years, with a $150 deductible. And Geek Squad is $170 for 2 years with a $200 deductible. I guess for me if I'm going to spend almost $1,000 on a phone, I'm going to spend an extra $100 for insurance. I will also have an OtterBox Commuter case on it.
  • Phone insurance cost on pixel is 180. Selling the broken device will net you at least 300 if it's newer in its life cycle but probably closer to 400. That's almost the cost of the device right there. Toe the insurance is not worth t especially when a lot of credit cards offer it for free.
  • Huh?!
    Selling a broken Pixel will net you $400? Even if so you're still left with almost $600 with tax to purchase a new Pixel again... That's a lot more than $180... Plus you have to wait till you hopefully sell your broken Pixel to recoup the $400 (that you say you'll get?). Why would I go through all of that when I can pay $180 to get a replacement phone the next day? I wouldn't.
  • My thoughts exactly. I had JUMP with TMobile but when I realized I was paying $13/month for the privilege of paying $175 to fix my broken phone, I canceled it. That's just insane to me. I preordered a Pixel and there's no way I was paying for Device Protection. It's a far better plan than TMobile's, but I'm not going to pay a third of the price of the phone to get it fixed. Maybe if I got the 128GB Pixel XL it would be worth it, but not for the 32GB Pixel
  • Seriously..... I like how they label it as a $99 insurance but then slap a deductible of $100.
  • This isn't directed at any one individual, but my question is, what insurance do you have that doesn't have a deductible?? Just curious
  • Well my car insurance has no deductible (costs more, but no deductible). I used to have health insurance with no deductible too (and paid less then!), but that was before it became "affordable" .........
  • $0 deductibles would increase fraud so much that it would probably cost more than $178 ($99 device protection + $79 deductible on a Pixel) for a Pixel. Breaking off part of the cost into the deductible helps reduce the amount of fraudulent claims. As it is, the reason the insurance is so high is because of how many people fraudulently use it when they're ready to upgrade so they can sell a brand new replacement phone on eBay after getting the next year's model.
  • @sbeezy I was going to say the same thing. Most of us with car or health insurance pay for the actual insurance and a deductible. No difference here. I have different options on what my deductible will be, but I opt for a $500 one. I had to make a claim a few years ago on $3600 damage to my car and had that deductible to pay out of pocket. I'd say with my $1000 phone choice, $100+$100 is a steal.
  • So let me get this straight, are you saying you'd rather pay $200 just so the insurance is "up front" even in the scenario where you never break your phone? I'd rather the $100.
    There's a lot of misplaced logic in your comment. Yes, it is $100 for the knowledge that if your phone breaks within 2 years you can replace it for $79 instead of $650. That's how insurance works. Everyone pays a little so a couple people can benefit when tragedy happens. And, yes, the insurance provider likely profits in the middle.
  • yep
  • I got it for myself, I sometimes like to roll with my phone naked, I THOUGHT I had device insurance on my Note 4 but after I dropped it and shattered the screen I found out my ex had broken her phone enough times that they rejected it. Never again.
  • I too will never ever have an ex...... Or were you referring to something else?
  • well played
  • Really that's a great deal for insurance. I'd gladly pay $100 for the option to only pay $100 for a replacement instead of paying $800. I like to not use a case to enjoy the aesthetics of my phone. But I also have an LG V10 so shock resistance helps with the peace of mind. I always keep a screen protector on though because any scratches on the screen would drive me crazy
  • Some credit card providers give extended warranty. For example, Discover covers repair expenses up to $500 (I guess that amount is right) after the expiration of manufacturer's warranty. So before going for the Pixel protect, checking with your credit card bank is wiser.
  • That actually covers 90 days after purchase if damaged or stolen.
  • Naah....get a case and you'll be fine. I mean, I wouldn't get the insurance. Not that it's not a great thing to have, but a decent case and you shouldn't have any issues over the life of it.....unless you drop it in water or something....oh snap
  • #skipthepixel
  • I came to the opposite conclusion when pre-ordering the Pixel, despite having purchased the protection when getting my Nexus 5X. I think it makes sense for some people, but I don't think it makes sense for a lot of people. 1) You're outlaying $100 automatically, and if you use the protection once, you're out $180.
    2) My Visa signature card (which I used to buy the phone) covers me for 90 days if an item is lost, stolen or damaged, and offers 24 months extended warranty on any purchase using the card. Yes, it's not Google's coverage, and I have to pay for shipping to their depot, but it's free, and shipping a phone is cheap (since they're small), and I get the benefit of a cash rebate - so if there's a better phone out there when this happens, I get to buy that instead.
    3) Yes, the Nexus starts at $649 now, but it won't be worth that for long: I wouldn't be surprised if there were regular discounts by next spring as Samsung launches the S8. If it's been more than a year, the phone's worth even less. Good-quality refurbed Galaxy S6 phones (which also started at $649) can be had unlocked for like $400 on Ebay.
    4) A broken phone isn't a worthless phone. You can sell it, probably for half value, if it's got a cracked screen. You can repair the screen yourself, for probably about the amount of an 'incident' ($80).
    5) I am a bit of a phone addict, and there's a decent chance I won't keep the phone for more than a year. When I sold my Nexus 5X, which had Nexus Protect, I got more money, but not a LOT more money than if I didn't have it. Buying Protect lost me money.
    6) Also, if you lose your phone (or it's stolen), your device protection won't help you. So, out of 24 months that phone protection gives me, my credit card covers me for damage in months 1-3. Months 4-12, when there isn't a new phone, are the trickiest - but I've still got the manufacturer's warranty. From then on, if you can buy the same phone for used for ~$400, that means that you'd be out a total of $1049 ($649 for phone, plus $400 for a replacement) if you do damage your phone beyond repair. That compares to being out $828 if you had device protection ($649+$99+$80 for one repair). So you're spending $100 for sure, to possibly save $249. Unless you're pretty confident you're going to break your phone (by like, dropping it in water so it stops working, not a cracked screen which you could probably repair/have repaired), that risk/reward ratio doesn't seem that great.
  • Actually the S6 can be found much lower than 400$, it's the S7 that can already be found for that much
  • Tl;dr
  • Anyway, it's worth it....
  • Bought my Nexus 6 from Motorola directly to get Motocare. By far the best. It was $120, and covers 3 replacements in 2 yrs. Each one is only $39 deductible. I feel like this Pixel insurance is bad.
  • Sorry to revive such an old thread lol it was possible to have Motocare on a Google Store-bought Nexus 6. I did it, I still have the certificate in my email inbox.
  • In Canada that would be 129 + tax for the warranty, which is about $150. Then if I break my device it costs me another 99 + tax which is about $115. So, should I pay $265 for a new phone? Yes, but only if it is an off-contract phone. If I have a contract I will buy a case and be just fine.
  • I purchased the protection plan for my Nexus 6P, when I upgraded to the 7.0 software update my phone bricked 3 days later. Luckily for me, my phone was still covered under the original warranty but I had the protection plan as a backup. I suspect that something will happen to the phone at some point and not by my own doing. Better to have it and not need it, than not have it and being faced with buying a new $700 phone. Ijs
  • That's a good point. I'm highly debating with myself whether I should get it or not. Hmm.
  • Just remember device protection is designed to make them money. It isn't just because they are being nice to you.
  • That's all types of insurance, my friend.
  • He's new to adult life. Give him a break
  • I'm hard on phones (each of my last two phones were replaced due to water damage), so I paid for Pixel protection. Being able to do a quick call or chat and get a replacement shipped to me the next day, even when traveling, is worth the cost to me.
  • As much as I hate to pay extra for coverage, I have to admit she's right.
  • I have never been a fan of insurance. But I have the ones I'm supposed to like on my car and home. That said, I have made claims to fix my or replace my devices such as phones, tablets and laptops through my credit card protection services from AMEX. I have even made claims against my car insurance and homeowners insurance in the past because they cover these things too. Use what you have and don't buy more than you need.
  • It adds another $100 to the purchase price though and for many people that's one ouch too much.
    Spread it quarterly and add the remaining balance to the deductible. Anyway, it's done now.
  • My take on insurance/warranties: 1. You get them in hopes of not needing them. Phones are expensive to replace (under contract or otherwise). I have 5 smartphone lines . Galaxy S6 (2), droid Turbo, Iphone 6 (soon to be 7 plus) and 1 SE. I would rather pay a deductible in case of loss or theft of 2 or more devices (hey stuff happens). Just this week, my S6 was dropped, so for $149, I received an S7 as a replacement. My upgrade isn't until June 2017. (9 device payments left). Apple Care take care of damage, but not loss or theft. I'm not really worried about my phone or the wife's (well I did drop mine in liquid), but the kids have a tendency to leave their devices on the table, in back pockets. My son's basic pone was stolen years ago. So having a $20 deductible was better than paying for a replacement. And just this week, even 24 months of $10 payments plus the $149 deductible is better than $700 plus to replace a phone.
  • So the protection Google offers doesn't help you if your device is lost/stolen, only if it's damaged/broken; it seems that you've got Verizon's coverage. I think it's a bad deal for you: If you replace each device every 2 years, and take out insurance, it means that you're paying $10 x 24 x 5, or $1200 every 2 years in insurance, no matter what. If you have one incident, it means you've paid $1349 in total - that's enough for 2 brand new phones over the two years. So you need to think that you'll need have 3 device breaks in every 2 years in order for the insurance to save you any money. Plus, there's the downsides of insurance: You can get replacement screens for older devices for cheap; you can buy last year's model for cheap (Verizon is selling the Galaxy S6 for $575 new, or you can get a refurb for $300 on Amazon). Since the device you get in return can often be a refurb per the terms of the agreement, you essentially have agreed to pay $240+$149, or $389 for something you could have bought for $300 on Amazon. You could do what my friend did: Tell the kids, "I buy you one nice phone every 2 years. If you break it, we spend $100 to fix it. If you loose it, we go buy whatever phone you can get unlocked for $100, and then you get to text your friends using a 2 year old Moto G."
  • I've never ever lost or broke a phone, so no insurance for me.. The only issues I've ever had was hardware related and I've always got devices replaced overnight with Verizon, all the insurance I need and it costs me nothing.
  • Anyone tried Upsie? It's $79 with a $50 deductible. I have used SquareTrade in the past but was thinking of trying this.
  • And if it's stolen or lost? Verizon's insurance covers stolen or lost.
  • Lost or stolen are not covered - hence the lower cost. With any of these you have to weigh out the pluses/minuses and decide. For my younger kids, the carrier insurance is the answer IMHO. As a responsible adult (who can also live with one of my older phones if need be), the lower cost or no insurance might be the right call. I looked at Upsie as a middle ground choice.
  • I'll never buy any type on insurance for a phone. Running over a decade now from dumb phones to smart phones, not once have I ever come anywhere within the vicinity of breaking a phone. Only time I had any issues was with my 6P. One time I went to use it and the phone had shut down all on its own and wouldn't come back on. Huawei sent me a new one at no cost because there was a hardware failure that wasn't my fault.
  • Certain credit cards come with baked in insurance. e.g. Wells Fargo cc has built in phone protection insurance up to $650. American Express has built in general purchase protection insurance on all purchases up x amount of time and 1 year extension of manufacturers warranty. So do some research on your credit card, it make already have something baked in.
  • So, reading between the lines a bit, this implies that Google will be supporting the Pixel for 2 years; just like the Nexus. That cost $250 less. My mom is using my old iPhone 5 (non-S) and she just received iOS10. This is why I haven't bought the Pixel. I'd be willing to spend the money if Google would support the phone as long as an iPhone gets support.
  • iOS updates are pathetic. They're no comparison to Android updates. So updating an old iPhone 5 means literally nothing.
  • apple will update only so the version number matches but often times the update is missing several key features for the older devices. Like when siri was released for example.
  • Insurance is good for catastrophic events. A broken phone doesn't qualify. Of you feel the need, open a separate account. Put $200 in it and add $10 a month to cover the cost of repairs. When you don't use it, the money is yours to keep.
  • What of the loss comes in the first 3 months?
  • Insurance is nothing more than a gamble. Plain and simple. And the odds are in Google's favor, not yours. Put it this way, they wouldn't offer insurance if there wasn't profit in it for them. Which means they will collect more in fees than they will pay out in replacements. Do the math, people. If you are high risk and rough on phones, get insurance. If you've never broken a phone, don't get it. Play to the odds.
  • This^
  • Keep in mind that Flo did not purchase insurance on her Pixel XL. I'm also surprised that Flo had to use her own (wedding) money to buy this phone. Does Mobile Nations not buy phones for their staff?
  • Weddings in NJ cost 50k+.. I'm pretty sure they're just as expensive on the west coast.. So anything cutting into her wedding fund is tragic.. At least it's tax deductible
  • They do. But not every new device that comes out. She was also pretty new at the time, and it's possible full/part time status factors in.
  • Not worth it. I agree, its a $200 deductible, you just have to pay $100 up front in order to use it and if you dont use it, you dont get the $100 back. What normally breaks? The screen. You can get your screen replaced at the mall for $100. Overall most people will never use this and thus this is a big money maker (remember, dont EVER but insurance for your TV, washer...etc).
  • It would be nice if they accumulate the payment every month. And when the next phone breaks if ever they can deduct the cost instead of paying for the deductible.
  • I'm not sure what I'm paying for my device insurance, but a month or so ago, I sent my Note 4 away for repair after dropping it from a little over knee height and the device subsequently losing >30% in about an hour while simply reading an article. In less than a week, I received my phone with a brand new motherboard, no deductible. Totally worth it for me.
  • As already stated, the real cost is not $100, but $200 if you actually need to replace your Pixel XL. And, some have pointed out that that is not a bad deal - better than having to eat the entire cost of the phone should it go lost or damaged. But, like all service contracts, you need to take into account your own personal history plus basic statistics. I have owned about a dozen phones thus far plus several high-end PDA's (think Palm Tungsten T3 and the like) before them. I have NEVER suffered a cracked screen, NEVER lost a device, and NEVER had a device fail. If I had purchased protection on each of those devices I would probably be at least a couple of thousand dollars in the hole by now.
  • Well, there's a first time for everything
  • Anybody aware of a 3rd party insurance you can get for a new Pixel/Pixel XL? I'd like to get it for a Pixel XL that was not ordered with Device Protection, and Google will not allow it to be added outside of the initial ordering process through the Google Store.
  • Look at assurian.
  • Squaretrade
  • I know Swappa offers a one year protection plan for $70, with a $50 deductible. You have to purchase it at the time you buy your device. I realize that doesn't apply to you, since you already bought yours, but you could always look and see who they side for the policy and see if you can get a similar plan.
  • The best deal in town was Motocare back when the Nexus 6 came out. I paid them $120 for a 3 replacement plan with only $39 each replacement. If Mot can do that, Google can too. Even one replacement (120+39) is cheaper than the cost of a refurb right now at the end of the insurance term.
  • I bought my Pixel XL through Project FI and never activated service with Fi so they removed my device coverage which left me scrambling for a third party lender. Check out WorthAveGroup.com. I think I pay like $7 a month for insurance protection and unlike other companies it covers pretty much all types of loss, theft, etc..
  • I don't have to worry about water ingress on my S7 edge. And it only cost me $689 for an unlocked version.
  • It's a shame that S7 Edge doesn't have an app to turn it into a Pixel.
  • I chose to get the S7 edge over the Pixel because the hardware on the S7 edge is superior.
  • except the camera
  • The only thing that kept me from opting for this is the fact that it does not provide coverage in the event of theft.
  • POS Google should be replacing Pixels with broken rear glass for free. It was clearly a **** design even before Pixel was released, and now users reporting rear glass cracking either on its own or with little force.
  • Or, people can choose not to buy a phone with a glass panel on two sides. Common sense will tell you that. Why don't auto manufacturers give people with cars two free tires to replace flats just because a car has twice as many wheels/tires as a motorcycle? You should be very upset every time you get new tires and the guy next to you is only paying for two.
  • I have two year protection on my ZTE Axon 7. It covers everything but theft. Irregardless of what the repair is you pay an eighty nine dollar deductible, that's all.
    And the best part is the cost for the insurance - nothing
  • Got the insurance for my Pixel. I just wonder if I would get the Really Blue sent back to me? Considering it is almost perpetually out of stock, I would assume refurbished ones are in the same boat. I know the article says new, but I think they send a refurbished phone as a replacement.
  • My nexu.s 6p had screen burn and battery issues so i paid the $80 to replace it & the sent me a phone with a scratched up screen. My original phone was like new and i got a crap replacement for $169.