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Ask Slashdot: Best Protection Plan For Your Phone? 225

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-of-class dept.
First time accepted submitter nastav writes "Now that I'm eagerly awaiting the delivery of my new shiny iPhone 5, I'm faced with a dilemma — SquareTrade, Applecare Plus, or some other insurance option? I have used SquareTrade in the past for my iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 (I skipped iPhone 4S). It provided Accidental Damage Handling (ADH) for the iPhone before Apple introduced its own version of ADH. I've had the opportunity to file claims with SquareTrade multiple times, and they handled it quickly and professionally each time. Now that there is a product from Apple itself, I'm not sure which one to get. They are priced similarly (~$100 for a two-year plan, $50 deductible for each ADH incident) Apple limits the number of ADH claims to two, whereas SquareTrade (AFAIK) limits the number of claims to the 'value of the product,' which translates to approx. 600 USD in coverage (or about 4 ADH claims). I've tried reading many comparison articles on the internet without definitive answers. I'm hoping that the tech-savvy folks on Slashdot would help out with a discussion on pros and cons of each, and perhaps add other options into the mix."
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Ask Slashdot: Best Protection Plan For Your Phone?

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  • The best plan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:10AM (#41360879)

    Take good care of your phone and be careful when handling it!

    • Re:The best plan (Score:5, Insightful)

      by realityimpaired (1668397) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:26AM (#41361031)

      Don't even have to be *that* careful. I've owned several smartphones since the G1 (well, Canadian version, which was called the HTC Dream), and have never managed to break the screen, despite some serious abuses... the worst of which involved an LG Shine Plus falling from a 2nd floor balcony, winging off the edge of a swimming pool and into the drink. Remove the battery, let the phone dry out, and it worked fine without having broken the screen (though it was a bit squirrelly for the next year that I used it before replacing it). I'm currently using a One V, and have dropped it a few times without breaking it.

      And there's your answer to the insurance question... don't buy a $700 phone. Buy a $200 phone which will give you the same experience as last year's $700 phone, and then you won't be too worried when you drop it, because it's not going to cost you that much to replace, and it'll be cheaper than the insurance on the $700 phone... especially if you plan on replacing it in a year when they come out with the upgraded version anyway. You can probably afford to get it without a contract, and that'll save you money in the long run, too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If insurance on any consumer electronic device was a good deal for the consumer, they wouldn't sell. Trust that actuaries understand the probabilities of the thing better than you ever will and it's priced so that it's a good deal for them. There is something like a 99% chance you will end up losing money in the long term if you repeatedly buy these bs "protection" plans. Be smart and save your money.

        • The same argument could be used to argue against getting health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, homeowner's insurance, etc. Sometimes, the cost of misfortune is far higher than the cost of protecting against misfortune.
          • Just like the GP I have saved more then the cost of a new car (as new as I would buy anyhow, I'm not moron, I pay cash for cars) by not carrying full coverage.

            Save some money, a brand new car is unlikely to get you laid. If it does, you will want to think twice about screwing a woman who would fuck you because of the car you drive. Four ply that bitch.

            Insurance is a generally bad deal that should only be purchased for loses that you can't cover out of cash flow. Any such loses that can be avoided (e.g.

      • by azav (469988)

        Of course, my friend just showed me his dropped iPhone with the cracked screen yesterday.

        Also, I've owned 24,000 bucks worth of cameras and never broken one in 4 years.

        Just bought a new D800, put it in a bag, walking into my house and the bag strap breaks one step from my stairs. It fell 1 foot and is off to the repair shop now, right after I spent three thousand bucks on it.

    • by DJRumpy (1345787)

      Although I'm sure this was a little toungue in cheek, if you follow minor precautions, I've never really had a need for these plans for the last 3 phones.

      A decent case for drop protection, leave your keys in a separate pocket so they don't scratch the touchscreen, etc.

      Unless you're typically clumsy, the cost of the protection plan is probably not worth it (other than piece of mind). If you are clumsy and constantly dropping your phone though, I would probably just go with the AppleCare plan.

      • Actually i think I saw a study that said it wasn't keys that scratched the screen in pockets, but sand.

        I do agree that protection plans are way to expensive. Don't buy something you can't afford to replace.

        • Actually i think I saw a study that said it wasn't keys that scratched the screen in pockets, but sand.

          I do agree that protection plans are way to expensive. Don't buy something you can't afford to replace.

          Pro tip: don't put your recently purchased phone in the same pocket as your recently acquired fine concrete granulate.

        • Stonewashed blue jeans are tumbled in a slurry of abrasive pellets. The breakdown of these pellets is a grit that is trapped in the pockets, and which scratches the heck out of anything stored in them.

    • by Mithent (2515236)
      Also my strategy. I got a new Galaxy S III recently, and as usual was offered insurance... at the prices the mobile phone operators are asking, you'd be paying around 50% of the cost of buying a new phone SIM-free over a 24-month contract. This means that the chances of me losing or breaking my phone in any 24-month period needs to be above 50% for it to be worthwhile. I've had three previous smartphones over 5 years and haven't lost or broken one yet, so insurance doesn't make any economic sense for me if
    • Exactly, Protection plans are not worth it.

      Most of them do not cover your most normal causes of damage. So why pay the money for the random fluke.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you're naive enough to spend a fortune on a status symbol, you should easily be able to afford a replacement.

  • by alen (225700) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:13AM (#41360903)

    $199 if you bring them a damaged iphone that was your fault and they will replace it on the spot.

    I'll take the possible risk of paying some money over paying up front in case of an accident any day

    • by vlm (69642) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:40AM (#41361145)

      I'll take the possible risk of paying some money over paying up front in case of an accident any day

      The mystifying part is a contract smartphone is still like $100/month bill, right? So $200 is pocket change to a smartphone contract victim, its like 2 months service.

      I buy insurance for my car because I can't afford a possible million dollar liability settlement out of pocket. Buying $100 of insurance for a $200 loss seems as dumb as buying "oil change insurance" where I could pay only $15/month to avoid the immense expense of paying $30 every quarter for an oil change.

      The other part that mystifies be about the story is

      I've had the opportunity to file claims with SquareTrade multiple times

      My god man, what are you doing? Using your phone as a carpentry hammer? Or the screen as a glass kitchen cutting board? In 15 years I've killed precisely one cellphone, by leaving it in a pants cargo pocket and running it thru the wash. That's $20 down the drain having to buy another new virgin mobile phone.

      • by P-niiice (1703362) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:47AM (#41361219)
        It's probably "youth". My son breaks phones. Routinely. I'm pretty sure he'll grow out of it. Young people don't have full control of their arms yet or something.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:55AM (#41361289)

          It's probably "youth". My son breaks phones. Routinely. I'm pretty sure he'll grow out of it. Young people don't have full control of their arms yet or something.

          No. Young people don't pay their own bills yet. As soon as they are the ones forking out their own hard earned $500 for a replacement or doing without the phone completely, they become very protective and careful.

          When Dad pays for it; it's an unreasonable imposition to have to wait until tomorrow for a replacement because they threw it on the table, it skated off the edge and shattered. There's usually talk about how someone should sue Apple for making the phones so fragile...

          The problem isn't spastic teens; it's stupid and enabling parents. I'll bet Mom says some bullshit about not having a choice for safety's sake.

          • by jkflying (2190798)

            BS. I have a friend who has gone through about 7 phones in the last 5 years. He buys the replacements. How has he damaged them? He leads an active lifestyle - rock climbing, hiking, rides a motorbike. He also got mugged twice.

            So I would say that old people don't engage in activities which could result in a phone breaking because they are... well... old.

            • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

              by erice (13380)

              BS. I have a friend who has gone through about 7 phones in the last 5 years. He buys the replacements. How has he damaged them? He leads an active lifestyle - rock climbing, hiking, rides a motorbike. He also got mugged twice.

              So I would say that old people don't engage in activities which could result in a phone breaking because they are... well... old.

              No. Responsible people make sure their phone are secure. I'm an inline speed skater. I've crashed countless times while carrying my phone and have the scars to prove it. I've damaged my phone this way exacdtly 0 times. I attribute this to not throwing the phone into any ol' pocket and going.

          • by uiucgrad (325611)

            This only works if you believe that children and teenagers can adequately appreciate the consequences of their actions well enough not to throw the phone across the table regardless of who bought it. I would argue that by their very definition teenagers can not adequately appreciate the consequences of their actions.

            • by Hatta (162192)

              Which is exactly why they should learn those consequences by having to pay for their phone from their own pocket. Teenagers have the brain capacity to appreciate the consequences of their actions. All they need is to be taught by experience.

        • Young people don't pay for what they break ^^

      • by alen (225700)

        only if you're single. i'm on a 4 line family plan with 2 iphones and its $138 for me and my wife. her parents kick in $50. total bill is $186.

        if i go to the mobile share plan with 10GB it's going to be $216 or so for 4 smart phones including my FAN/Premier discount

      • My brother did the "phone in the washer" thing with a Windows 7 Samsung. The thing still works, except the USB port's data connection.

      • I'll take the possible risk of paying some money over paying up front in case of an accident any day

        The mystifying part is a contract smartphone is still like $100/month bill, right? So $200 is pocket change to a smartphone contract victim, its like 2 months service.

        I buy insurance for my car because I can't afford a possible million dollar liability settlement out of pocket. Buying $100 of insurance for a $200 loss seems as dumb as buying "oil change insurance" where I could pay only $15/month to avoid the immense expense of paying $30 every quarter for an oil change.

        The other part that mystifies be about the story is

        I've had the opportunity to file claims with SquareTrade multiple times

        My god man, what are you doing? Using your phone as a carpentry hammer? Or the screen as a glass kitchen cutting board? In 15 years I've killed precisely one cellphone, by leaving it in a pants cargo pocket and running it thru the wash. That's $20 down the drain having to buy another new virgin mobile phone.

        I think you don't expect broken phones because you don't use iPhones. iPhones break pretty readily because of all the glass and aluminum - a one foot drop onto a hard surface has a solid chance of causing serious damage. They also have issues with heat and humidity that I haven't seen with other phones. A 90 degree F, 90% humid day killed one of mine without any direct sunlight exposure, possibly because of undetected preexisting damage that allowed wet air to get to a bad place and condense when the tem

        • by tompaulco (629533)
          A 90 degree F, 90% humid day killed one of mine without any direct sunlight exposure, possibly because of undetected preexisting damage that allowed wet air to get to a bad place and condense when the temperature dropped.
          That is barely within the operating parameters of the iphone. It is a little surprising how tight the parameters are. Here is for the iphone 4:

          Operating temperature: 32 to 95 F (0 to 35 C)
          Nonoperating temperature: -4 to 113 F (-20 to 45 C)
          Relative humidity: 5% to 95% nonco
          • by Chrontius (654879)
            There's only three months or so in Florida that's not guaranteed to be outside of those parameters.

            I'm of the opinion my gadgets ought to be at least as durable as I am, but no manufacturers are taking me up on it.
      • by TACD (514008)

        The mystifying part is a contract smartphone is still like $100/month bill, right? So $200 is pocket change to a smartphone contract victim, its like 2 months service.

        If you're in the USA, sure. I live in the UK and pay £10/month for unlimited data, texts, and a small number of minutes which I don't use. (GiffGaff [giffgaff.com] - Affiliate link.) It's astounding how deeply Americans get ripped off for phone service, and when I was living over there, shopping for mobile phones was one of the few times I felt genuinely, truly insulted as a customer. There's a lot of industries with shoddy customer service but getting a mobile phone in the US really feels like paying somebody to sp

  • by Anonymous Coward

    To me, this sounds like a decision of "Should I use a professional service that worked for me in the past or go with Apple?". Why ask this question when you are happy with the current service, I do not even know. Sounds a tiny bit like the Apple fanboy inside of you is revolting.

  • Save your money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:15AM (#41360921)

    The insurance is roughly 1/3 the cost of a replacement. Do you really think the odds of loss are so high that you need to pay that premium?

    • Re:Save your money (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tx (96709) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:31AM (#41361073) Journal

      This. I've never broken a phone, even though I've never used cases or screen protectors, so while I can't be bothered to work out exactly how much I might have saved by not insuring them over the years, I'm pretty sure that even if my luck changes for the worse, I'll have to write off a fair few before I come out negative

      • by rwv (1636355)

        I'll have to write off a fair few before I come out negative

        But the OP is a cell phone liability. He or she admits to breaking numerous phones and to-my-knowledge "replacement phones" don't get the same "low-cost-subsidy" as the phones you'd get for doing a new contract. I don't know the deals that Verizon or AT&T are offering for the current iPhone5, but I assume 2 million people aren't paying $500-700 each. More likely, most are getting the phones with a $200-300 "new contract" discount because that's how the business is run in the states.

        All that aside..

        • by tompaulco (629533)
          My guess is that the OP is somewhat of a klutz and buys the insurance because it's a good value for him or her. Just because it isn't a good value for *most* people, doesn't mean the OP should avoid it.
          But if careful people like you and I don't buy the insurance, then eventually, this poor klutzy person will have to pay more for his insurance then he would to just buy new phones (because the insurance company has to cover the cost of administration, plus profit). That wouldn't be fair that a klutzy person
    • Re:Save your money (Score:4, Insightful)

      by james_pb (156313) on Monday September 17, 2012 @09:02AM (#41361377) Homepage

      The insurance is roughly 1/3 the cost of a replacement. Do you really think the odds of loss are so high that you need to pay that premium?

      The original post was pretty clear about this: yes, they intend to destroy the phone multiple times. Remember that part about the OP submitting multiple claims previously?

      "Insurance" is a great buy if you're paying less than 100% of the value of the item - if you _know_ you're going to use it. You're just buying n phones for something like $(1.3n).

    • Self insure....if you can handle $200 in unexpected costs when the phone breaks.
      If you can't, what are you doing buying an iPhone?

      • by wed128 (722152)

        "How else am I supposed to look cool while i wait in line for food stamps?"

        I've seen this at my local store. It sickens me.

    • by dgatwood (11270)

      The insurance is roughly 1/3 the cost of a replacement.

      No, the insurance is roughly half the cost of the repair bill from a single drop (although the repair is performed by replacing the device with a refurbished device that someone else dropped previously). A true replacement of the device (the cost of buying one without a contract), assuming the contract-free cost is similar to that of the iPhone 4S, is almost seven times the insurance cost. The difference in cost is because the expensive guts rarely b

    • by Bigby (659157)

      Better question. If you need insurance to mitigate the risk of damaging a few hundred dollar phone, should you be spending a few hundred dollars on a phone?

  • Unless you have catastrophic damage where you drop your phone into a running industrial shredder, repair it yourself. My phone recently had a shattered digitizer. Repair estimate was $150, similar to what your first claim essentially would cost. An OE digitizer was $12 on Amazon.

    • Assuming, of course, that the iPhone 5 can be meaningfully repaired by anyone, let alone end users. Apple seems to have a new fetish for assembling devices with glue instead of screws, and designing them to be thin-at-all-costs instead of... well... repairable for common forms of damage.

      • by cdrudge (68377)

        If it can't be repaired, how do the repair shops repair them for the price of the plan and deductible?

    • Unless you have catastrophic damage where you drop your phone into a running industrial shredder, repair it yourself.

      Imagine that: You walk up to a store clerk at an Apple Shop with a plastic bag full of shredded pieces: "Hello, I'd like to claim the warranty of my phone...or at least, I'd like to know how much the repair costs."

  • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:16AM (#41360931) Homepage

    Provide a chair and sit next to it while you use it.

    Those old wall mount phones never got dropped, and very rarely got wet.

    • by mirix (1649853)

      I've dropped the handset on more than one occasion, slammed it in fits of rage, etc...

      Of course the old Western Electric phones didn't care... Sometimes I think the abuse made them perform better. They performed double duty as a bludgeoning tool, too, if people were hassling you while you were on the phone.

      Funny how that works. When AT&T leased land phones, they made them like a brick shithouse to avoid service calls... Now if you break a (essentially) leased (mobile) phone, it prints money for them and

      • by 1u3hr (530656)
        Back in the 80s, Hong Kong gangsters ("triads") were known for carrying their brick-size, and -weight phones at all times; and using them to bludgeon people in brawls. They made very effective weapons.

        Now it's all "thin, thin, thin!', they should offer a model with a retractable razor edge. Better than Mace.

    • Suggesting to bolt something to the wall might be a dangerous thing, given the technical knowledge of most people. "Honey, can I borrow your nailing machine." - "Sure..." - *TUCK* - "...honey, do you know why my iPhone won't turn on again?"
    • by Jeng (926980)

      Yes, but those old phones had a separate handset you could hold close to your face.

      If you mount a smart phone to the wall you'll end up having to hold your head up against the wall the whole time you use it.

  • by retech (1228598) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:17AM (#41360937)
    and it's underwriters.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:18AM (#41360943)

    My father always taught me: Never take insurance for things you can pay for yourself.
    On general you pay more for insurance than you get out of it, because of the insurer pay check and people scamming insurance.
    Only take insurance for things you can;t pay yourself (e.g. health insurance and big operations).

    Don't take insurance if you can pay for the repairs yourself, otherwise it is silly/stupid to get an I-Phone.

    • by Bigby (659157)

      This is very true. If you are afraid of losing $600 because of a broken phone, then you shouldn't be spending $600 on a phone to begin with.

  • Just get a decent case if you need more peace of mind. Combined with AppleCare for unexpected extreme circumstances a good case will be enough. Theft is the only thing not covered.

    If you need theft protection you'll need one of the plans you listed. I've no experience with that, keep reading.

  • Self-Insure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:18AM (#41360949)

    Self-insure it. An insurance company pays out much less money than it takes in. It has to be that way or it wouldn't be a worthwhile business. Thus the chances are that you will get less out than you put in. It's a form of gambling, and the odds are even worse than the casino.

    So, if it's a risk that won't cripple you financially if it happens, it's not worth insuring. You have to insure the car, and you probably want to insure the house, because that would be crippling if it burned down. But for something where the risk is only a few hundred dollars or less, insurance isn't worth it.

    You could literally self insure, by putting the amount they would otherwise have spent on insurance in a separate account. From which you withdraw money when a bad thing happens. But it probably is better just just do it in the old-fashioned way, and just always have enough money saved up "for a rainy day".

    • by bigdavex (155746)

      You have to insure the car, and you probably want to insure the house, because that would be crippling if it burned down.

      You don't have to insure cars either. You have to insure against the liability of damage done with a car.

  • Unless you expect to be somewhat careless with your phone or can't afford to repair or replace your phone when it breaks, consider self insurance. Put that $100 in your savings account, that already goes a long way towards covering the repair of any one thing that can break in your iPhone (especially if you factor in your insurance deductible). Insurance companies expect to make money on this scheme, so statistically you are better of self-insuring if you can afford it. Insurance for things like these is
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I think the main problem here is that the insurance costs way too much. Consider the iPhone which costs about $600. The $100 insurance plan assumes that 1 in 6 people are going to need a total phone replacement for them to break even. Even counting in operating costs, and the fact that they will want to make a profit, let's say 1 in 20 end up needing a complete replacement over the life of the phone. This doesn't even count the fact that after about a year, the cost of the phone has come down considerabl
      • by jbolden (176878)

        It isn't coming from fraud. The life expectancy on smartphones (insured or not) is 11.5 months. Between, loss, defect and accidental damage they just don't tend to survive. Houses on the other hand do quite a bit better.

  • You should treat it like any other thing that you normally insure, in my opinion. The first question whether to insure is, can I pay for repairing myself, out of pocket?

    If yes, don't insure. That's my personal policy.

    • by ledow (319597)

      I have to agree.

      SquareTrade did a replacement of my girlfriend's Kindle once. They were very quick and very good about it. But it was £25 for three years on a £100 product with a special screen which I probably couldn't even source, let alone replace myself (guess which bit got broke!).

      Other than that? Manufacturer's warranty against defects, national laws about the item being "fit for purpose", and anything else handles itself out of my wallet as and when.

      To be honest, if I break

  • Otterbox case and save the $9.99 a month in a savings account, oh and being responsible and not breaking my phone or being dumb and putting it in my back pocket.

  • Best money I spent along with my phone was the $35 or so it cost for an Otter box. While I may have to replace the case at some point due to some nasty scratching on the screen part, the phone itself is in pristine condition despite being dropped multiple times, stepped on, and the aforementioned scratching when it fell out of a pocket and got sat on at the beach. (I admit it - I'm a klutz.)

    While they won't replace the phone if it does get broken, I much prefer the idea of protecting it so it won't break in

    • I'm inclined to agree with Tridus and Darkness404 [slashdot.org]: buy an Otterbox or similar hardened case to protect the phone and put the saved cash into your own savings account for just in case. I've owned several Otterbox products over the years, and I've been very happy with their performance, so I feel you can have some confidence that the case will protect your iPhone 5 in all but the most extreme incidents. Plus, the money you save by putting the cash into your own savings account (and earning interest) can go to

  • Just get a good case (Otterbox anyone?) and save the money on insurance. Phone insurance is a good thing if, say, you are a college student, but otherwise I just don't see the point.
  • Too expensive (Score:4, Informative)

    by bender647 (705126) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:33AM (#41361093)
    Quite simply, I wouldn't spend $100 + $50 insuring a $600 product. Especially one that depreciates as fast as a cell phone. Perhaps taking the 1 year agreement with your cell plan provider would work out better. It's usually not that much more, and you play the odds that you can make it out 1 year without doing something serious to your current phone.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:38AM (#41361133) Journal

    Insurance makes a degree of sense(as hard as insurers try to change this) when dealing with situations where risk is either inevitable(ie. your body, with all its potential for horrible and expensive mishaps, comes standard and you'll need one until you die) or a fairly large chunk of your net worth(most homeowning, say) or where your potential to hurt others potentially far exceeds your personal ability to compensate them and insurance is therefore mandated(car insurance on the consumer level, potentially various other flavors among venue operators and the like).

    On cheap consumer devices, it just doesn't make much sense. The insurer has to make a profit in order to continue offering the insurance, so you know that(on average) purchasing the insurance is a bad deal compared to self-insuring, and you also know that the potential costs are bounded(ie. there is nothing that could happen to my cellphone that could possibly cost more than a new cellphone. There are plenty of diseases and/or accidents that could happen at any time that could run into an unpredictable but very large number that I don't even necessarily have a good way of estimating).

    Just put the price of the insurance wherever you usually put money for storage, let the warranty handle any material defects/abnormal failures, and maybe buy a case if you are a bit of klutz. Unless you murder your phone both brutally and swiftly, you'll probably be able to get a refurb for the money you saved by not buying insurance, plus the deductable you would have paid, by the time your phone eventually does bite it. Worst case, a used or refurbed iphone 4/4S will cost peanuts if you kill your present one and really can't afford a replacement.

    Given that, on average, buyers of insurance lose money, you should really only be buying it on things that are at the outer envelope of affordability; but that you must have for one reason or another.

  • According to Betteridge's Law of Headlines, the answer is no.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:44AM (#41361185) Homepage

    Think about it. If you paid for insurance for your car and had a deductible of 8.3% but a payment rate which is about 17% the value of the phone for the predicted duration of ownership or less... guaranteed to get refurbished crap...

    Sorry, but I think I'd rather roll the dice, save money and buy bumpers and simply be careful. At least when/if I break my expensive phone, I wil be able to comfort myself with a brand new perfectly shiny latest version of whatever is out there.

    I have never actually broken a phone before, so I can't say if this is a good deal for other people but definitely for me it would be a loss of at least $100.

  • Neither Apple nor SquareTrade cover theft. If you do a lot of travel or are giving the phone to a teenager, you may want to consider someone else. In fact, most carriers won't even sell their own warranty or theft protection for Apple products anymore, not since AppleCare+ was introduced.
    • by MrP- (45616)

      Worth Ave Group seems to be the only one that covers theft.

      I used them for my iPad however I just sold my iPad and they don't let you transfer warranties (the warranty covers the user not the item). Unsure if they refund any money if you cancel a policy since I haven't called yet and they don't let you cancel online.

      So for my new iPhone 5 I got SquareTrade again since you can transfer warranties if you sell the product and you can cancel early and get refunded the difference (I got $67 back from canceling m

    • by jbeaupre (752124)

      The best theft protection is make your stuff unattractive to thieves. My car with the wood trim and the words "Ford Pinto" highlighted in chrome was a classic example of this strategy.

  • When I purchased my latest phone, my carrier offered insurance, I think it was $7 a month. If something breaks, you just take it in and the replace it. I had issues with my last phone with texts and even calls not coming to my phone (not dropped, my phone would simply never ring and I would have no record of the call on my phone). They replaced that one no questions asked, no deductible.
    • by jbolden (176878)

      That sounds like Asurion: http://www.asurion.com/ [asurion.com] Most of the carriers are agents for Asurion. They are great to do business with. I've had multiple claims over the last decade and they've handled them well. When I got my iPhone Asurion was $11 / mo iphone. It seems like they are down to $6.99 again for "advanced devices". Apple care is like $4 / mo and includes technical support but can be more of a PIA for trade ins.

      I think I'd go Apple, but for my daughter, where the loss protection matters mo

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        Most of the carriers are agents for Asurion. They are great to do business with. I've had multiple claims over the last decade and they've handled them well.
        Must be a different Asurion than the one I have dealt with. My stepson's phone had insurance on it, for $7.95 a month. When he broke his phone, they wanted a $99 deductible for him to get a replacement. The phone could be had on the internet for less than that.
  • How idiotic can "ask slashdot" questions become?

    Really?, you need to ask the whole slashdot community what to do to insure a freaking phone???, give me a break, do whatever you want, it's not that important anyway...

    • by oji-sama (1151023)
      I bet you didn't know that Apple offers it's own version of Accidental Damage Handling (ADH) before this article...
    • by tompaulco (629533)
      Really?, you need to ask the whole slashdot community what to do to insure a freaking phone???
      No, they needed to announce to the whole slashdot community that they got an iphone 5.
  • Extended Warranty (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sandman619 (791920) on Monday September 17, 2012 @09:00AM (#41361357)
    AppleCare & AppleCare + are extended warranties NOT insurance. You must be able to bring the old iPhone in for the extended warranty plan. Theft & loss are NOT covered by an extended warranty plan. It is worth noting that AppleCare covers everything that comes in the box & possibly other iPhone related items by Apple (like a dock) that are purchased on the same receipt. Ask at time of purchase. The extended warranty must be purchased at the time that the iPhone is purchased. Otherwise, the iPhone must be checked out by Apple staff in order to qualify for the plan For loss or theft of an iPhone or any smartphone, review your homeowner's or renter's policy or consider getting a renter's policy from your auto insurer. The rates are usually good, Multi-plan discounts will apply Cheers !
    • AppleCare & AppleCare + are extended warranties NOT insurance. You must be able to bring the old iPhone in for the extended warranty plan. Theft & loss are NOT covered by an extended warranty plan. It is worth noting that AppleCare covers everything that comes in the box & possibly other iPhone related items by Apple (like a dock) that are purchased on the same receipt. Ask at time of purchase. The extended warranty must be purchased at the time that the iPhone is purchased. Otherwise, the iPhone must be checked out by Apple staff in order to qualify for the plan

      For loss or theft of an iPhone or any smartphone, review your homeowner's or renter's policy or consider getting a renter's policy from your auto insurer. The rates are usually good, Multi-plan discounts will apply

      Cheers !

      And most credit cards add at least a year to the warranty of every product you buy. They don't like to advertise those features, but they're pretty easy to use. If you use Amex or most types of Mastercard, you've got this service and can access it by calling the number on the back of your card.

  • A lot of common sense answers in the thread already, but it all boils down to a few options.

    First, and foremost is you. You are the best insurance against damaging your property. It's yours, treat it well, keep it safe and it will work for you for a long time.

    Second, a case. I have had good luck with Speck cases for my iPhones. A little rubber padding and I can literally toss the thing over my shoulder and only worry if it lands face first on a pointy object. Other than that, nothing. I have tested this mys

  • For a long time, I've used my homeowners insurance policy to make sure ALL of my gadgets are covered - laptop, tablet, computers, music players, cameras, etc... Anything that costs more than about $100 to buy new I'd have added into my "technology" rider for a nominal fee per month on top of my regular homeowners policy.

    More recently, however, they've explicitly started excluding smartphones which is likely due to the "I want the new iThing" phenomenon. Read: Insurance fraud.

    In lieu of a formal policy fro

  • If you are that clumsy that you tend to drop your fragile smart phone, maybe you should consider one that isn't so easily broken.
  • Does it cover data loss? Will it pay your medical bills if you get a brain tumour?

    I don't understand why you would insure a disposable commodity. It's like insuring your toaster, or your shoes. Embrace your inner klutz and buy a cheaper phone.
  • I am planning to add it to an insurance/extended warranty plan I have which covers my shoes, socks, trousers, shirts, sunglasses. The underwear insurance is thrown in free with these things - I don't pay any extra premium for it.

  • You haven't even read a review of the product yet. Furthermore, you're about to get it and then be able to review it yourself.

    There are many tradeoffs in mobile personal computer tech, mostly pitting battery life versus countless considerations, with the most debatable being screen resolution and GPU, but also including CPU. The result is that any particular phone model is very likely to not happen to match your own personal preferences. i.e. there probably does exist the perfect phone for you, but if y

  • My father gave me the following advice: "Insure against catastrophe, not inconvenience." If you can afford to replace a broken/stolen phone - even if it means buying a cheaper model/refurb, cutting back on a different luxury for a little while, or putting it on a 20% APR credit card - then the insurance isn't worth it. OTOH, if you truly can't afford to replace the phone (why did you buy a phone that far out of your budget in the first place?), then an insurance policy would be appropriate.

    As others have me

  • by Muerte23 (178626) on Monday September 17, 2012 @11:36AM (#41363155) Journal

    My homeowners insurance charges something like $10 per YEAR for computer insurance that also includes... smartphones. With a $50 deductible and $1000 per incident. My some dropped my wife's Samsung Somethingorother in the pool and the insurance paid out ~$500 for a new phone. Way cheaper than any other plan I have ever seen for phones. It also covers laptops, and all devices in the house are covered under the single $10 payment.

"One Architecture, One OS" also translates as "One Egg, One Basket".

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