One survey found the average adult spends almost 3 hours on their smartphone each day; One out of every three customers will lose or damage their phone within the first year, according to Sprint. In total, this amounts to approximately 60 million cell phones that are lost or damaged every year in the U.S. alone, according to Asurion cell phone insurance
While some generations may be more attached to their phone than others the fact is that smartphones are at the center of our lives. And given all the data stored inside — everything from our contacts and appointments to photos and songs — if anything happens to your phone, it can really disrupt your life.
In fact, this dependency has given way to a new product – mobile, or cell, phone insurance. Mobile phone insurance packages vary by feature and are usually offered by service providers, like Verizon and AT&T, or by the phone manufacturer, like Apple or Samsung. Cell phone insurance can be handy if your handset is stolen, lost or damaged. Many cell phone carriers do offer cell phone insurance for a low monthly fee.
As a general rule, it’s unlikely that cell phone insurance would save you money if you have a low-cost, budget cell phone. Cell phone insurance can be more valuable, though, with higher-priced phones (and especially smartphones).
Should you spend hundreds every year? cell phone insurance
As an example, Sprint offers an equipment replacement program for $4 per month with a $50 to $100 non-refundable deductible (depending on the device) per approved claim.
AT&T charges $4.99 per month with a $50 to $125 non-refundable deductible per approved claim. AT&T allows two claims per year with a maximum replaced value of $1,500 per claim.
T-Mobile charges $5.99 per month with various non-refundable deductibles. Verizon Wireless charges $5.99 per month with a $39 deductible for basic phones or $7.99 per month with an $89 deductible for advanced devices.
Of course, that figure doesn’t include the fees that you may incur when you actually need to use the insurance. That same article found the plan had a deductible of $79 per cracked screen repair or $149 for more serious damage or to replace a lost phone.
Unless your whole family is very accident prone, these costs can be expensive to justify. A survey from Consumer Reports found that only 15% of phone buyers acquired a new phone because the old one broke.