Insuring Your Cell Phone

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 9:22am

Square Trade offers options to carrier provided insurance.

Many of us would be lost if something we're to happen to our cell phone, but it can get expensive to replace it.

It's something John Dalgleish knows all too well.

"I am a pretty rough guy," admitted Dalgleish. "I've dropped it in a cup of coffee, it's fallen out of my pocket, I've fallen on it, I've smashed it against things."

In about two years, Dalgleish has gone through about four phones in two years, costing him close to $500.

"The fees were really stacking up, so I was looking for an alternative way to save money," he says.

That's when he came across Square Trade, a third party insurance company offering consumers almost the same coverage as cell phone carriers at a third of the cost.

"Ten to 15 percent of items fail over a useful life span," said Steve Abernethy, President & CEO of Square Trade. "With smart phones you're carrying around an item with a lot of glass, and if you drop it or it gets wet, it fails."

Under the Square Trade policy, you can insure a phone purchased from any major carrier.

It covers spills, drops and ordinary malfunction. It does not cover loss or theft and, according to Abernethy, in their experience, it's not worth the price to cover incidents such as those.

Square Trade customers pay $99 for a period of two years with a deductible of $50.

So how does that price compare with the major carriers?

AT&T offers its customers Mobile Protect.

For $11.99 a month with a deductible up to $199, you are covered when it comes to spills, drops, ordinary malfunction and loss and theft.

The same coverage is offered by Sprint for $7 a month with a deductible of $100.

T-Mobile's insurance plan is $5.99 a month with a deductible of up to $130.

Verizon's plan ranges from $6.99 to $10.99 per month with a deductible ranging between $99 and $199.

"Our view is there is no reason to be charging so much, no reason to make it so hard to have a claim experience," said Abernethy. "We basically wanted to create something that was fairly priced, easy to use and good value."

Making a claim on Square Trade is also similar to the major carriers.

Once you register on Square, you could have a new or refurbished phone within days.

You can also purchase Square Trade insurance for phones bought on Ebay.

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