Is Cell Phone Insurance Worth It

Cell phones are an essential part of contemporary life. Our daily flow is upset when we can’t use them properly, even if it’s merely an empty battery or misplacement.

Insuring a cell phone is supposed to give us peace of mind, but can it?

Heck no.

What does it cover? Typically, insurance only covers a phone being lost or stolen. Note that those two options don’t include malfunctioning, physical damage, water damage, or any other defect.

Which phones does it cover? Not every one. Insurance plans can be manufacturer or even model specific. Some of the more expensive phones like Blackberries or iPhones are not part of available plans.

What makes insurance different from a warranty? Not much, except that you pay for insurance. In fact, warranties may cover more damages than a comparable insurance plan.

How much does it cost? Around $5/month. Note that two years of insurance costs $120, which is sometimes more than the cost of a phone and service contract for the same period!

What happens when I need to get a new phone? You are under no guarantee to receive the same model, or even a comparable model. The fine print explains this. One insurer reportedly sends customers formerly discarded phones that have been “refurbished”— simply reactivated.

Hey, what’s the deal? Cell phone insurance is nothing more than a classic bait-and-switch. A cell phone user wants to protect their phone, and assumes that insurance is a good idea.

But unlike other forms, cell insurance has a shadowy premium and a very limited definition of coverage. This ensures that the insurer rarely needs to fork over a new (or even comparable) phone, but can consistently accept small payments from thousands of victims.

Cell phones are bad investments to begin with, as they are constantly being improved and upgraded. If you need to use an expensive phone, you’d be better off setting aside your own “insurance” fund in case of loss.

If you’re worried about your phone becoming lost or damaged, you should opt into a contract that allows for frequent upgrades or replacements.

But please, don’t insure your phone!

Alexander Carl

Alexander Carl

I find it difficult to brag about myself. Too modest? Perhaps.

Anyway: my name is Alexander Carl. I am a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I spent four blissful years earning a degree in Communication Studies. Now I face the real world of economic downturns, student loans, and the absence of “academic” camaraderie.

Yet I refuse to be bummed. My economic philosophy is to live simply, save, and maximize whatever I can. Consumer culture is undeniably pervasive, but you don’t have to sell your soul to co-exist with it— there is great power from using your economic resources wisely.

I started writing when I figured out how to hold a pencil. Since then I’ve written short stories, poetry, screenplays, and have blogged. In fact, three of my screenplays have been produced into short films, two of which I directed. I’m no stranger to the media, having served as a DJ at a freeform radio station and worked as a crew member for live TV.

Pastimes include traveling (I’ll visit virtually anywhere), swimming, jogging, hiking, and hunkering down with a good movie.

Overall I’m a peaceful person, though not in a creepy New Agey way. I get my energy from music, good conversation, and the outdoors (I was an active Boy Scout, earning my Eagle). I consider myself “inquisitive” and “wry”, and for the sake of autobiography I’ll assume that I am.
Alexander Carl

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