What is Cell Phone Insurance?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Cell phone insurance is an insurance product which is designed to provide people with replacements for damaged, stolen, or lost cell phones. Many cell providers offer insurance with their plans, and people can also purchase insurance through a third party agency. Before purchasing cell phone insurance, people should carefully evaluate the plan and read through the fine print, because the insurance policy may carry some hidden surprises.

A GSM cell phone.
A GSM cell phone.

Like other insurance policies, cell phone insurance is supposed to provide protection for someone in the event that something bad happens. A cell phone can be very expensive, especially if it is a new model with a lot of desirable options, and people may not be able to afford a replacement for a lost, stolen, or damaged phone. With cell phone insurance, customers should be provided with a replacement phone or a cash payment they can use to replace a phone.

With some insurance coverage, users might not be able to get the same model as a replacement if the phone is lost or stolen.
With some insurance coverage, users might not be able to get the same model as a replacement if the phone is lost or stolen.

One of the problems with cell phone insurance is that the replacement phone will not necessarily be the same model. This may not always be an issue, but it could be a problem if the replacement lacks features which a cell phone user likes to have access to. It may also take some time for a replacement to arrive, despite claims that it will be delivered via next day mail, and sometimes customers have to pay a deductible, which can drive the cost of the replacement up considerably when people consider the monthly payments they made on the insurance plan.

In some cases, insurance for a cell phone can also be redundant. Some manufacturers provide comprehensive product warranties which will guarantee replacement, and third party providers sometimes push their products to consumers who do not realize that their cell phone plan already includes replacement of cell phones. The insurance may also not cover certain devices, and a company will happily sell insurance to someone with a phone which is exempt from the insurance coverage, which is something to watch out for.

When selecting cell phone insurance, consumers should read the fine print so that they understand which devices are covered, and under what circumstances. They should also consider the cost of the phone, and the cost of the insurance plan over time. A plan which costs $5 United States Dollars (USD) every month, a common price for an insurance plan, may not sound very expensive, but that adds up to $60 USD every year!

In some cases, cell phone insurance can be redundant.
In some cases, cell phone insurance can be redundant.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


Asurion is a rip off. They have high deductibles and make money on claims if it is for accidental damage or liquid damage. They push you in to plans for theft and loss, when it is the lowest peril. There are much better deals out there such as gocare. They have a $50 deductible and costs $59 per year, and better coverage.


Most cell phone companies these days seem to offer their own insurance plans. I know that my T Mobile cell phone insurance covers things like theft and I only have to pay a small premium per month to get the extra coverage.

The only thing I would advise if you are going with your cell phone company's insurance is to read the fine print. Some of the plans have huge deductibles and don't cover things that you think they would. Water damage is a huge one. I made the mistake of taking my phone to the beach and it got wrecked. Unfortunately I didn't have water coverage and had to buy a new phone myself.


@lonelygod - It is definitely a good idea to buy cell phone insurance if you have a high end phone. I know my phone cost well over $1000 and I like to protect my investments.

You should look into Assurian cell phone insurance as they offer some good plans for looking after higher end phones. There are of course some complaints online, so don't be surprised if you look up some reviews of the company and get quite a bit of negativity. If your phone is worth under $500 I wouldn't bother with the insurance, as it is probably cheaper just to get a new one on your own dollar.


I recently purchased a rather expensive new cell phone and am wondering if mobile insurance might be a good idea. Does anyone have any experience with mobile phone insurance, was it worth the money?

I know my cell phone warranty covers things like damage and manufacturer's defects but I am more concerned about either losing the phone or having it stolen. I would like to find an insurance policy that would take my mind off of what would happen if anything happens to the phone. I must admit it was a special purchase as I usually never spend much on electronics.

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