Is Phone Insurance Worth It? 3 Things To Consider First

Smartphones are a marvel of modern engineering, allowing us to carry miniaturized computers that connect us to the world around us wherever we go. At the same time, while things like CPU power and camera quality are constantly evolving, other aspects of smartphones have been slow to improve over the years.

One consistent complaint about smartphones is how easy they are to break. On top of that, getting them fixed can be a tall order. For example, fixing a cracked screen can cost upwards of $150. One protection against this is phone insurance, but that can cost a lot on its own. When the books balance out, is phone insurance worth it?

What Is Phone Insurance?

Phone insurance works much like any other form of insurance. For a regular fee, you are financially protected against paying in full for any necessary repairs on your smartphone. In addition to repairs, many forms of insurance can also cover a lost or stolen device.

Insurance plans are protection plans that are normally paid on a month-to-month basis. Just like with other forms of insurance, you get a plan that includes a deductible. This deductible is the amount that you pay as a consumer before the insurance kicks in to cover the rest. Before agreeing to any insurance plan, you want to make sure you are happy with the deductible.

You make claims through this insurance either online or over the phone. Once a claim is made, it is reviewed by an agent, and you can track the process through your carrier (if you got insurance from a carrier).

What Carriers Offer Phone Insurance?

Each of the big three phone carriers has different insurance options to choose from:


AT&T uses Asurion to provide its Project Advantage insurance, which starts as low as $14 per month. It offers single device protection, unlimited screen repair with a $29 deductible, troubleshooting support, same-day replacement, unlimited battery replacement, three claims for loss of phone, and two claims for accidental damage.

The options available go all the way up to $45 per month, which nets the consumer more claims to use throughout the year.


Verizon also offers plans through Asurian under the umbrella of Verizon Mobile Protect. This includes same-day replacement for lost, stolen, or damaged devices, unlimited screen repairs with a $29 deductible, battery replacement, and identity theft monitoring.

All of this starts at $17 per month for a single device. For $50, you can get the same benefits for three devices.


T-Mobile uses Assurant to provide device protection or protection 360 packages. The basic package nets you accidental damage, theft, loss, and mechanical issue coverage. The premium option nets your security protection, unlimited screen protection with a $29 deductible, and other upgrades.

Any customer can sign up for insurance within 30 days of their initial purchase with T-Mobile. If a package is bought after you already have the phone, an inspection may be required for eligibility.

What Does Phone Insurance Not Cover?

While phone insurance does tend to encompass a lot of the most common smartphone losses and damages, there are some important things that it will not cover. Some of these things include:

Fixing a Tampered Phone

Most companies do not like it when you start messing around with the hardware or software that you get off the shelf. While it is popular in some circles to modify your phone to operate differently than it is meant to, be aware that does come with some risks.

Tampering with a phone can come in many forms. Some people try to add upgrades of their own to the device by changing the hardware and adding new parts. Others will try to jailbreak a phone, giving it access to a wide variety of features that are not normally compatible with the device.

Either way, these are no-goes if you want your money back. Insurance cannot pay for any mistakes you intentionally inflict on your phone.

Cosmetic Flaws

If your phone is still completely usable, your insurance likely won’t cover it. This means that scrapes along the side or scratches that make the phone look less appealing are not something you can get a discounted fix or replacement for.

Cracked glass is the exception. Many insurance plans do offer screen replacement with a certain deductible, meaning you can get your phone screen replaced even if the device is still usable. Check in with your plan provider to see how much damage is necessary before you are eligible for a screen replacement.

Unauthorized Repairs

Your plan will tell what types of repairs are possible under your insurance plan. There are certain damages and software issues that you will not be able to get covered for under a majority of plans.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are experiencing damages that would require unauthorized repairs, you can look into phone replacement or see if your provider knows of resources that can help.

How Does a Warranty Differ From Phone Insurance?

Another common option for people who want to protect their phones is the initial warranty. While within the window of your warranty period, you can have your phone repaired or replaced for free.

Generally, a warranty will cover any damages to your phone caused by a malfunction. This means that hardware and mechanical failures that cause the phone to cease functioning will be covered.

Software failures that are the fault of the company are also covered. Some warranties will cover damages caused by user error, but most warranties are built to protect you from getting stuck with a defective product.

Some companies will offer extended warranties, meaning you can pay extra to have your warranty period last longer if you are worried about particular damages popping up.

A warranty is usually paid out in a lump sum when you purchase the product. Instead of paying monthly, your warranty is a one-time payment that lasts however long your agreement indicates.

Should You Get Phone Insurance?

There are many options out there for people who want to protect their phones, which begs the question: is insurance worth it? Well, at the start of your plan, sure. Insurance is a great way to make sure a new device is fully functional with minimal anxiety around necessary repairs.

However, a warranty could also provide a lot of that peace of mind. The problem with insurance is that it requires monthly, static payments. While your payments cost the same every month, your phone is constantly decreasing in value.

Eventually, if you are paying an average of $15 per month for your insurance, you will reach a point where your insurance payment is a very significant chunk of the total cost of your phone. There comes the point where the cost of repairing or replacing your phone ends up being cheaper than the cost of a year’s worth of insurance.

While insurance can be a good deal depending on what you are looking for early on in your purchasing process, you want to make sure you have a plan that accounts for your phone’s drop in value.


Insurance can certainly be a very helpful tool for peace of mind, but there are a lot of repair and replacement tools out there. Before choosing an insurance plan, you should check in to see if it will be worth it to maintain in the long term.

Some phone plans let you cancel after a certain period, which can be a great way to avoid overpaying. On the other hand, some warranty options will give you all the peace of mind you need without having to pay large, static payments indefinitely.

When looking for a phone or phone plan, use Navi to help you make the right choice. Knowing what deals are out there and whether or not you are going to want insurance on your phone can be a tall order. Use Navi today to find out whether or not you need insurance for the phone and phone plan you love.


Cell Phone Services and Repair | Best Buy

AT&T Cell Phone Protection - Protect Advantage | Asurion

Verizon Mobile Protect | Verizon

Protection <360>® and device protection | T-Mobile Support