Is Smartphone Insurance Really Necessary?

Although some financial analysts suggest that smartphone insurance is expensive and unnecessary, research indicates that the popularity of such phones, and the ease of breaking them, makes insurance on the devices extremely important to consumers. Research indicates that 80 million cell phones of all varieties will be lost, stolen or damaged this year.

Is Smartphone Insurance Really Necessary

The biggest reason to invest in insurance on your smartphone is the cost of replacing the devices. For some consumers, the cost of purchasing the phone with a two-year agreement may be less than $100, or in the case of older versions of the phones, free. However, should something happen to the phone before the two-year contract period is up, replacing the same device could cost as much as $700. The average cost of insurance on a smartphone is between $120 and $200 per year.

Everyone has a story related to a damaged or lost smartphone, including those who placed a smartphone in their pocket, only to forget about it until they sat down and cracked the screen. There are those who have jumped in swimming pools or lakes, forgetting the cell phone in their pocket. There are even those who have dropped the phone in toilets. Smartphones are highly portable, but slippery, making them easy to drop, and many users have found that concrete is unforgiving when a smartphone meets it.

Damaged phones are not the only reason to invest in insurance for a smartphone. The Federal Communications Commition reports that as many as 40 percent of robberies in metropolitan areas involve the theft of cell phones. In addition, because consumers tend to place the devices on tables and bars while dining, they are easy targets for thieves.

Some experts say that consumers rarely think of how fragile a smartphone is, handling it as roughly as they handle their car keys, says one expert. With people living a much more mobile lifestyle, fragile cell phones are often a casualty as people drop them on concrete, in water or leave them behind at restaurants. With cell phone insurance, damage or loss is covered by the policy, although there is often a deductible. Some companies even offer coverage for iPods, iPads, Kindles and other handheld devices.

Although it is possible to self-insure your cell phone, which means should something happen to it, you absorb the entire cost of replacing the phone or other device. For many consumers, that cost is significant. It is important to look at insurance on electronic devices similar to insurance on your home or car, as it is unlikely you could replace the car or house out-of-pocket should either become damaged or stolen. Although the cost of a cell phone may be much less than a house or car, coming up with $600 or $700 to replace it may be just as difficult.

You can learn more about insurance for your smartphone or other electronic devices by visiting

About Teri

Teri Hardy is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined as well as the founder of Mom Powered Media. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She loves to write, doodle & go, go, go. Control freak, master multi-tasker and shopaholic. Ms. Hardy has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.


  1. The Fashionistyle says:

    I wish I knew this a month ago! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Marcia Lee says:

    I just got a new smartphone. They are expensive, but so is the insurance. I guess the bottom line is do I have enough money to replace it if something happens & I don’t have insurance, or can I make do with a regular cell until I save the money?

  3. I think it’s also important to note what is covered by the insurance and what the overall cost is (monthly price + deductible). It also helps to know the options before getting a new phone. Like knowing about apple care and the costs for it compared to the insurance offered by the carrier.

    And as for the Facebook comment about Best Buy, you should read the paperwork before you pay for. And I’ve personally never had a problem with Black Tie Protection on my purchases. It tends to cover more than I expect rather than less.

  4. We have bought the insurance for the kids cell phones. We worry about them breaking them or it getting stolen. It has paid for it’s self when my son drove over his cell phone. It depends on who is using it and how much it cost to replace the phone.

  5. I have purchase insurance for smartphones in the past. For us they have been well worth the money. I think you also need to look at what the store offers for a replacement insurance. we have bought the Black Tie insurance through Best Buy for many things and it has saved us a lot of money in the long run.

  6. I was able to get my iPhone insured as an extra fee as a part of my home & contents insurance, I think it was under $100/year.

  7. I actually have had my previous phone fall and become unusable and had to replace it before my contract was up. This can get quite expensive. So I decided to take insurance with my new phone.

  8. I especially think it is necessary for my son and husband because they are the worlds worst about misplacing things and/or dropping their phone!!

  9. I would usually turn down insurance, but this post has made me reconsider. I don’t have a smartphone, but my husband does. We did not purchase the insurance plan, but I just might for the next one. He’s been lucky, but I have many friends who have smartphone horror stories.

  10. Donna Martin says:

    In my opinion , think it’s almost always a waste of money because insurance costs more than the phone is worth and all this is just adding up to too much in many cases.

  11. Brenda Peterson says:

    I think getting the inusrance is a good investment. I have had it since I got my first phone. I have had 4 phones replaced free because I had it. One was stolen, one was a cracked screen, one was dropped and the other was because the phone over heated and fried itself. Would not go without insuance on a phone.

  12. I wouldnt get the insurance, but I can see why some would. They are so expensive to replace.

  13. millie carpenter says:

    if one gets an apple iPhone with apple care, there is no need for extra, twice as expensive phone company insurance. apple care is less expensive and has better coverage.

  14. I get the insurance only because I do not have the money to buy a phone for full price if the 2 years isn’t up yet…who really has $400+ now and days for a new phone if theirs breaks?? I know I don’t…as the insurance is pricey once you add it up over the 2 years but I rather pay only $150 to get a screen fixed then for a brand new phone. (And this did happen to my brother with his Iphone. He was stuck paying a cell phone bill with no phone for 6 months because he could not afford a phone full price and had to wait for the 2 years upgrade to take effect)

  15. Kitty Iecvan says:

    I haven’t even thought about getting insurance for my phone. It’s probably not worth it in my case.

  16. normally i always never get insurance on things because whatever it is, thats me splurging in the first place and im trying to save an extra penny…but in the long run i think its worth it because something ALWAYS happens…and now im thinking, better safe than sorry.

  17. As long as you read the fine print and know exactly what’s covered I think that its worth it. Companies differ though and I found out the hard way when my screen wasn’t covered on one company’s plan and it had been on another.

  18. Nicole Bear says:

    We get the insurance offered by our provider. We have lost a few to the ocean, so we always make sure we are covered.

  19. Michelle E says:

    We’ve had phone insurance and it has saved us!! I would recommend it.

  20. We don’t get top of the line phones and when we do, they are used an unlocked so not as expensive to replace. I think they can be a great idea but not something we can afford.

  21. Susan Andrade says:

    I think cell phone insurance of all companies is a joke.

  22. Jessica Houston says:

    I don’t know about the other phone companies. But I wouldn’t Cricket. Cricket will make you just buy a new phone a full price no matter if you have the insurance or not!

  23. Christina A. says:

    Problem I find is that they have deductibles now. So I pay 50 bucks and how ever much a month. I think it is pointless and a waste of money

  24. I don’t have the insurance, because we just couldn’t swing the extra $$ for it. However, with a two year old, I really do need it. Thanks to my little booger, I have a scratched screen and my phone is being held together with duct tape.

  25. Sherry Compton says:

    Insurance is something you definitely want to think over and consider. It’s a big cost and may not be worth it to you. Think about your usage, how often you change phones…Insurance can easily pay for itself and be a blessing or be a waste of money. It just depends on your situation and circumstances. Thanks for making us aware of it.

  26. I turn down the insurance but I do put Apple Care on my Apple products

  27. Andrea Williams says:

    I would really have to weigh the cost of premiums and deductible against the cost of a new phone. Thankfully, right now my phone really isn’t worth enough to worry about this but I’m sure in the future I won’t have a choice.

  28. Erica Ardali says:

    My problem with cell phone insurance is that it doesn’t seem to cover what typically damages the phone. If it were more inclusive I think most people might take insurance more seriously.

  29. I just got a smartphone for the first time. I am so behind the times~more like really can’t afford it. But I invested in a really good case as opposed to the insurance.

  30. I am upgrading to iPhone and was on the fence about insurance.

  31. We have never bought insurance for our phones before but when we upgrade, it’ll be tops on my list because phones are so expensive.

  32. Michelle S says:

    We have insurance on my husband’s phone but not mine. Let’s just say he isn’t as careful with his phone as I am. In fact, he left his sunroof open earlier this summer with his cell phone in the cupholder and when he came out of work there was at a least 3 inches of water his phone was sitting in. We didn’t bother with the rice trick – but he definitely got insurance on the new one!

  33. Interesting post, thanks for sharing!

  34. If you are accident prone, it is definitely worth it. I overheated, drowned, and ran over a blackberry. Got brand new ones each time, no problem! Got it for my iphone, had it two years and never had to replace it. EH, it just depends I suppose!!!

  35. i always buy insurance for my devices something always happens to them and i feel secure when i know i bought the insurance and thanks for sharing.

  36. Gina Hiskes says:

    Yes yes the answer is YES! We have Otter Boxes for our phones but couldn’t find one to fit our tablet, and the screen was shattered within days. It would be cheaper for us to buy a whole new one at this point. So frustrating!

  37. I think smartphone insurance is a GREAT idea! How many people do you see walking around with smashed screens?! I was one of them for MONTHS! haha

  38. It depends. My husband doesn’t use his phone that much and he use bluetooth in his car. He is also a super organized person, who rarely loses anything. He can get by without insurance but moi, I need it like a junkie needs a drug. I am not the most careful person in the world.

  39. My daughter went through a bunch of cell phones a few years ago. It was a good thing that we had insurance on the phones then.

  40. a friend of mine got one of those kinds of cases that are supposed to make your phone indestructible (they are around a hundred dollars as i remember), the problem is, it also makes it really heavy. i’m not sure, but i think the case company gave her some kind of insurance. it might be worth looking into…if you can stand the extra weight, it might be cheaper in the long run than just buying insurance alone.

  41. Janelle Carlos says:

    Smartphone insurance is necessary, generally. My Nokia’s speaker malfunctioned before, so I was glad I had insurance. On the other hand, paying extra is something I don’t like and seeing as I am very careful when it comes to smartphones, I mind that I pay extra for insurance I most likely will never use.

  42. Todd Lovessweeps says:

    I buy an otter box for all of my devices so the insurance isn’t really necessary.

  43. Carissa Joslyn says:

    Back when I was a teenager, I went through A LOT of phones, from them either being stolen, dropped, thrown(thank you anger!) etc, but i’m pretty sure i didn’t have insurance, which I should have. Now that I’m a mom of two (WILD) boys, I no longer even have a cell phone, too expensive and I know they’d break it. They’ve broke my tablet, ipods, 47 inch flat screen TV, etc! so I’ll just stay away from cell phones.. ha

  44. Nancy scaggs says:

    I think the insurance is worth it. ,life happens

  45. I have never thought about getting insurance for my phone, but as I am so clumsy it might be a good idea :)

  46. Jackie Preas says:

    I would have to consider getting the insurance on a smartphone in the future…right now I am still using an ordinary cell phone.

  47. I;ve never been one to get insurance on my phone, but it is somethimg i will consider in the future. The rates from Securranty sure seem reasonable, but I got my phone a few months ago so it is to late.

  48. I was able to get my smartphone insured under my home & contents insurance for under $100/year, but I never ended up using it. I’ve managed to hang onto my current phone for two years without having to replace it now, and I let the insurance lapse a year ago.

  49. casey flick says:

    My nexus 4 only costs $300 and through straight talk I can’t get insurance because its not a straight talk phone. Insurance would cost me as much as a phone a year so its not worth it for me. I’m just really careful :)

  50. It would be useful for those who are irresponsible like my sis in law, she gets a new phone every other month either she drops it or her 3 year old gets to it first

  51. Emily Linton says:

    I didn’t even know insurance for cell phones was available. It’s a good idea! I always think “It’ll never happen to me” but I’m always worried my daughter will somehow break my phone! :)

  52. Thank you for the thought provoking post. I always get insurance, or if no insurance is available, at least the hardcore extended warranty on all electronic devices. I’ve drowned a phone in chocolate milk (please don’t ask!) And then drown its replacement three days after getting it in the bathtub. Was so thankful that I always get the insurance on general principle even though I’d never lost or damaged a phone before. My kids had Nook e-readers and those both got damaged and were replaced thanks to insurance, and when we switched to Kindle Fires for them, sure enough, those were damaged and replaced, too, thanks to insurance. I’m really careful with my current phone and my tablet, but just in case…

  53. I would not get the insurance. I do however find a lot of people that should get the insurance and my son would be one of them.

  54. I have to consider how long I was going to keep the device for the duration of time insurance covered. Two years is a long time when technology is always changing so rapidly!

  55. Linda Meyers-Gabbard says:

    I am all for it. I have mine through Square Trade. I have had a phone replaced by them too.

  56. Ana Cristina says:

    Smartphones are expensive enough on their own, so if they break, the cost of replacing them is always much higher than whatever the insurance costs. But its always a big IF, IF if breaks, IF something happens. Otherwise, you paid all that insurance money for nothing.

  57. I don’t have a smart phone so I’m not sure. After reading the article, it sounds like a pretty good idea.

  58. I honestly hadn’t known that smart phone insurance was available until I read this article. I don’t have a smart phone – I know, I know, I’m living in the dark ages – but I have an iPod Touch, and a few months ago I dropped it in my cup of tea. This is the kind of thing you can’t make up, lol! Luckily the case protected it and I got off with just a scare, but if or when I get a smart phone to replace my flip phone, I think insurance will be on my mind.

  59. I have shattered one iphone, dropped one iphone in the dog’s water bowl, and another in the toilet. I’m a huge fan of insurance!

  60. i also dont have a smartphone but this article sound pretty cool and creative

  61. Wanda Tracey says:

    I think insurance is worth having because accidents happen and my daughter accidently drooped hers in water before her contract was up.

  62. Smartphone insurance is the best thing to get just in case you drop and it brakes

  63. I think insurance is a necessity. No matter how careful any of us are-accidents happen-That’s a fact!

  64. Stacy Anders says:

    It really depends on how rough you are on your phones. My husband always carries insurance, but has only had to make a claim one time. It actually worked out well. He got a newer model of his phone because they didn’t make the old version any longer.

  65. We had smartphone insurance on our phones but you always have to read the fine print. Even though we pay for the insurance when my screen cracked they still said I would have to pay $50 upfront just to turn it into the insurance plus it would renew our 2 year contract.

  66. Eileen Richter says:

    We’ve been really lucky with our phones, only once did one go in a neighbor’s pool but that was not even my son’s fault, and that was a cheaper phone. I agree maybe that it might be “necessary’ but we probably won’t do it unless or until some of us get the expensive smartphones. For now just hubby has one and reading about theft is probably a good reason for someone like him to at least insure his, considering the travel he does. Otherwise, he keeps a pretty rugged case on it and handles it with kidgloves.

  67. crystal smith says:

    I really had no idea that 40% of theft in cities was of cell phones?? I personal had a phone stolen about a year ago so I know it happens, but with statistics like insuring your phone makes even more sense :( I really dont know how expensive insurance on a contract phone is though? I have a Samsung Galaxy through straighttalk and paid I think around $20 for one year of insurance- it covers not only manufacturer defects but also breaks due to dropping, water, etc although it does not cover theft it would have seemed silly not to get it. Like you said I often forget that my phone is actually a fragile piece of electronics and expect it to hold up to rolling around in my purse etc

  68. I don’t have a smart phone so I haven’t given it much serious thought. Sounds like I need to consider it, the coverage and costs when I do get a smart phone.

  69. Susan Smith says:

    I haven’t even thought about getting insurance for my phone. So far I haven’t damaged my phone.

  70. I don’t have it, and I’ve never really thought about getting it. There are so many cheap/free phone deals these days that I’m not that worried about it.

  71. Stephanie F. says:

    Cellphone insurance is so worth it. People have their smart phones out and with them everywhere — even the bathroom — yuck! I’ve heard of so many people dropping their phones in the toilet.

  72. Renee Addison-Hutchinson says:

    I think this would be very important as well.

  73. Anna Johnson says:

    It makes you think about the consequences

  74. Christina Strapp says:

    I think it is a good ideal depending on how much the phone is worth. Especially if you have a toddler that likes to take your phone.

  75. Katt Lewis says:

    I suppose if I owned a $700 I might consider insuring it, but not so much on a $49 phone.

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