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Choosing the Best Insurance for Your Phone

by on September 15, 2016
in Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones, Tips & How-Tos, Tech 101, iPhone 6 :: 18 comments

Phone insurance and extended protection plans aren't cheap, but the investment can save you big down the line should your phone get lost, stolen or damaged. Take the iPhone 6s. While you may be able to get it for $0 down, a replacement will cost you $549 out of pocket and even a small drop can leave you with a cracked display that can cost hundreds to fix.

Fortunately, protection plan options are plentiful, but picking the right one can be complicated. Extended warranty plans only cover repairs when there's a mechanical failure, not loss, theft or accidental damage. Other plans will cover accidental and mechanical failures but not loss or theft. And, different types of coverage come at varying price points. 

So which is the right plan for you? If you, or your child, is forgetful or accident prone, a full coverage plan may be best. Or, you may have enough coverage from your credit card company or home owner's insurance. Check out the following plans to see what's right for you. 


Many large electronics retailers offer phone insurance. Best Buy, for example, will insure an iPhone 6s for two years for $7.99 a month. That covers malfunctions as well as accidental damage to the phone, but not loss or theft. For loss and theft you can step up to a $10.99 plan.

There’s a $149.99 (for phones valued under $799.99 otherwise $199.99) deductible for claims that are not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty and you have to buy the Geek Squad protection with the product online or within 15 days of buying your phone in-store. And for loss or theft, the deductible is $199.99 (or phones valued under $799.99 otherwise $249.99) There’s a limit of 3 claim submissions for regular claims, or 2 claims if due to loss or theft.


For two years of coverage for mechanical and electrical failures as well as accidental damage—but not loss or theft—SquareTrade offers a warranty for any iPhone for $149 for two years. That’s a better deal compared with Best Buy, even though they nail you with a $99 deductible for every smartphone claim.

You can buy a SquareTrade warranty on a retail item within 30 days of buying it or if the phone is currently insured by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile.

Worth Ave. Group

An insurance policy from Worth Ave. Group covers a cell phone for accidental damage such as drops and spills as well as theft, fire, flood, natural disasters and lightning strikes. For an iPhone 6s (with $650 coverage), you’ll spend $134 for two years with a $50 deductible.

Worth Ave Group doesn't cover Android phones.


For $8 per month, AT&T offers coverage for loss, theft, accidental damage and out-of-warranty malfunction of your phone. You'll need to purchase protection within 30 days of phone activation or upgrade to enroll. When making a claim, you'll need to pay a $50-$299 deductible (iPhones have a $225 deductible. If you go 6 months without a claim, the fee drops to $168 and if you are claim free for 12 months, the fee is $112). You can make two claims per year for a total of $1,500.

For $9-$11 per month, Sprint offers full coverage–loss, theft, accidental damage and mechanical or electrical breakdown. For mechanical or electrical failure, there is no deductible for the first two claims. A $25 fee applies after within a 12-month period. Otherwise, you'll also pay a deductible of $50-$250 (see the full list of fees and deductibles) for each claim. You can make two claims per year for a total of $1,500. Now through September 30, 2016 you can enroll regardless of when you upgraded or activated your device.

T-Mobile offers you full coverage–loss, theft, accidental damage and mechanical or electrical breakdown–for $10 a month. A non-refundable deductible of $20 to $175 (iPhones have a $175 deductible), depending on your device, is applied for each claim. You can make two claims each year with a limit of $1,500 for each loss.

Verizon bills $9-$11 for loss, theft, accidental damage and electrical or mechanical failure after the manufacturer's warranty expires ($11 for iPhones). There's a deductible of $99-$199, depending on which model iPhone you have. You can make two claims per year for a total of $1,500.

Major Credit Cards

There are two ways that credit cards can provide coverage for your phone. First, many major credit cards extended the manufacturer’s warranty by a year or longer, though it varies depending on the card. Check out’s tutorial on the subject. Many also cover loss from theft or damage within the first 90 days after purchase.

You can also get theft and damage coverage from select cards if you use them pay for your cell phone service, including Wells Fargo and First Citizens Bank. has a list of more than 25 banks and credit unions offering the feature.

Homeowners/Renters Insurance

For larger purchases, such as premium smartphones, some insurance companies will let you attach a rider to your homeowners or renters insurance, which will specifically cover that purchase. Smartphones are usually covered in general by homeowners and renters insurance under the same conditions of your general insurance policy. You'll want to check with your provider to find out your options.

You'll also want to find out how filing claims for your smartphone, if you don't have a rider, may impact the fees you pay for your overall homeowners or renters insurance and whether repeat claims could lead to your insurance company dropping your coverage.

Pricing by Provider for an iPhone 6s

  Best Buy Carriers Worth Ave. Group SquareTrade Major Credit Cards Homeowners Insurance AppleCare
Loss  ✔   (first 90 days) Varies  
Theft   (first 90 days) Varies  
Damage   Varies
Mechanical / Electrical Defect    
When you can purchase Within 15 days of purchase Varies Anytime Within 30 days of purchase or if the phone is currently insured by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon Automatic at time of purchase   Within 60 days of purchase
Deductible $150/$200 (regular claims), $200/$249 (loss or theft) $200 $50 $99 $0 Varies $129
Cost for 2 years
$192 ($8/month for 24 months) for regular coverage, $264 for loss/theft $168-$264 $134 $149 $0 Varies, but starts around $40 $29 for screen damage, $99 for other repairs


Pricing by Carrier for an iPhone 6 16GB

  AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Verizon
Deductible $225 $0 (for first 2 claims if it can be repaired in-store), $250 $175 $149
Cost for 2 years
$192 (full coverage) $264 (full coverage) $240 $216 (full coverage)
Claims & coverage
2 claims per year, total $1,500 2 claims per year, total $1,500 2 claims per year, total $1,500 per claim 2 claims per year, total $1,500


All pricing and plan data as of 9/14/2016

[Smartphone with broken display via Shutterstock]

Discussion loading



From Colleen on September 17, 2014 :: 1:35 am

For an iPhone,Applecare is $99.
“Every iPhone comes with one year of hardware repair coverage through its limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary support. AppleCare+ for iPhone extends your coverage to two years from the original purchase date of your iPhone and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a $79 service fee plus applicable tax.”



Yes, for iPhone definitely something

From Suzanne Kantra on September 17, 2014 :: 12:06 pm

Yes, for iPhone definitely something to consider! I’ve added the info on AppleCare to the chart above for easy comparison.



Apple misses the best opportunity to sell the insurance....

From Randolph on September 16, 2016 :: 6:24 pm

I’ve always thought this a waste of money for an adult that doesn’t go clubbing, until my wife had someone toss something in her purse and, Broken Screen!!

Apple replaced it for $129, but they don’t have sense enough to offer the insurance after you’ve had a problem—my wife would have spent $200 for the insurance, as the phone was only 4 months old.

They really are missing opportunities, she couldn’t be the only one who would add the coverage if offerred!!


The best priced Cell Phone insurance that covers EVERYTHING!

From Angelo Maimone on October 21, 2014 :: 5:31 pm

As always you leave out Who has been in the mobile device insurance business for 15 years. So your readers can be educated on the BEST insurance for any cell phone not just the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, I will tell them the FACTS! Esurranty offers more coverage, has same day repair at over 300+ locations Nationwide and customers don’t have to be reimbursed. They pay their deductible of between $50-89 depending on the device and that’s it. If there is no place close, they give you a smartphone loaner phone delivered next day with all the shipping materials needed to send your device in for next day repair as well. There is no better insurance for yo




From Josh Kirschner on October 21, 2014 :: 7:01 pm

Well, “as always”, we try to identify the best services for our readers. Having never heard of your company before, I did a little research.

Nowhere on your site do you indicate who your underwriter is for the insurance you offer and I couldn’t find eSurranty as a registered insurer in the State of Florida where you’re based. Can you clarify that? It’s obviously important when considering an insurance plan so you know they’ll be there to honor your claim when the time comes.

Also, I found a bankruptcy filing from a year ago for eSurranty ( That’s a little disconcerting, too, without a good explanation.


Answers to your questions...

From Angelo Maimone on October 21, 2014 :: 8:49 pm

Mr. Kirshner,
Thank you very much for bringing to my attention your concerns and what you have, and have not found regarding our company. I appreciate any constructive criticism. To start, let me say that the previous post was not directed at this site and it’s authors. I actually meant to take out the heading part of it where I state that you leave us out. Now, as far as the underwriting inquiry. We underwrite our own policies as we have demonstrated the financial stability to do so to the proper authority in our state. There is a financial bond in place to protect our policies holders should we not be able to continue in business. As far as a bankruptcy filing, we have never filed bankruptcy. The filing you see was done by a former employee that used parts of our company name, information and address but did not complete the action as we were made aware of it and filed a motion with the courts to halt any action. We have been in contact over the last year to get this removed as part of our company but have been told that since the filing was incomplete and not done by a corporate officer that more legal measures would have to be done. At this moment we have not found the necessity to spend money on doing this. Regarding our claims, we have partnered with repair centers throughout the USA & Canada to offer same day repairs to all of our customers so there would never be a time where they would not be able to utilize this service. Once again, I appreciate your constructive criticism and look forward to answering any further inquiries you may have.



Multi-Device protection plan

From Kim on November 02, 2014 :: 11:25 am

I found your post very helpful. I am a new AT&T customer and recently purchased 3 new smartphones; an iPhone 6, Galaxy S5, and an HTC1 M8. The sales rep at the AT&T sold me on the multi-device protection plan which is $29.99/month. Up to three devices are covered at any one time with 6 claims in a two-year period. I have read the terms and conditions. In order to get all 4 smartphones in our house protected (my daughter has a previously owned iPhone 5) and to make a claim, I would have to de-register a device and then register the device for which I would like to make a claim. What they don’t tell you in the store is that if I have already made a claim on a device and I de-register it, I cannot re-register it to make another claim. It seems like a lot of hoops to jump through to get all of the smartphones in my house covered. It just doesn’t feel right.
I have three teenagers in my house who are very hard on their phones, so I feel like I need to do something to protect these very expensive mobile computers. I am going to purchase AppleCare for the iPhone and probably Squaretrade for the other devices. I am also going to check into the homeowner’s insurance rider as well.


Be careful with Worth Ave Group

From Shari Harris-Dunning on February 26, 2015 :: 3:14 pm

I have Worth Ave Group.  I filed a theft claim, supplying them all the necessary documentation.  Three times they denied the claim, using the “mysterious disappearance” clause. I did complain to BBB and have filed complaint letters.  They have agreed to process the claim, “in good faith”, but they also have the right to decide how on the settlement options: (1) We will pay the current cost of repair or replacement but not exceeding the lesser of the following options:

a)The full cost of repair including parts and labor;

b)Replacement cost at the time of loss or adjustment based on a Refurbished item of like kind and quality;

c)Replacement cost at the time of loss or adjustment based on a New item of like kind and quality;

d)The coverage amount listed on your Declaration page;

Of course they are going with the lowest amount (at cost refurbished).



We'd Like to Help You.

From Jan Miller on September 08, 2015 :: 4:19 pm

Hello Ms. Dunning,

We’re sorry that you weren’t pleased with our handling of your claim. If you could give us a little information, we would like to look into the matter for you.
First, has you claim been settled since you wrote your comment in February, 2015? If so, did we make you whole again with regards to your phone?
If not, please let us know where we went wrong in providing you with the service you expected.

Like you, I too have been the victim of a “mysterious disappearance” loss. That kind of loss means that there was no sign of forced entry to the place where the stolen item was located, nor was there any indication of a burglary (damage done by thieves, witnesses to a crime, etc.) The term ‘mysterious disappearance’ means “it was here, but just disappeared”. The only way to substantiate such a claim is to provide a police report. In my own situation, my obtaining a police report resolved the matter for my insurance company. Were you able to get a police report and submit it to our claim department?
Lastly, regarding the settlement options; the reason that we include the value of a refurbished item is that once we repair your device, it is technically a “refurbished” device. If some entity can provide you with a refurbished device for less than what you could repair it, wouldn’t it make sense to get that already refurbished device? I hope that explains our position. But please let us know if you want more information or are still dissatisfied. We’d like to work with you to make you a happy customer.


warantee or voiding insurance

From Carter Newton on August 21, 2015 :: 2:25 pm

I have self repaired broken glass with a kit (now quite cheap via Amazon) on earlier iphones; now I am worried that an attempt (clearly the cheapest option at 15 to $20) will void any insurance . This re an iphone 6+ that is 5 months old. Any insight?



You need to contact your insurance carrier

From Josh Kirschner on August 24, 2015 :: 9:52 am

Whether a self repair will void warranty coverage depends on the language of your agreement with the insurance carrier. Apple’s warranty says you should not open the device and they won’t cover damage caused by self repairs, but it doesn’t explicitly state that doing a self repair voids the warranty.



From Carter Newton on August 24, 2015 :: 10:28 am

Many thanks, Josh!



I usually get the monthly

From Nat on August 22, 2015 :: 2:02 pm

I usually get the monthly coverage.  My “rule of thumb” is to discontinue it when the new model comes out. If I lose or damage it, I can either replace it on ebay or get the new model.  I have a Galaxy Note 4 and the Note 5 just came out.  Time to drop the insurance.



Anything is too much $$$$

From Randy on August 23, 2015 :: 8:19 am

At this point in my life, had I bought ‘extended warranties’ on most applicances, cars, etc. the dollar amount would be in the Hundreds of Thousands….they’re nothing but a waste of money IMO…I never would have made a claim.



Square Trade wording is awful. Are others like this?

From MrPete on December 16, 2015 :: 6:24 pm

In the legalese of Square Trade coverage ( they say the total value of their coverage is the “Coverage Amount” which is equal to the price I paid for the phone:

Coverage Amount: The purchase price of the Covered Product

But if I get a great deal on my phone—whether the $150 discount for committing to two years, or paying $0.96 on Black Friday… legally they are only willing to cover 96 cents!

I want to assume this is “just a typo” but it is a HUGE legal hole :(



AT&T Insurance non straightforward

From L A Graham on September 16, 2016 :: 4:11 pm

I had - read “HAD” - the AT&T insurance that’s offered in the monthly billing to cover my granddaughter’s iPhone.  The phone began to malfunction badly and was replaced under the insurance policy.  What we were NOT told when we agreed to the insurance was that under that particular policy at that time there was a $150 deductible for iPhones (we were told $50 deductible by in-store rep) AND the replacement phone she was given under the police was a used/reconditioned phone - which had more problems than the phone it replaced.  Since that time we have opted NOT to have insurance coverage; the sum of the deductible and monthly premiums don’t make it cost effective - particularly when what you get as “settlement” is a used and often defective phone.


Special eBay SquareTrade deals

From Scott Neader on September 19, 2016 :: 7:20 pm

I’m looking at buying a used phone on eBay and I was surprised that, at the time of checkout, I can add a 1-year warranty for $52 or a 2-year warranty for $78, with NO Deductible. It says “Covers all hardware & electrical failures starting on day 46 after item purchase. We fix it or pay full replacement cost in 5 business days or less (free 2-way shipping for repairs). 100% Parts and labor, no deductibles or hidden fees. Transfer or Cancel any time (full refund in first 30 days). When I look on their own website, there are no deals like this—so this is just a heads up to those that are looking to buy a phone on eBay.



Worth Ave Group DOES Cover Android

From bRIAN on October 16, 2016 :: 8:22 pm

Hi there—Just a note that Worth Group *does* cover Android phones.

I just purchased a policy myself today, and prior to doing so, had looked at Worth Group at least 6 months ago—and they covered Android phones back then too.

Just wanted to let everyone know that of the several options presented, Worth Group is available to them regardless of phone type—and they cover for loss/theft—my deciding factor!


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