A phone protection plan seems like a no-brainer. After all, phones are expensive, yet they’re surprisingly easy to break or lose. However, once you read the fine print, you might find that those protection plans aren’t always as good as you might think.
Pros and Cons
The most obvious benefit is you have a plan in place to repair or replace your phone should something happen to it. Imagine if you just purchased the new iPhone X for $999 and broke it a week later. Your phone could be repaired or replaced free of charge or after you pay a deductible, which would be less than the cost of a new phone.
However, every phone protection plan has fine print. This typically includes fees, exclusions, deductibles, and monthly charges. It’s important to weigh the costs as to whether it’s better to go without protection or deal with the fees.
Replacing Might Be Cheaper
Believe it or not, replacing your phone out-of-pocket might be cheaper. Add up the cost of the protection plan over the life of your phone along with your deductible. If it’s more than your phone, you’re better off replacing it yourself.
Paying Per Month
While your phone does come with a warranty, coverage is limited. A phone protection plan fills in the gaps. However, this comes with a monthly charge. For instance, Verizon’s Equipment Protection plan costs $7.15 per month for smartphones. This cost varies based on the protection provider and even the type of device you own.
Related Read: 10 Smartphone Features to Consider: A Buyer’s Guide
Service Charges and Deductibles
Next, you have to consider service charges and deductibles. Tom’s Guide has comparisons for the major carriers, AppleCare+, and Samsung Premium Care. One of the lowest total costs after service fees and deductibles for a newer device was $280. Some were over $400 per claim.
Every phone protection plan has a service fee and/or deductible per claim. This often varies based on the type of device or damage you have. One important thing to remember is your number of claims might be limited too. For instance, you may only be able to make one or two claims per year.
Non-Returned Equipment Fees
If you’re issued a replacement, you must return the defective device (except in the event of theft or loss). If you don’t return the broken or defective device, you could be charged the full value of the replacement.
Plus, if you send in your device and it’s not covered by the plan, you’re required to either send back your replacement or pay the full price for it.
You always have the option of buying a refurbished phone. Of course, your plan provider may replace your device with a refurbished model anyway. Refurbished phones are often like new, but cost much less, which could provide a cheaper alternative. However, there are some risks, such as missing accessories and no warranty.
Extending the Warranty
Is a phone protection plan worth the cost? If you’re accident-prone, yes. If not, you could just save the money to put on a new phone later.
Related Read: Are Those Unlimited Phone Plans Really Unlimited?
Contribution by Crystal Crowder
About the Author
Crystal lives and breathes tech. She’s spent over a decade writing tutorials, reviews, and more on tech, business, and lifestyle sites. Her idea of fun is settling down with the latest tech and gadget news.