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Ask Slashdot: Best Protection Plan For Your Phone?

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the best-of-class dept.

Iphone 225

First time accepted submitter nastav writes "Now that I'm eagerly awaiting the delivery of my new shiny iPhone 5, I'm faced with a dilemma — SquareTrade, Applecare Plus, or some other insurance option? I have used SquareTrade in the past for my iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 (I skipped iPhone 4S). It provided Accidental Damage Handling (ADH) for the iPhone before Apple introduced its own version of ADH. I've had the opportunity to file claims with SquareTrade multiple times, and they handled it quickly and professionally each time. Now that there is a product from Apple itself, I'm not sure which one to get. They are priced similarly (~$100 for a two-year plan, $50 deductible for each ADH incident) Apple limits the number of ADH claims to two, whereas SquareTrade (AFAIK) limits the number of claims to the 'value of the product,' which translates to approx. 600 USD in coverage (or about 4 ADH claims). I've tried reading many comparison articles on the internet without definitive answers. I'm hoping that the tech-savvy folks on Slashdot would help out with a discussion on pros and cons of each, and perhaps add other options into the mix."

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The best plan (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360879)

Take good care of your phone and be careful when handling it!

Re:The best plan (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361027)

Don't buy an iPhone, buy a Samsung, they are the same anyway (see Apple vs Samsung lawsuit) - except the Samsung is realistically priced. Then take the obscene amount of extra cash you would have paid for the Apple product (how do you think they got that $96B) and feed a family of four for a year (in any country). And if it absolutely has to say "Apple" or "iPhone" on your handset, I'll print you a sticker. And stop being careless with your phone, stupid. You don't need ADH insurance, you need ADHD insurance (see

Re:The best plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361287)

Jeez, what an asshole.

Re:The best plan (5, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#41361031)

Don't even have to be *that* careful. I've owned several smartphones since the G1 (well, Canadian version, which was called the HTC Dream), and have never managed to break the screen, despite some serious abuses... the worst of which involved an LG Shine Plus falling from a 2nd floor balcony, winging off the edge of a swimming pool and into the drink. Remove the battery, let the phone dry out, and it worked fine without having broken the screen (though it was a bit squirrelly for the next year that I used it before replacing it). I'm currently using a One V, and have dropped it a few times without breaking it.

And there's your answer to the insurance question... don't buy a $700 phone. Buy a $200 phone which will give you the same experience as last year's $700 phone, and then you won't be too worried when you drop it, because it's not going to cost you that much to replace, and it'll be cheaper than the insurance on the $700 phone... especially if you plan on replacing it in a year when they come out with the upgraded version anyway. You can probably afford to get it without a contract, and that'll save you money in the long run, too.

Re:The best plan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361507)

The price of insuring an iphone for a year the UK can be 20% or more of the value of the phone. I haven't insured my phone for 5 years, which means I've saved the value of 1 phone already considering I haven't had to replace it in that time. I can now afford to replace a phone at cost if necessary and consider that the cost of the phone is now saved up in my own personal insurance fund.

Re:The best plan (4, Informative)

N1AK (864906) | about 2 years ago | (#41361657)

The AC has a fair point. Insurance will, collectively, cost more than not insuring (that's how they pay for admin and profits). Consider your use. Are you a higher risk than average (but aren't being charged as such) and can you afford to comfortably replace the device if you don't insure it? If you are more likely to break the phone than average or can't afford to replace the device then insurance is probably worth getting; if not, then you're likely to be better off without it. My household insurance included phone cover (I didn't buy it for that reason) so my phone is insured; however I wouldn't have bought a separate policy if it wasn't.

Re:The best plan (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361687)

If insurance on any consumer electronic device was a good deal for the consumer, they wouldn't sell. Trust that actuaries understand the probabilities of the thing better than you ever will and it's priced so that it's a good deal for them. There is something like a 99% chance you will end up losing money in the long term if you repeatedly buy these bs "protection" plans. Be smart and save your money.

Re:The best plan (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 2 years ago | (#41361043)

Although I'm sure this was a little toungue in cheek, if you follow minor precautions, I've never really had a need for these plans for the last 3 phones.

A decent case for drop protection, leave your keys in a separate pocket so they don't scratch the touchscreen, etc.

Unless you're typically clumsy, the cost of the protection plan is probably not worth it (other than piece of mind). If you are clumsy and constantly dropping your phone though, I would probably just go with the AppleCare plan.

Re:The best plan (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41361479)

Actually i think I saw a study that said it wasn't keys that scratched the screen in pockets, but sand.

I do agree that protection plans are way to expensive. Don't buy something you can't afford to replace.

Re:The best plan (1)

Mithent (2515236) | about 2 years ago | (#41361815)

Also my strategy. I got a new Galaxy S III recently, and as usual was offered insurance... at the prices the mobile phone operators are asking, you'd be paying around 50% of the cost of buying a new phone SIM-free over a 24-month contract. This means that the chances of me losing or breaking my phone in any 24-month period needs to be above 50% for it to be worthwhile. I've had three previous smartphones over 5 years and haven't lost or broken one yet, so insurance doesn't make any economic sense for me if I'm paying the cost of a new phone every 4 years to insure them but the interval between my insurance claims is >4 years (based on the trend to date). I'd have to need to claim twice in the next 3 years just to break even.

They're all scams anyway. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360887)

If you're naive enough to spend a fortune on a status symbol, you should easily be able to afford a replacement.

Re:They're all scams anyway. (0)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41361149)

$600 is a fortune?


Re:They're all scams anyway. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361321)

Jeez, another asshole

Re:They're all scams anyway. (-1, Troll)

joeboomer628 (869162) | about 2 years ago | (#41361491)

Actually, if you have enough money to jump on the overpriced apple bandwagon, you should go out and find the most expensive insurance plan regardless of the coverage so that you will have a nice match. According to the president spending money foolishly will stimulate the economy so you will also be patriotic.

Re:They're all scams anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361761)

Actually, if you have enough money to jump on the overpriced apple bandwagon, you should go out and find the most expensive insurance plan regardless of the coverage so that you will have a nice match. According to the president spending money foolishly will stimulate the economy so you will also be patriotic.

Overpriced? As opposed to what, Android devices? Last time I checked a Samsung S3 Android phone cost about the same as an iPhone 4 with similar specs. AT&T is flogging 16gb versions of both for $199.

why bother? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360889)

you'll be buying the iPhone 6 in a years time.

sent from my Samsung Galaxy S

Re:why bother? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361191)

Exactly my thought fellow coward!

It will be the 3rd iphone device that the submitter buys over a span of four years.
Which means that a. he/she probably can afford its loss, b. the expected lifetime of the device is 2 years.

Insuring a device with a lifetime of less than two years?
What is next? Insuring your shoes?

Best Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360899)

Don't get a fragile phone.

take the risk and Genius Bar (4, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41360903)

$199 if you bring them a damaged iphone that was your fault and they will replace it on the spot.

I'll take the possible risk of paying some money over paying up front in case of an accident any day

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41361145)

I'll take the possible risk of paying some money over paying up front in case of an accident any day

The mystifying part is a contract smartphone is still like $100/month bill, right? So $200 is pocket change to a smartphone contract victim, its like 2 months service.

I buy insurance for my car because I can't afford a possible million dollar liability settlement out of pocket. Buying $100 of insurance for a $200 loss seems as dumb as buying "oil change insurance" where I could pay only $15/month to avoid the immense expense of paying $30 every quarter for an oil change.

The other part that mystifies be about the story is

I've had the opportunity to file claims with SquareTrade multiple times

My god man, what are you doing? Using your phone as a carpentry hammer? Or the screen as a glass kitchen cutting board? In 15 years I've killed precisely one cellphone, by leaving it in a pants cargo pocket and running it thru the wash. That's $20 down the drain having to buy another new virgin mobile phone.

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (3, Funny)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#41361219)

It's probably "youth". My son breaks phones. Routinely. I'm pretty sure he'll grow out of it. Young people don't have full control of their arms yet or something.

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361277)

What a stereotype. Cause young people are the only ones dropping phones... Sounds like your son doesn't value his possesions. Maybe it's more to do with the elderly and the parents? I mean... old people fall and break hips, why not phones?

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (1)

dintech (998802) | about 2 years ago | (#41361555)

If you fell down and broke something, it's definitely not going to be your skull...

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361289)

It's probably "youth". My son breaks phones. Routinely. I'm pretty sure he'll grow out of it. Young people don't have full control of their arms yet or something.

No. Young people don't pay their own bills yet. As soon as they are the ones forking out their own hard earned $500 for a replacement or doing without the phone completely, they become very protective and careful.

When Dad pays for it; it's an unreasonable imposition to have to wait until tomorrow for a replacement because they threw it on the table, it skated off the edge and shattered. There's usually talk about how someone should sue Apple for making the phones so fragile...

The problem isn't spastic teens; it's stupid and enabling parents. I'll bet Mom says some bullshit about not having a choice for safety's sake.

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (2)

jkflying (2190798) | about 2 years ago | (#41361843)

BS. I have a friend who has gone through about 7 phones in the last 5 years. He buys the replacements. How has he damaged them? He leads an active lifestyle - rock climbing, hiking, rides a motorbike. He also got mugged twice.

So I would say that old people don't engage in activities which could result in a phone breaking because they are... well... old.

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41361517)

Young people don't pay for what they break ^^

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41361343)

only if you're single. i'm on a 4 line family plan with 2 iphones and its $138 for me and my wife. her parents kick in $50. total bill is $186.

if i go to the mobile share plan with 10GB it's going to be $216 or so for 4 smart phones including my FAN/Premier discount

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (3, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41361567)

The mobile phone situation in North America boggles the mind. I'm on an "unlimited" contract (voice, texts, data though throttled after 3GB) for $20/month. that includes free international calls to 100 countries, and 10 countries' mobiles.

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41361503)

My brother did the "phone in the washer" thing with a Windows 7 Samsung. The thing still works, except the USB port's data connection.

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361607)

Someone actually bought a "Windows Phone"?!

Re:take the risk and Genius Bar (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361781)

I'm mystified by the fact that though you don't know even the most basic pieces of information required to make a reasoned recommendation, you felt compelled to reply anyway.

A) regardless of what euphemism you would apply to the sum of $200, replacing the phone associated with a contract is a cost over and above the already sunk cost of the contract. In any way other than that its cost is irrelevant to the insurance consideration.

B) the loss would not be $200. A replacement telephone would be $600 as no contract subsidy would be available on its purchase.

C) I, like OP, have broken cell phone screens at the rate of ~1 per year. Some of us go outside. Novel concept, sure, but the rewards are great. Regardless of the experience of you or me, OP breaks phones and would likely benefit financially from insurance as compared with none.

Working way or Apple (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360915)

To me, this sounds like a decision of "Should I use a professional service that worked for me in the past or go with Apple?". Why ask this question when you are happy with the current service, I do not even know. Sounds a tiny bit like the Apple fanboy inside of you is revolting.

Re:Working way or Apple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361007)

"Sounds a tiny bit like the Apple fanboy inside of you is revolting."

I find all Apple fanboys revolting.

Re:Working way or Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361605)

Sounds like an advertisement to me (and from the best-of-class department indeed). "I've had all the iPhones except one. I've now preordered the new shiny one, and now they even have this service I've previously bought from outside (and it is really useful too)"

Re:Working way or Apple (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about 2 years ago | (#41361625)

I don't believe this question is genuine. This is obviously a fanboy who is doing what they are programmed to off their new shiny toy they overpaid for as a way of helping their conscience reason the waste of money. I would tell the fanboy to stick with Apple since the love affair is not over yet. You'll pay more and get less with their service, but what else is new.

Save your money (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360921)

The insurance is roughly 1/3 the cost of a replacement. Do you really think the odds of loss are so high that you need to pay that premium?

Re:Save your money (3, Interesting)

Tx (96709) | about 2 years ago | (#41361073)

This. I've never broken a phone, even though I've never used cases or screen protectors, so while I can't be bothered to work out exactly how much I might have saved by not insuring them over the years, I'm pretty sure that even if my luck changes for the worse, I'll have to write off a fair few before I come out negative

Re:Save your money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361141)

Yeah i've never broken a phone either (that wasn't well past its use by date), but then again i don't use phones that would be easily damaged.

Re:Save your money (4, Insightful)

james_pb (156313) | about 2 years ago | (#41361377)

The insurance is roughly 1/3 the cost of a replacement. Do you really think the odds of loss are so high that you need to pay that premium?

The original post was pretty clear about this: yes, they intend to destroy the phone multiple times. Remember that part about the OP submitting multiple claims previously?

"Insurance" is a great buy if you're paying less than 100% of the value of the item - if you _know_ you're going to use it. You're just buying n phones for something like $(1.3n).

Save your money (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 years ago | (#41360925)

Unless you have catastrophic damage where you drop your phone into a running industrial shredder, repair it yourself. My phone recently had a shattered digitizer. Repair estimate was $150, similar to what your first claim essentially would cost. An OE digitizer was $12 on Amazon.

Re:Save your money (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 2 years ago | (#41361015)

Assuming, of course, that the iPhone 5 can be meaningfully repaired by anyone, let alone end users. Apple seems to have a new fetish for assembling devices with glue instead of screws, and designing them to be thin-at-all-costs instead of... well... repairable for common forms of damage.

Re:Save your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361373)

iPhones are actually easy to repair. At least the fourth one was. There's like a million youtube videos that teach you how to replace everything and spare parts are abundant in e-shops all over the globe.

Re:Save your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361671)

I heard this same 'assumption' for the original iPhone, iPhone 3, 3S, 4, and 4S. Each of those in turn has turned out be the most user repairable smartphone available anywhere.

Maybe, just maybe, your dreams will come true for 5. But history is not on your side.

Re:Save your money (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#41361341)

Unless you have catastrophic damage where you drop your phone into a running industrial shredder, repair it yourself.

Imagine that: You walk up to a store clerk at an Apple Shop with a plastic bag full of shredded pieces: "Hello, I'd like to claim the warranty of my phone...or at least, I'd like to know how much the repair costs."

Bolt it to a wall (4, Funny)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#41360931)

Provide a chair and sit next to it while you use it.

Those old wall mount phones never got dropped, and very rarely got wet.

Re:Bolt it to a wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360981)

My thoughts exactly. If you have a problem scratching your 600 dollar phone then you didn't really afford it in the first place.

Re:Bolt it to a wall (2)

mirix (1649853) | about 2 years ago | (#41361105)

I've dropped the handset on more than one occasion, slammed it in fits of rage, etc...

Of course the old Western Electric phones didn't care... Sometimes I think the abuse made them perform better. They performed double duty as a bludgeoning tool, too, if people were hassling you while you were on the phone.

Funny how that works. When AT&T leased land phones, they made them like a brick shithouse to avoid service calls... Now if you break a (essentially) leased (mobile) phone, it prints money for them and the manufacturer.

I've never had a 'protection plan' for anything worth less than a car... the premiums for these sorts of things are terrible. Like $20k/yr car insurance.

Re:Bolt it to a wall (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 2 years ago | (#41361723)

Back in the 80s, Hong Kong gangsters ("triads") were known for carrying their brick-size, and -weight phones at all times; and using them to bludgeon people in brawls. They made very effective weapons.

Now it's all "thin, thin, thin!', they should offer a model with a retractable razor edge. Better than Mace.

Re:Bolt it to a wall (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#41361399)

Suggesting to bolt something to the wall might be a dangerous thing, given the technical knowledge of most people. "Honey, can I borrow your nailing machine." - "Sure..." - *TUCK* - "...honey, do you know why my iPhone won't turn on again?"

Re:Bolt it to a wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361493)

there's a story on the site "computer stupidities" - during the first Gulf War, an American carrier captain ordered the crew to secure everything, a routine order so as that if they hit rough seas things wouldn't go flying everywhere and become hazardous. Afterwards, two marines called the local tech support because a PC was no longer booting up. Tech looked at it, confirmed it wouldn't boot, then tried to take the unit back with him for further investigation, but found he couldn't lift it.

The marines had "Secured" the PC by putting bolts through the PC into the table below, through things such as the motherboard and possibly the hard drive. They didn't know why it didn't work, but it sure wasn't going anywhere...

This post sponsored by Apple... (2)

retech (1228598) | about 2 years ago | (#41360937)

and it's underwriters.

Don't take insurance (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360943)

My father always taught me: Never take insurance for things you can pay for yourself.
On general you pay more for insurance than you get out of it, because of the insurer pay check and people scamming insurance.
Only take insurance for things you can;t pay yourself (e.g. health insurance and big operations).

Don't take insurance if you can pay for the repairs yourself, otherwise it is silly/stupid to get an I-Phone.

Just AppleCare (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about 2 years ago | (#41360945)

Just get a decent case if you need more peace of mind. Combined with AppleCare for unexpected extreme circumstances a good case will be enough. Theft is the only thing not covered.

If you need theft protection you'll need one of the plans you listed. I've no experience with that, keep reading.

Self-Insure (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#41360949)

Self-insure it. An insurance company pays out much less money than it takes in. It has to be that way or it wouldn't be a worthwhile business. Thus the chances are that you will get less out than you put in. It's a form of gambling, and the odds are even worse than the casino.

So, if it's a risk that won't cripple you financially if it happens, it's not worth insuring. You have to insure the car, and you probably want to insure the house, because that would be crippling if it burned down. But for something where the risk is only a few hundred dollars or less, insurance isn't worth it.

You could literally self insure, by putting the amount they would otherwise have spent on insurance in a separate account. From which you withdraw money when a bad thing happens. But it probably is better just just do it in the old-fashioned way, and just always have enough money saved up "for a rainy day".

Re:Self-Insure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361103)

You must have trouble with math,
Self insurance 1 incident 600$, 0 incidents 0$
Fancy apple plan 2 incidents 100$
Since OP had 4 incidents in 2 phones it's safe to say
The OP is a fool and is likey way better off buying both plans
Rather than self insuring.

Self insuring when you know bad stuff will
happen is about as dumb as voting for .......

Re:Self-Insure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361269)

Self-Insurance starts before you buy the fancy phone, with questions like, "Do I want to increase the value of stuff at risk in my life by $600*? Are there other options? Can I afford to carry around something made of glass which I'll want to use all the the time, yet I cannot afford to break?" and then, "Am I spending less than I earn so that I'm always building a funds for a rainy with which I could self-insure?"

Original poster is correct, insurance is for catastrophic losses.

* Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone 4 but I'm lucky that my employer pays for it, so I don't have to answer these questions. If I did, I might have considered a 3GS (cheaper, only one glass surface) or just sticking with my old Nokia 3390 :)

Re:Self-Insure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361315)

One small quibble - your math on why insurance doesn't work for small losses works even if the insurance company is a non-profit/cooperative model. The reason insurance works best for catastrophic losses is not related to whether or not the insurer requires a profit.

Re:Self-Insure (1)

bigdavex (155746) | about 2 years ago | (#41361825)

You have to insure the car, and you probably want to insure the house, because that would be crippling if it burned down.

You don't have to insure cars either. You have to insure against the liability of damage done with a car.

Consider self insurance (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 2 years ago | (#41360973)

Unless you expect to be somewhat careless with your phone or can't afford to repair or replace your phone when it breaks, consider self insurance. Put that $100 in your savings account, that already goes a long way towards covering the repair of any one thing that can break in your iPhone (especially if you factor in your insurance deductible). Insurance companies expect to make money on this scheme, so statistically you are better of self-insuring if you can afford it. Insurance for things like these is a "tax on people who are poor at math", just like lotteries :)

Re:Consider self insurance (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#41361199)

I think the main problem here is that the insurance costs way too much. Consider the iPhone which costs about $600. The $100 insurance plan assumes that 1 in 6 people are going to need a total phone replacement for them to break even. Even counting in operating costs, and the fact that they will want to make a profit, let's say 1 in 20 end up needing a complete replacement over the life of the phone. This doesn't even count the fact that after about a year, the cost of the phone has come down considerably. Something like $20 may make a lot more sense for most people. A year of insurance on a house probably costs $1200, which is around 0.4% of the value of my house and possessions. Yet for some reason it costs about 20% of the value of the phone to insure it. I think it all comes down to the fact that it's way too tempting to drop/fry/submerse your phone on purpose in order to get a shiny new one. Whereas one would be crazy to try the same with their phone. Insurance fraud is illegal, but probably impossible to prove with phones.

Re:Consider self insurance (2)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41361601)

It isn't coming from fraud. The life expectancy on smartphones (insured or not) is 11.5 months. Between, loss, defect and accidental damage they just don't tend to survive. Houses on the other hand do quite a bit better.

Don't be a jerk with your cool new iPhone 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360985)

Spare the money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360997)

Don't buy the patent troll crap

Or you could just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360999)

be careful with your shit.

Treat it like insurance (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about 2 years ago | (#41361025)

You should treat it like any other thing that you normally insure, in my opinion. The first question whether to insure is, can I pay for repairing myself, out of pocket?

If yes, don't insure. That's my personal policy.

Re:Treat it like insurance (1)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#41361137)

I have to agree.

SquareTrade did a replacement of my girlfriend's Kindle once. They were very quick and very good about it. But it was £25 for three years on a £100 product with a special screen which I probably couldn't even source, let alone replace myself (guess which bit got broke!).

Other than that? Manufacturer's warranty against defects, national laws about the item being "fit for purpose", and anything else handles itself out of my wallet as and when.

To be honest, if I break something within a year or two, and haven't done something incredibly stupid like throw it on the floor, then I have to question whether I actually WANT another one of those products. If it's that easily broken, would I really want to send it back every year to have the components replaced with the same type that I originally broke? Probably not.

Above that, it's theft and accidental damage ("I was stupid and run over it"). Insuring against them is usually not worth the time and effort compared to just ensuring they don't happen in the first place (i.e. not leaving it in the car, or under the front tyre, etc.).

Insurance is a gamble as to whether you're going to break/lose something or not. Look at your own history. If you're likely to break it, won't be able to repair it yourself, or it's something small, valuable to a thief and easily stolen then maybe the insurance will pay off.

But mathematics suggests that, on average, the cost of any one person replacing/repairing their device through insurance will be more than they would have paid to just buy replacements/repairs as and when something did occur. Or else the insurance company would go bust very, very quickly.

It's not like car insurance where you might have to pay for the guy you crippled for life for 40+ years of specialist assistance. It's an iPhone. That in a couple of years you'll probably sell on anyway.

Best plan? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41361029)

Otterbox case and save the $9.99 a month in a savings account, oh and being responsible and not breaking my phone or being dumb and putting it in my back pocket.

A good case is a great investment (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#41361061)

Best money I spent along with my phone was the $35 or so it cost for an Otter box. While I may have to replace the case at some point due to some nasty scratching on the screen part, the phone itself is in pristine condition despite being dropped multiple times, stepped on, and the aforementioned scratching when it fell out of a pocket and got sat on at the beach. (I admit it - I'm a klutz.)

While they won't replace the phone if it does get broken, I much prefer the idea of protecting it so it won't break in the first place since then I'm not without it. Also acts as a belt clip, so there's that too.

Protection Racket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361063)

They'll protect your phone. You wont have any troubles from any of the other scum.

Make sure to pay up, though. Otherwise they will break your phone.

Easy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361071)

Stay with the company that provided you exemplary service when Apple wouldn't.

Unless this is a well designed ad - in which case you should place your faith in god instead of selling insurance.

Good case (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#41361075)

Just get a good case (Otterbox anyone?) and save the money on insurance. Phone insurance is a good thing if, say, you are a college student, but otherwise I just don't see the point.

Too expensive (3, Informative)

bender647 (705126) | about 2 years ago | (#41361093)

Quite simply, I wouldn't spend $100 + $50 insuring a $600 product. Especially one that depreciates as fast as a cell phone. Perhaps taking the 1 year agreement with your cell plan provider would work out better. It's usually not that much more, and you play the odds that you can make it out 1 year without doing something serious to your current phone.

Re:Too expensive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361187)

Especially one that depreciates as fast as a cell phone.

You've never owned an iPhone, have you? They maintain their value exceptionally well and sell for not-insignificant prices used. I don't know about other phones but the iPhone maintains its value exceptionally well.

Re:Too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361785)

Well if evryone that ownes an iphone is stupid enough to pay that much on insurance for it, there's little wonder....

If you need to insure it, you need a cheaper phone (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41361133)

Insurance makes a degree of sense(as hard as insurers try to change this) when dealing with situations where risk is either inevitable(ie. your body, with all its potential for horrible and expensive mishaps, comes standard and you'll need one until you die) or a fairly large chunk of your net worth(most homeowning, say) or where your potential to hurt others potentially far exceeds your personal ability to compensate them and insurance is therefore mandated(car insurance on the consumer level, potentially various other flavors among venue operators and the like).

On cheap consumer devices, it just doesn't make much sense. The insurer has to make a profit in order to continue offering the insurance, so you know that(on average) purchasing the insurance is a bad deal compared to self-insuring, and you also know that the potential costs are bounded(ie. there is nothing that could happen to my cellphone that could possibly cost more than a new cellphone. There are plenty of diseases and/or accidents that could happen at any time that could run into an unpredictable but very large number that I don't even necessarily have a good way of estimating).

Just put the price of the insurance wherever you usually put money for storage, let the warranty handle any material defects/abnormal failures, and maybe buy a case if you are a bit of klutz. Unless you murder your phone both brutally and swiftly, you'll probably be able to get a refurb for the money you saved by not buying insurance, plus the deductable you would have paid, by the time your phone eventually does bite it. Worst case, a used or refurbed iphone 4/4S will cost peanuts if you kill your present one and really can't afford a replacement.

Given that, on average, buyers of insurance lose money, you should really only be buying it on things that are at the outer envelope of affordability; but that you must have for one reason or another.

you FAIL 1t! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361143)

the time 7o meet []

Don't drop it. (1)

Sydin (2598829) | about 2 years ago | (#41361159)

The best protection policy on the market.

Re:Don't drop it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361267)

I don't drop my Nokia 3310, I toss it! The look of bystanders who own a smartphone is just priceless :p
Only thing that i've ever replaced was a battery, and instead of the original battery I used one of the later models which was thinner and lighter, so I'll call that an upgrade.

Ad for SquareTrade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361169)

Is it just me or did this read less like an actual question and more like an ad for SquareTrade? On Slashdot, of late, it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between a legitimate story and a slashvertisement.

Betteridge's Law of Headlines (1)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | about 2 years ago | (#41361183)

According to Betteridge's Law of Headlines, the answer is no.

Re:Betteridge's Law of Headlines (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361231)

According to Betteridge's Law of Headlines, the answer is no.

Or, by corollary, "DO NOT WANT!!!!!"

Not a good deal (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41361185)

Think about it. If you paid for insurance for your car and had a deductible of 8.3% but a payment rate which is about 17% the value of the phone for the predicted duration of ownership or less... guaranteed to get refurbished crap...

Sorry, but I think I'd rather roll the dice, save money and buy bumpers and simply be careful. At least when/if I break my expensive phone, I wil be able to comfort myself with a brand new perfectly shiny latest version of whatever is out there.

I have never actually broken a phone before, so I can't say if this is a good deal for other people but definitely for me it would be a loss of at least $100.

Theft Protection (1)

rogueippacket (1977626) | about 2 years ago | (#41361195)

Neither Apple nor SquareTrade cover theft. If you do a lot of travel or are giving the phone to a teenager, you may want to consider someone else. In fact, most carriers won't even sell their own warranty or theft protection for Apple products anymore, not since AppleCare+ was introduced.

Re:Theft Protection (1)

MrP- (45616) | about 2 years ago | (#41361317)

Worth Ave Group seems to be the only one that covers theft.

I used them for my iPad however I just sold my iPad and they don't let you transfer warranties (the warranty covers the user not the item). Unsure if they refund any money if you cancel a policy since I haven't called yet and they don't let you cancel online.

So for my new iPhone 5 I got SquareTrade again since you can transfer warranties if you sell the product and you can cancel early and get refunded the difference (I got $67 back from canceling my 4S policy).

So if theft is a big issue for you then Worth Ave Group is OK I guess but for my needs I'm sticking with SquareTrade.

Does the carrier not offer insurance? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#41361205)

When I purchased my latest phone, my carrier offered insurance, I think it was $7 a month. If something breaks, you just take it in and the replace it. I had issues with my last phone with texts and even calls not coming to my phone (not dropped, my phone would simply never ring and I would have no record of the call on my phone). They replaced that one no questions asked, no deductible.

Re:Does the carrier not offer insurance? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41361713)

That sounds like Asurion: [] Most of the carriers are agents for Asurion. They are great to do business with. I've had multiple claims over the last decade and they've handled them well. When I got my iPhone Asurion was $11 / mo iphone. It seems like they are down to $6.99 again for "advanced devices". Apple care is like $4 / mo and includes technical support but can be more of a PIA for trade ins.

I think I'd go Apple, but for my daughter, where the loss protection matters more, go with Asurion. In either case good recommendation.

I work in iPhone insurance in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361213)

and I wouldn't buy an iPhone insurance policy!

Check if you can get the phone added as a named item on any building and contents insurance you may have.

Ask slashdot (2)

franciscohs (1003004) | about 2 years ago | (#41361221)

How idiotic can "ask slashdot" questions become?

Really?, you need to ask the whole slashdot community what to do to insure a freaking phone???, give me a break, do whatever you want, it's not that important anyway...

My God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361325)

First World problems...

Extended Warranty (5, Informative)

Sandman619 (791920) | about 2 years ago | (#41361357)

AppleCare & AppleCare + are extended warranties NOT insurance. You must be able to bring the old iPhone in for the extended warranty plan. Theft & loss are NOT covered by an extended warranty plan. It is worth noting that AppleCare covers everything that comes in the box & possibly other iPhone related items by Apple (like a dock) that are purchased on the same receipt. Ask at time of purchase. The extended warranty must be purchased at the time that the iPhone is purchased. Otherwise, the iPhone must be checked out by Apple staff in order to qualify for the plan For loss or theft of an iPhone or any smartphone, review your homeowner's or renter's policy or consider getting a renter's policy from your auto insurer. The rates are usually good, Multi-plan discounts will apply Cheers !

How tough is the iPhone (5)? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361359)

I've owned a Motorola Droid (original) since it was first release, so almost 3 years. This thing is solid, it's been dropped many times, even on concrete. Other than some markings on the metal frame it's still fine. The glass screen has held up fine as well. I've accidentally carried in my pocket with car keys a few times. There are a few minor scratches but not bad. If I go with another Motorola droid product I wouldn't consider damage insurance.

On the other hand, we've given the kids iPod touches last year, and within 5 months they were all shattered. It seems for those devices even a minor drop is catastrophic. I don't know how different an iPhone is from an iPod as far as build and materials, but I'd consider the iPod touches fragile.

Given that, I'm ready for a phone upgrade and am considering the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD, or the iPhone 5 as my next phone. All my computers at home ar Apple (24" iMac, 15" macbook, 17" macbook pro), I like the apple hardware and OS, but have never owned their iPhone. Can some long-time apple owners chime in on how your devices tend to hold up to typical abuse? I'm not hard on my electronic, but realistically at some point it will get dropped or keyed. I'm used to not having to worry about that.

Prey Project (1)

MatrixCubed (583402) | about 2 years ago | (#41361403) []

From the site:

Prey lets you keep track of your laptop, phone and tablet whenever stolen or missing -- easily and all in one place. It's lightweight, open source software that gives you full and remote control, 24/7.

I dropped my iPhone 4S in the toilet... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361483)

...only 3 hours after I got it, and nothing of value was lost.

Picked up a Droid X on eBay and didn't look back! I let that damn iPhone spin round and round in the toilet to it's aquatic death!

The pleasure of seeing an Apple product suffer was worth the damn money I paid for it!

Cases, insurance and extended warranties (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 2 years ago | (#41361511)

A lot of common sense answers in the thread already, but it all boils down to a few options.

First, and foremost is you. You are the best insurance against damaging your property. It's yours, treat it well, keep it safe and it will work for you for a long time.

Second, a case. I have had good luck with Speck cases for my iPhones. A little rubber padding and I can literally toss the thing over my shoulder and only worry if it lands face first on a pointy object. Other than that, nothing. I have tested this myself and in front of others.

Third, insurance. Whether through the carrier, a third-party or your own existing policies. Have you checked your homeowner's policy or asked them about coverage? If you are this worried, you should.

Fourth, extended warranty, called AppleCare for the iPhone. I always get and recommend AppleCare when buying from Apple. It's worth the expense should something go wrong beyond the regular warranty period, as most things do.

Finally, if you're that worried about breaking it maybe you should get an iPad and a dumb phone instead. Seriously, if you are worried you can't take care of it then you probably have a track record of breaking things or an irrational fear of having nice things. If replacing something you use every day is a hardship, then maybe you don't need it or could use a less expensive alternative.

Hidden in plain sight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361535)

Disguise it as a Samsung. No FanBoi is going to go anywhere near it.

save your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361565)

PREFACE: unless you're terribly clumsy there is no reason to spend the extra cash on a warranty or insurance. here's my insurance strategy:

1-BE CAREFUL [I know, I know, but worth repeating as an unsub'd iPhone 5 is $750 -- you're careful with a laptop, right?]
2-Ignore the 2 yr contract cycle and purchase the new iPhone [or other device] every year [see below for how this is cost effective]
3-SELL BACK your current device to gazelle, yourenew, etc and always claim a trade in ticket BEFORE the release/preorder date to maximize resell value
4-If you DO break it in the year of ownership, it's covered under the standard warranty and will cost you $49 UP TO TWICE for separate incidents

I can't imagine anyone breaking 2 iPhones in a year, but if you think this is your reality, see my preface and go ahead and get some insurance. Even if you do end up buying some insurance, trading in annually and buying a new device, sub'd or not, is always going to be cost effective if you apply the trade in cash to your next upgrade.

AppleCare vs SquareTrade (1)

Brian212 (1023701) | about 2 years ago | (#41361577)

Looks like you were looking for what the pro's and con's of AppleCare Plus vs SquareTrade. I've had both on various equipment, however for the iPhone I would go with AppleCare, as this extends tech support on the phone to 2 years vs 90 days without it. Also, should you drop or damage your iPhone, you can walk into an Apple Store and get a replacement on the spot for $50.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361597)

My b2700 solid doesn't need any insurance ;)

Private Insurance? (1)

racermd (314140) | about 2 years ago | (#41361735)

For a long time, I've used my homeowners insurance policy to make sure ALL of my gadgets are covered - laptop, tablet, computers, music players, cameras, etc... Anything that costs more than about $100 to buy new I'd have added into my "technology" rider for a nominal fee per month on top of my regular homeowners policy.

More recently, however, they've explicitly started excluding smartphones which is likely due to the "I want the new iThing" phenomenon. Read: Insurance fraud.

In lieu of a formal policy from my insurance company, I've taken to setting aside about 75% of the cost of the unit and not worrying about coverage. If I do manage to break it in a catastrophic manner, I can use that money (plus a little extra out of pocket) to replace it. If it comes to that, I'll often buy a refurbished or used one to save a few bucks.

In the long-run, it's cheaper than formal insurance and I don't feel like I'm taking a bath in order to buy a new phone at unsubsidized prices.

who cares ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41361801)

seriously. take care of your phone.

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