Top Cell Phone Insurance Providers Compared
Third party phone insurance can be a cheaper alternative to carrier insurance or a way to continue protecting your device if you switch to an MVNO or prepaid carrier, but it’s hard to know which company to choose. To help you decide, we read the fine print and compared eight options to detail what you need to know about third party phone insurance.
- When you (might) need third party phone insurance
- Questions to ask before buying phone insurance
- Phone insurance alternatives to consider
- 8 third party phone insurance companies (monthly cost & coverage)
When you (might) need third party phone insurance
You might consider purchasing standalone phone insurance if:
- You want cheap, low-cost phone insurance or more comprehensive coverage than your carrier provides
- You’re switching carriers and want insurance for your unlocked cell phone
- You initially passed on carrier smartphone protection plans and want to get cell phone insurance after 30 days (the typical carrier cut-off after you purchase a new phone)
- You’re switching to an MVNO or prepaid carrier and want to bring your own device
TIP: More than 36 million Americans have switched to MVNOs, which can save as much as $1,000 or more per year on wireless costs. You can save even more if you bring your own device. Many MVNOs offer BYOD plans, but they don’t always offer the best (or any) insurance coverage when you bring your own phone. That’s where third party cell phone insurance providers can help.
Questions to ask before buying phone insurance
Get the answers to these questions before you commit to any third party phone insurance company.
What does it cover?
Compare plans to determine whether coverage meets your needs. Here are four types of coverages to look for:
|Verizon Insurance: What it covers, what it doesn’t|
- Extended warranty/malfunction insurance: These plans only cover mechanical malfunctions. They’re designed to extend the manufacturer’s warranty and typically cover failed components like screens, batteries, WiFi antennas and charging ports. They do not cover accidental damage, theft or loss
- Accidental damage insurance: Unlike extended warranties, which cover malfunctions that occur during normal use, this type of smartphone protection covers damage caused by accidents like drops, spills and liquid submersion. Make sure you read the fine print, because some policies won’t cover full liquid submersion and others won’t cover drops from greater than six feet
- Theft insurance: These policies provide a replacement phone if yours is stolen. You’ll likely need to file a police report before filing a claim
- Loss insurance: This type of insurance provides a replacement phone if yours is lost. Note that “theft” and “loss” are not synonymous, and some policies do not cover both types of disappearances
Many third party phone insurers bundle these types of coverages together in tiered plans, which allows you to pick and choose your level of coverage. Choosing the right coverage can help you save money; for example, if you’re more worried about accidental damage than theft, you could save with a policy that covers accidental damage but not theft.
How much does it cost?
Phone insurance costs consist of premiums and deductibles. Some plans charge monthly premiums, while others are prepaid for one, two or three years. Deductibles can vary by phone model and claim type – malfunction, accidental damage, theft or loss – so read the fine print to make sure you understand how much you will be charged if you need to file a claim.
It’s also important to compare costs for your specific phone. Insurance company websites might promote prices based on a cheaper model, which means you could pay more than you expect if you don’t do your research.
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What are the limits?
While some policies offer unlimited claims, many impose limits that could sway your decision. Look for the following limits before you decide:
- Number of claims: This is how many claims you can file over the policy term or within a 12-month period. It can differ depending on claim type (malfunction, accidental damage, theft or loss). In addition, some policies place a limit on the number of replacement phones you can get due to theft, loss or irreparable damage
- Claim cap: This is the monetary value the policy will cover. For example, some policies might cap payouts, replacement values or repairs at $750 per claim. Others base the cap on the purchase price of the phone, while some base it on the current market value – which could mean you can’t get an equivalent replacement if your phone is a few years old. Watch out for policies that have aggregate limits. That means the policy has a static value and every claim is counted against it. For example, if the value if your policy is $750 and you have a $250 repair claim, you’ll only have $500 left on your policy for future claims. Once the value of your policy is exhausted, it will terminate and you will no longer have coverage
- Waiting periods: Some policies require a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect, especially for accidental damage. Read the fine print, because some insurers market “instant coverage,” but it only applies to new phones or device malfunctions and not accidental damage
- Policy purchase periods: Some policies are only available for recently purchased phones, such as those bought within the 30 days preceding the policy purchase. That can limit your options, especially if you have an older phone you want to insure
- Phone models: Some companies only extend coverage to certain phone models, so make sure yours is included before you commit to an insurer
- Length of term: Some policies are good for as long as you pay the premiums. Others are for limited terms like one, two or three years, similar to extended warranties. In addition, some policies automatically terminate once you reach claim limits
Did you know? Many phones are worth $100+. Find the value of your phone.
What is the claim process?
One of the advantages to major carrier insurance is the ability to get a replacement phone the next day. Some third party phone insurance companies offer this perk, but not all. Contact potential insurers to find out how the process works if your phone malfunctions or is damaged, lost or stolen. Get the answers to these questions:
- If my phone malfunctions or is damaged, how soon will I get a replacement or repaired phone?
- How are phone repairs handled? Who chooses the repair shop? Do I need to mail it in or take it to a local repair shop?
- If my phone is lost or stolen, how soon will I get a replacement?
- Do I have to go through a claims adjustment process (some policies require this, which can delay replacements, repairs and payouts up to 30 to 60 days)
- Will replacement phones be the same or equivalent model?
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What is the sign up process?
Find out what you need to provide when you purchase a policy. For example, some insurers require:
- Purchase receipts (in the case of used phones, some accept seller “receipts” from Craigslist, LetGo and eBay sellers). Note that you might need to save receipts to file claims
- Phone inspection (you might need to provide photos of your phone, and some insurance policies require an in-store inspection)
- Diagnostics (some insurers require app diagnostics to ensure your phone is in good working condition)
What is the cancellation process?
If you decide to cancel, what is the process? Are there any associated costs? Will you be reimbursed for any advance premiums paid? How long will it take to get reimbursed?
Who needs insurance?
If you’re a single person seeking insurance for one phone, this is an easy question to answer. If you want to insure multiple phones for your family, however, it’s worth considering whether every phone needs insured or every type of coverage. For example, parents might want to insure their kids’ phones against loss, but not their own, which can save on monthly or annual premiums. Or, you might only want to insure high-value phones and not cheaper phones that are relatively inexpensive to replace.
Alternative phone insurance options to consider
Of course, you don’t have to buy third party phone insurance – or any insurance at all. Here are four other options to consider.
You can forgo insurance for your phone, especially if it’s more cost effective to repair or replace your phone rather than pay premiums and deductibles. For example, if you have a $400 phone, insurance might cost $10/month and carry a $150 deductible. If you have one replacement claim in two years, you will have paid a total of $390, which is just $10 less than the price of a new phone at that price point.
Another consideration: if your family is switching to an MVNO, you might only need insurance for high-risk lines. For example, a four-person family might want insurance for their kids’ phones, but not the parents’.
MVNO and prepaid carrier insurance
Some MVNOs and prepaid carriers offer insurance when you buy a new phone from them, and some will even cover BYOD devices. For example, Straight Talk’s Mobile Protect Plus covers malfunctions, accidental damage and theft and loss for around $6/month. Deductibles apply, and the program is administered by Asurion – the same company that handles Verizon claims. Not all phones are eligible.
Some devices are also eligible for Cricket Protect, which covers malfunctions, accidental damage, theft and loss for $8 per month. Deductibles range between $10 and $250 per approved claim, with a limit of three claims in any consecutive 12-month period. Eligible devices include recent Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones.
If you’re interested in buying phone insurance from your MVNO or prepaid provider, it’s a good idea to ask the same questions you would of a third party phone insurance company so you understand coverages, costs and claim limits.
|MVNO Carriers Compared: Find the best MVNO plan for you|
Some credit cart companies offer phone protection when you use your card to pay your monthly carrier bill. They include:
- S. Bank Visa Platinum: Covers damage or theft up to $600 per claim with a $25 deductible, limited to two claims ($1,200 total) per 12-month period
- Chase Freedom Flex: Covers damage or theft up to $800 per claim with a $50 deductible. Limited to two claims ($1,000 total) per 12-month period
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express: Covers damage or theft up to $600 per claim with a $25 deductible, limited to two claims per 12-month period
Note that credit card cell phone insurance typically doesn’t cover against loss, and it’s usually considered supplemental insurance that kicks in only after other options have been exhausted (including homeowners and renters insurance). Still, it’s worth exploring whether your credit card issuer offers insurance – just be sure to get answers to the same questions you would ask a third party insurance company.
Homeowners and renters insurance
You might have read articles that suggest homeowners and renters insurance as alternatives to smartphone insurance, and while it’s true these policies typically cover theft, fire, floods and other personal property disasters, they don’t usually cover accidental damage, malfunctions or loss.
In addition, you’ll likely need to pay a deductible, which can range anywhere between $500 to $2,500 or more for homeowners insurance. Claims could also raise your premiums. Thus, homeowners and renters insurance might be options if you have an expensive phone and a low deductible – and you’re only worried about theft – but they’re probably not the best choices if you want to fully protect your phone and limit potential costs.
8 third party phone insurance companies (monthly cost & coverage)
Is SquareTrade worth it? Does Worth Ave. Group have good reviews? Which cell phone protection plans have low premiums and deductibles? Get the answers to your questions by comparing these aftermarket phone insurance options.
Premium: Adults $15/month, Students $10/month, 5% discount on 2 or more plans | Deductible: Adults $99, Students $49 | Coverage: Accidental damage, theft | Limits: Unlimited claims, $2,000/claim
AKKO offers relatively low deductibles for accidental damage and theft, especially compared to carrier insurance plans. Each plan covers one phone and up to 25 additional non-phone items like laptops, tablets, smartwatches, TVs, gaming consoles and even bikes, clothing, textbooks and appliances.
The company offers coverage for older phones, including phones purchased via third-party sites like Craigslist, eBay and Facebook Marketplace (with receipt). Repair and replacement funds (less deductible) are transferred the same day, and replacement values are based on the current refurbished price.
Coverage does not extend to malfunctions or lost phones, and accidental damage claims might have a 30-day waiting period (though this could be waived if all required photos and information are provided). Reviewers give AKKO 4 stars on Trustpilot and 5 stars on Arrivala.
Premium: Individual $8.99/month, Family $19.99/month (4 lines) | Deductible: $149 (a $25 fee may apply for on-site screen replacements) | Coverage: Accidental damage, malfunctions | Limits: Individual 4 claims per plan, Family 8 claims per 12 months
SquareTrade covers accidental damage and malfunctions like touchscreen, charging port, speaker and other mechanical and electrical failure. Battery failure is also covered, though battery replacement is limited to one per plan. Loss and theft are not covered.
Older phones are eligible for coverage, and repair options include mail-in, local repair shops or in-home technicians. Some phones are eligible for next-day replacement. SquareTrade covers up to the item’s original purchase price, excluding taxes and additional fees. The company has 4 stars on Trustpilot and 4.5 stars on Google Reviews.
|Did You Know? You could save up to $1,000 per year with cheap family phone plans|
Premium: $6.75 to $13.50/month | Deductible: $75 | Coverage: Accidental damage, theft | Limits: $1,500 aggregate and 2 replacements over any 12-month period
Worth Ave. Group premiums are based on phone value and payment terms, where monthly premiums range from $6.75 to $13.50 and paid-in-full premiums range from $130 to $369. For example, the monthly premium for a $700 phone is $8.50. The paid-in-full premium is $82 for one year, $161 for two years and $234 for three years. Plans purchased through Progressive receive a 5% discount.
The plan covers accidental loss and theft, but not malfunctions or loss. There is a 30-day waiting period for accidental damage claims. All phone makes and models are eligible for coverage.
Note that claims resolution might take longer with Worth Ave. Group than some other insurers. All claims must be coordinated with an adjuster, who will contact you within two business days, and reimbursement payments are made 30 days after claims are approved. Replacement costs are based on the value of the same or similar model at current market value.
Premium: $6.99/month | Deductible: $50 to $350 | Coverage: Malfunctions, cracked screens, drops under 6 feet, small liquid spills | Limits: Unlimited claims up to the original purchase price
CPS offers one of the cheapest monthly premiums at $6.99. Paid-in-full plans are also available and range from $83.88 for one year to $419.40 for five years. Deductibles are based on phone models, with a $195 deductible for the iPhone 11.
The company has unique coverage limits in that it only covers drops under 6 feet and small liquid spills – not full liquid submersion – and it doesn’t cover software issues. It also doesn’t cover loss or theft. Claims are unlimited with a maximum liability up to the original purchase price, though there is a 30-day waiting period on all claims.
Coverage is extended for some older phone models, including the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S5, and repairs are made via mail-in service or local shops within the company’s technician network. Service instructions are sent 24 to 72 hours after you file a claim. If your phone can’t be repaired, you will be paid its current market value. CPS boasts 4.8 stars on Trustpilot and 4.9 stars on Reseller Ratings.
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Premium: $70 to $250 (2-year plans) | Deductible: $25 to $150 | Coverage: Accidental damage, malfunctions | Limits: Unlimited claims, aggregate up to the purchase value, 1 replacement per plan
Upsie premiums are based on two years of protection and depend on your phone’s model and age. For example, the 2-year premium for a new iPhone 11 is $106; used, it’s $150. In both cases, the deductible is $75.
Coverage includes cracked screens, screen failure, liquid damage (including submersion), and malfunctioning components like cameras, headphone jacks, speakers and batteries. Upsie does not cover loss or theft, and a 30-day waiting period is mandatory for all claims unless you purchase your plan and your phone on the same day.
Like some other insurers, Upsie claims are aggregate up to the purchase value of your phone. For example, if you have a $700 phone and make a $200 repair claim, you will have $500 worth of remaining claim value. All plans are limited to one replacement phone. Repair options include local shops and mail-in repair with 2-day shipping.
Upsie has certain eligibility requirements: plans must be purchased within 120 days of buying a new or used smartphone, new devices must come with a 90-day manufacturer warranty, and used or refurbished devices must come with a 30-day seller warranty. Trustpilot reviewers give Upsie 3.1 stars.
Premium: $69 to $100 for 1 year | Deductible: $25 to $599 | Coverage: Accidental damage, malfunctions, loss, theft | Limits: Unlimited malfunction claims, 2 to 3 accidental damage claims per year, 1 replacement claim per year. Covers up to phone purchase price per claim
Esurranty sells both one- and two-year policies, with premiums ranging from $69 to $110 for one year and $129 to $190 for two years. The iPhone 11 premium is $85 for one year and $150 for two years.
Deductibles depend on phone model and claim type. All mechanical malfunctions are $25, accidental damage ranges from $59 to $249, non-repairable device replacement is between $199 and $499, and theft is $199 to $599. For an iPhone 11, the accidental damage deductible is $129 and the non-repairable damage/theft deductible is $299.
Esurranty covers new, used and refurbished phones, and coverage begins the same day at 11:59 p.m. Note that there is a 30-day waiting period on claims for phones more than one year old, and theft claims made in the first 45 days or final 14 days of a policy are not covered. The company has 3 stars on Trustpilot and 3.5 stars on Sitejabber.
Premium: $3 to $14/month | Deductible: $29 to $229 | Coverage: Malfunctions, accidental damage (some plans), theft (some plans), loss (some plans) | Limits: 2 service claims and 1 replacement claim per 12 months
Lori offers four insurance tiers: Starter, which covers mechanical failure for $3 to $8/month, Essential, which adds accidental damage for $5 to $10/month, No Worries, which adds theft and loss for $7 to $12/month, and Spoil Me, which is the same as the No Worries plan but comes with benefits like 50% off service fees and a 15% claims-free discount for $9 to $14/month. The 64GB iPhone 11 premium on the No Worries plan is $10/month. A 10% discount is applied for plans prepaid annually.
Deductibles range between $29 and $179 for repairs and $89 to $299 for replacement. For a 64GB iPhone 11, the repair deductible is $129 and the replacement deductible is $169. Coverage begins at 12:01 a.m. the day after you register and pay for coverage, and there is no waiting period to file a claim. Repairs can be scheduled in as fast as 4 hours, and replacements are sent via overnight delivery.
The company doesn’t require proof of purchase, but you must complete diagnostics to prove your phone is in good working condition. Lori is a BBB A+ accredited business.
Premium: $50 (1 year) to $330 (2 years) | Deductible: $25 to $150 | Coverage: Malfunctions, accidental damage (some plans), theft (some plans), loss (some plans) | Limits: Unlimited repair and replacement claims
Securranty premiums range from $50 for one year to $330 for two years, dependent on your device, selected plan and when your phone was purchased. The two-year premium for a used iPhone 11 purchased more than 30 days ago is $190 without theft coverage, and $230 with theft coverage. The iPhone 11 deductible is $150 for a used phone, and $100 if you purchase the plan before you buy a new phone.
The company offers unlimited claims for repair and replacement, but it doesn’t cover loss for phones purchased more than 30 days prior to coverage. Waiting periods may apply when a plan is not purchased within 30 days of device purchase. Receipts are required for new, refurbished and used phones, and a diagnostic app install is required for phones more than 30 days old. Securranty is rated 4 stars on Trustpilot, 4.72 stars on Reseller Ratings and 3.4 stars on Google Reviews.
What’s the best cell phone insurance for you? It depends on the type of coverage you need, how many phones you want to insure, your preferred payment options and insurer reviews. Use the information in this article to compare third party phone insurance companies and make the best choice for your situation.
Next: Verizon Phone Deals (April 2021)