I recently came across some cell phone advice that is so good I had to share it with you. When I got my first cell phone, I chose to pay for the insurance from Verizon because I knew that, being the picky person I am, if my phone was lost or stolen I would insist on replacing it with the idential model and not the bargain basement shit they would most likely throw at me slash I could afford. Anyone that currently has an iPhone obviously understands: if you lose your iPhone, you’re not going to say, “Oh, well, just give me the free LG flip phone.”
So, for those people, cell phone insurance makes a lot of sense because it will cover the repair or replacement costs for a model idential to your original. Unfortunately, the insurance policies that are offered by the cell phone companies are often pretty shitty: they commonly cost $7 or $8 every month ($84-96/year!) and they often have a relatively large deductible ($50) when you do file a claim.
Enter Cody Hebden, former telecom man and current insurance underwriter.
Cody advises you go to your local insurance company and get an “inland marine policy” AKA Personal Articles Floater:
The main thing is to get this as a separate policy from your car and/or home and insure your cell phone for the replacement cost. That means that if you were to walk into a store today and buy your phone, how much it would cost WITHOUT a contract. So, say it would be $400. Now, since the policy is already inexpensive, elect to have a zero dollar deductable. Be surprised when the agent asks for an annual premium of $35. Congratulations, you have just insured your cell phone for $400, with a zero dollar deductible, and what happens when your phone is dropped on accident, lost or stolen? Either the insurance company will reimburse for repair costs or they issue you a check to buy your phone at any retailer.
Cody states that you can also add your cell phone as a rider to your home insurance policy – which make your phone even cheaper to insure – but warns that too many claims under that umbrella policy may cause your homeowner’s premiums to go up; having a separate policy for your phone, as per above, would avoid this possibility.
Lastly, Cody notes that this can be done with all your expensive electronic equipment: “I have insured my $450 Smartphone and my $125 digital camera on an inland marine policy, and I pay a $35 annual premium, with no deductibles.”