Mobile phone insurance versus repairs – how do costs add up?


Ever drop and shatter the screen on your smartphone? Your precious? Your portal of connectivity to all things social? Ever wear out a camera module from addiction to taking pictures of every meal you make, and every cat you encounter?

Back in the days when I was a retail rep for one of the major wireless carriers, it was always a priority to offer mobile insurance with every new or upgraded phone. You know the drill, an extra $7-10 per-month would provide the peace of mind should the unthinkable happen to that mini-computer you just bought. Yes, there was incentive to sell the feature, but by-and-large, the service works with little undue drama should the unthinkable happen, and coverage was immediate.

More than a few times, a customer would reject the offer, and not get across the parking lot before dropping their brand-new flagship on the pavement, effectively destroying the display or causing some other unseen damage. With tears in their eyes, some would beg for an accommodation, an exchange , or a retroactive addition of coverage. Tears would often turn to rage when some customers realized the true cost to replace a broken device (a sad byproduct of subsidized contracts).

Such stories made mobile insurance a compelling offer, but does it really offer the best value for the money? If you crack a screen or need a new battery, might going to a local shop for a repair be a better option? The common concern about going to an onsite repair shop is use of quality replacement components. After all, if you found your smartphone to be suffering from a failing battery, you are not keen on the idea of a replacement unit acquired in a volume close-out discount from the Galaxy Note 7 assembly plant. Ultimately, there is no…

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