Should I Purchase Insurance For My iPhone? Your Options Explained.

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You’re purchasing a new iPhone and the sales associate at your local mobile phone store asks if you’d like to buy insurance. Yes, iPhones are expensive, and the employees at the store say you should definitely buy insurance — but they get paid to say that. What’s the difference between carrier insurance and Apple’s own AppleCare+? How much does insurance really cost in the long run? In this article, I’ll help you answer the question, “Should I purchase insurance for my iPhone?” by explaining how AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint iPhone insurance works and the difference between carrier insurance and AppleCare+.

This article focuses on the “Big Three” carrier insurance plans and Apple’s AppleCare+ “insurance” for iPhones, showing the pros and cons of each insurance plan.

Is iPhone Insurance Worth It?

What iPhone insurance actually covers varies from plan to plan. However, almost all insurance plans cover manufacturer defects and accidental damage. But is iPhone insurance worth it? It depends on you.
Should I buy iPhone insurance?

For example, some people are super careful with their iPhones and others live in high risk areas for mobile theft. I purchase iPhone insurance because I’m prone to dropping my phone and live in a major city with a somewhat high crime rate. I can justify the monthly cost of an insurance plan because these factors leave me at a greater risk for breaking my iPhone and having it stolen.

In the end, I can’t give you a definitive answer as to whether or not you should purchase insurance for your iPhone. It all depends on your situation and how much you trust yourself to not drop your iPhone in the toilet.

iPhone Insurance: The Carriers

iphone_insurance_carriers

Let’s say that you’ve decided to purchase iPhone insurance. One of the most convenient ways to purchase insurance is through your carrier. This is because all charges are put on your monthly bill and you can generally stop by your carrier’s local retail store to file an insurance claim.

All of the “big three” mobile carriers (AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon) have their own insurance plans — each with varying features. I’ve broken this section of the article down to highlight the pros, cons, and pricing details for each plan offered by its respective carrier to help you find one that firs your needs.

AT&T iPhone Insurance

AT&T offers three different iPhone insurance plans: Mobile Insurance, the Mobile Protection Pack, and the Multi Device Protection Pack. All three of these plans cover theft, damage, and malfunctions, giving you piece of mind when out-and-about with your iPhone.

Deductibles:

If you break to lose your iPhone, the deductible is $199 for modern iPhones and iPads. However, this deductible goes down in price after both six months and one year of no insurance claims. The deductible and monthly fee are added to your monthly bill automatically.

Plans:

AT&T’s plans vary in features and coverage. I’ve broken each down for you below:

  • Mobile Insurance — $7.99
    • Two claims per twelve month period.
    • Protection against loss, theft, damage and out of warranty malfunctions.
    • Declining Deductibles:
      • Six months without a claim — save 25%
      • One year without a claim — save 50%
  • Mobile Protection Pack — $11.99 
    • Two claims per twelve month period.
    • Protection against loss, theft, damage and out of warranty malfunctions.
    • Declining Deductibles:
      • Six months without a claim — save 25%
      • One year without a claim — save 50%
    • Personalized tech support.
    • Protect Plus — Software that locks and erases your mobile device.
  • Multi Device Protection Pack — $29.99
    • Six claims per twelve month period.
    • Protection against loss, theft, damage and out of warranty malfunction.
    • Declining Deductibles:
      • Six months without a claim — save 25%
      • One year without a claim — save 50%
    • Personalized tech support.
    • Protect Plus — Software that locks and erases your mobile device.
    • Covers three different devices including your iPad or other supported tablet.
    • Repair and Replacement for eligible non connected tablets, for example, your Wi-Fi only iPad can be added too your insurance plan.

AT&T iPhone Insurance Review

All in all, AT&T’s mobile insurance plans seem like a solid deal for those who want to protect their iPhone from damage and theft. Although the deductible is a bit high at first, it goes down over time and is much more reasonable after a year without claims. On top of this, the $7.99 monthly fee isn’t terrible for protecting your shiny new iPhone.

It’s worth noting that the Mobile Protection Pack is likely not worth the extra $4 per month over Mobile Insurance. Apple’s free Find My iPhone application works just as well as Protect Plus, and there are plenty of free tech support sources on the web (hint: you’re reading one now).

Sprint iPhone Insurance

Sprint has two mobile insurance plans: Total Equipment Protection and Total Equipment Protection Plus. These plans offer a bit more bells and whistles than their competitors, but are also marginally higher priced. On the bright side, all plans offer quick replacement devices for broken, lost, and stolen iPhones.

Deductibles:

Deductible pricing varies between $50 an $200 per claim, though iPhones are range between $100 to $200. As expected, this fee is only charged if your iPhone is damaged or stolen. Deductible pricing is as follows:

$100

  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5C

$200

  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus

Plans:

Like I stated earlier, Sprint’s insurance plans have a few more bells and whistles over the other Big Three’s mobile insurance options. However, even with this in mind, Sprint’s plans are very straightforward. I’ve broken them down below:

  • Total Equipment Protection — $9-11 per month (depends on device)
    • Protection against loss, theft, damage, and other iPhone malfunctions.
    • Next Day Replacement and 24/7 claims, so you’ll never be without a smartphone.
    • 20GB of cloud storage for your photos and videos in the Sprint Gallery application for Android and iPhone..
  • Total Equipment Protection Plus — $13 per month
    • Everything that the Total Equipment Protection plan includes.
    • Access to tech support and access to Sprint’s mobile support application.

Sprint iPhone Insurance Review

It’s nice that Sprint’s plans come cloud storage for your photos, but I don’t think it’s necessary considering the number of free cloud storage applications available on the App Store. However, these insurance plans do protect you against any mishap your iPhone may run into, so they’re definitely worth a look if you need loss and theft protection and use Sprint.

I do not think that the Total Equipment Protection Plus is worth the added monthly fee, however. The Apple Store will help you with your device if it’s under warranty, and there are plenty of free resources online that will help you with any technical errors that you need assistance working through.

Verizon iPhone Insurance

Like AT&T and Sprint, Verizon has multiple insurance plans with varying benefits, pricing, and special features. However, Verizon’s approach is different because there are more plans and a slightly more complicated deductible chart. However, to make it a bit easier for you, I’ve broken the pricing and benefits down for you below.

Deductibles:

For Verizon insurance plans, there are three different tiers of deductible pricing: $99, $149, and $199. As expected, these fees are charged when your device is damaged, stolen, or otherwise in need of an insurance claim. For iPhones, the deductible pricing is as follows:

$99:

  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 4S

$149:

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus

$199:

  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus

Plans:

Verizon’s mobile plan pricing ranges from $3 per month per device to $11 per month per device. I’ve broken down the four Verizon insurance options below:

  • Verizon Wireless Extended Warranty — $3 per month
    • Covers device defects after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
    • Accidental damage, theft, and loss are not covered.
  • Wireless Phone Replacement — $7.15 per month
    • Verizon will replace lost, stolen, and damaged devices at the deductible listed rates above.
    • Out of warranty devices are not covered against manufacturer defects.
    • Two replacements per twelve month period.
  • Total Mobile Protection — $11.00 per month
    • Verizon will replace lost, stolen, damaged, and out of warranty devices at the deductible listed rates above.
    • Access to Verizon’s lost phone recovery app.
    • Unlimited phone support for technical problems.
    • Two replacements per twelve month period.

Verizon iPhone Insurance Review

I’m a fan of Verizon’s insurance plans because they give you options when choosing how much coverage you need for your device. For example, if you’re not prone to breaking phones but tend to keep them past Apple’s warranty period, the Extended Warranty plan will cover you against defects at a relatively low price.

In my opinion, the Wireless Phone Protection is the best deal out of the three plans. It has a low monthly cost and covers against loss, theft, and accidental damage. And while manufacturer defects aren’t covered, Apple devices include one year of Apple warranty, so if you upgrade your phone somewhat often, I’d say it’s a safe bet to save the money over the Total Mobile Protection plan.

Like with the other plans I’ve discussed, I don’t think the Total Mobile Protection plan’s phone recovery app and technical support are worth the added monthly cost. Apple’s free Find My iPhone application and online tech support blogs (like PayetteForward!) should be more than enough to help you with any mobile mishaps.

Apple’s In-House iPhone Insurance: AppleCare+

AppleCare+ for iPhone insurance.

Finally, we get to Apple’s mobile insurance product: AppleCare+. This plan is different from the Big Three’s offerings because you don’t pay monthly: there’s a single, $99 or $129 fee for two years of coverage, depending on your device. Coverage must be purchased directly from Apple within sixty days of buying your iPhone. If purchased online, Apple will run a remote diagnostic software on your phone to ensure it’s not already damaged.

Pricing:

AppleCare+ pricing is very straightforward: iPhone 6S and newer users pay $129 for two years of coverage and a $99 damage deductible and iPhone SE users pay $99 up-front and a $79 deductible. As you can see, this is far lower than the Big Three’s mobile insurance plans and takes out the worry of paying for a service every month.

Features:

  • Coverage for accidental damage and manufacturer defects.
  • Two accidental damage claims are allowed during the 24-month warranty period.
  • Software support is provided by Apple over the phone and in-store.

The one major one drawback to AppleCare+ is that it doesn’t cover lost or stolen iPhones. If you lose your iPhone, Apple won’t replace it for promotional pricing, whether you purchased AppleCare+ or not. Unfortunately, a lost iPhone means you have to buy new one at full retail price.

However, if you don’t need loss or theft protection, I think AppleCare+ is the best option for most iPhone users. The up-front cost is relatively low and the damage deductions are far lower than the competition from the Big Three. Additionally, Apple Stores can generally replace your iPhone on the spot, so you’re not left waiting for a new phone to be shipped to you from your carrier.

Enjoy A Worry-Free iPhone Life

There you have it: a roundup of iPhone insurance plans from the AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and Apple. I hope this article helped you find the right iPhone coverage for your needs.  In the comments, let me know if you think iPhone insurance is worth the money — I’d love to hear your take!

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About Author

Andrew Kunesh

I'm Andrew Kunesh, a technology writer and IT professional from Chicago. My goal is to help you fix the many errors and problems your Apple devices may face. Thanks for checking out our work!