Woman using her iphone while it is in a protective case

8 Alternatives to Cell Phone Insurance

Phone insurance might seem like a good idea. Overall, you'll pay a small monthly price for peace of mind, but is it worth it? Most plans are around $10 a month. If you don't make a claim, then that's around $120 a year! That's a lot of money. There has to be a cheaper alternative. Here are eight alternatives to cell phone insurance.

  1. Avoid water damage.
    Maybe this is easier said than done. However, if you manage to keep your phone away from liquids, you're golden. Many insurance companies choose not to cover liquid damage anyway, so this is an overall better practice regardless. Consider keeping a ZipLock bag with you at all times or buying a case that is specifically designed to keep out water.
  2. Prevent screen damage.
    This is something that is pretty easy to do. Stores all across the world sell thin plastic sheets that stick right to the screen of your phone. These plastic sheets protect your phone from any scratches. I would personally suggest getting the more expensive ones as they've protected my phone from several deep scratches. Some companies even sell protective screens made specifically for your particular device brand and type.
  3. Purchase a protective case.
    Whether it's an OtterBox or a Body Glove, consider buying a protective case. The cases come in various sizes from heavy duty to travel friendly. Depending on how much stress you put on your device, buy a case that is likely to protect it from potential damage. If you're accident-prone and drop your phone often, buy the heavy duty case. They're expensive, but worth the value.
  4. Dry it out.
    If you ever drop your phone in water, do not turn it on. This can be hard to do immediately after dropping it, but turning it on may cause further irreparable damage. If it is still on, turn it off immediately. Then, open the back and take out the battery. Do not use a hair dryer or anything to dry it manually. Instead, simply put the device in a bowl of rice and let it sit overnight. If it still looks wet, let it sit longer.
  5. Visit a repair shop.
    Many devices can be repaired for much cheaper than what a phone insurance may claim. With the amount of phones on the market, you can replace individual parts cheaply using a piece from another device. It isn't unlike replacing a part in your car. If your starter goes out, you don't buy a new car. You replace the starter.
  6. Find your device.
    If you lose your device, there are several ways to locate it. Install the app Find My iPhone for your Apple product or Plan B for Android. These are both completely free and will find your device if it is ever misplaced. If someone has stolen your phone, it's probably best not to chase the person down afterward. Go to the police with the information you've gained.
  7. Buy a used phone.
    There are several phones on the market that have been refurbished or barely used. You can find older models for hundreds of dollars less than the newest. For example, a Samsung Galaxy S6 will run you around $679. If you purchase a Samsung Galaxy 5, you're looking at a price of $519 new. A used Galaxy 5 can be found for around $379. That's around $300 in savings.
  8. Save money every month.
    Instead of paying a company, put the money away yourself. Save $10 to $20 per month in a savings account or a jar. Then, in the case of damage to your device, you have money put away to get yourself a new phone. You bypass the whole insurance claim process and you can handle the logistics without having to pay a deductible!
Last Updated: February 18, 2016