Smartphone owners, please keep in mind that while you paid $100 for that smartphone, that’s not the true cost of the phone. Many smartphones are “subsidized”, which hides the true cost of the phone in the 2 year contract fees. Carriers have started rolling out un-subsidized plans, like AT&T’s Next, that ask you to pay for the true cost of the phone in monthly installments.
In many cases, that “$100” phone costs $300 to $500. “$200” phones are often between $500 and $1000. This is important to understand should that phone need to be replaced due to damage. It’s why many phone protection plans from various carriers and retailers ask you to pay anywhere from $99 to $199 to replace your damaged “$100” phone. It’s more than you initially paid for the phone, yes. But you’re still ahead, because you’re not paying the full replacement cost of the phone.
You have many options for coverage these days, from the retailer, the carrier, and in some cases, even the phone manufacturer. Consider what coverage is important to you. For example, manufacturer coverage is often cheaper, but doesn’t cover theft or loss.
Take the time to read through the plan details, not just the quick overview provided to you at the retail or phone store location. Smartphones have truly become an important tool in our lives, so make sure you’re considering your options … all of your options … should it suddenly be dropped, lost or stolen.