Private warranty company could mean cheaper smartphone insurance - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Private warranty company could mean cheaper smartphone insurance

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

It can happen to anyone. The one thing many can't live without, dropped, smashed, and crushed.

The private warranty company Square Trade says research shows one in three cell phones die or suffers from some kind of damage.

"One of the most common ways this happens it takes a spill on the pavement or the kitchen floor," explained Steve Abernathy with Square Trade.

A replacement could cost hundreds of dollars at retail price. With those kinds of odds, it's no wonder many sign up for cell phone insurance. Plans are available through cell phone carrier companies, but coverage through a private warranty company is also an option.

"It tends to be about half of what you would pay for the big cell phone company," said Abernathy.

According to AT&T's website, the company's top selling protection plan costs almost $240 for two years. If a customer makes a claim there's a $199 fee. Verizon's prices are in the same range, costing between $8 and $10 a month with fees between $49 and $199.

A plan through either company means paying $240 to nearly $440 between monthly payments and a claim fee. Square Trade says their company has lower overhead costs, so they can beat that.

"We charge $125 at front and $99 at the claim," Abernathy said.

The difference could save you up to $215.

But don't take Square Trade's word for it. The company recommends using the 30 day window after buying a phone to shop around for coverage as you would for car and home insurance. Choose the plan that best fit your needs and budget.

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