Now that the iPhone 5 is here—and just a week away from getting in your hands—it’s time to think about how to protect your new baby.
Cracked screens are an infamous downside to the iPhone. With the iPhone 5, touch sensors are built into the display. If you crack your phone, you’ll have yourself a pretty expensive paperweight.
When you first purchase the iPhone, Apple’s limited warranty gives you one year of hardware repair coverage and provides up to 90 days of free telephone support. But this warranty doesn’t cover liquid damage, cracked screens or other types of user-induced damages.
Here’s a look at some insurance options for those with somewhat of a rough lifestyle.
- AppleCare+ costs $99 for two years. iPhone users have up to 30 days after purchase to enroll in Apple’s own plan, which covers spills, shattered screens, and other damage. Still, you only get coverage for two incidents of accidental damage, and each is subject to a fee of $49 plus tax. If you lose your phone, you can kiss your money goodbye.
- AT&T’s mobile insurance, on the other hand, protects against broken, lost, stolen, and drowned devices, even when out of warranty. Unlike AppleCare+, AT&T grants you two claims per year, meaning four claims within two years. However, AT&T’s two-year coverage comes out to be pricier than Apple’s and has a much higher deductible of $199. Users must enroll in AT&T’s plan within 30 days of activating the new iPhone. It costs $6.99 per month.
- Verizon offers similar insurance options to AT&T’s with coverage for lost, stolen, and damaged phones, with up to two claims per year. It also provides coverage for your phone after Apple’s limited warranty expires. However, Verizon’s coverage will end up costing you more than both AT&T and Apple’s, and has a deductible of $199 per claim. Users must enroll within 30 days of activation. It costs $9.99 per month.
- SquareTrade offers both two- and three-year warranties for the iPhone 5. But the first step is to decide if you’re actually going to keep your iPhone for three years, or toss it as soon as the next one comes out. Both types of warranties protect you against drops, spills, and other damage, but does not protect you against loss or theft. Unlike other options, SquareTrade grants you up to four repairs or replacements. Users pay a $50 deductible. Users must buy the insurance within 90 days of purchase. It costs $99 for two years and $129 for three years.
- Worth Avenue Group has a plan that protects against drops, spills, theft, natural disasters, and more. During the one-, two- or three-year coverage period, Worth Avenue Group offers unlimited repairs and replacements. Depending on which iPhone 5 model you get, the one-year plan costs a maximum of $89 with a $50 deductible per claim.
While AT&T and Verizon’s plans are bit costlier, it might be a good idea to opt for those rather than the others if you’re prone to losing your phone. Apple’s free Find My iPhone feature can be a big help for those who are a bit absent-minded.
Given the high deductible some plans have, whether you get insurance or not, you should consider a really tough iPhone case. While Apple caught accessory makers by surprise, we bet the same manufacturers who make iPhone 4 cases are busily prepping iPhone 5 versions. (Existing cases won’t fit.)
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