Now that the cost of the average smart phone rivals the cost of your monthly mortgage payment, it is becoming a more common item of concern on peoples personal balance sheets. Have you been the person to lose your smart phone and feel like all connection to the world is gone? Over 300 million cell phones are active in the US and a surprising number of those phones are lost on a yearly basis. It is partially because of our extreme reliance on these devices that I am often asked about insurance options on them. People want to know that these high dollar items are protected and that they will have ease and speed of replacement, should they ever be so unlucky to need it.
- What can happen to it – By insuring your cell phone on your homeowners policy, you can have any variety of things occur and have coverage for them. For instance, losing the phone, having it stolen, water damaged, or dropped can all be covered if you have the right protection in place.
- Cost to insure – This can vary greatly and each person’s homeowners policy is different but expect anywhere from $10 to $50 year based on the type of phone.
- Accessories coverage – If you are the kind of person who not only buys a phone, but a car charger, wall charger, blue tooth earpiece, and any other number of attachments – make sure your agent knows this so they can take those items into consideration.
- What will I get in return – The same phone or a comparable phone (with like kind and quality) will be considered as a replacement for the damaged, lost or stolen one.
- How will this affect my rates – Here is the big question and the answer to this has changed over the past 5 years. Because this is a fairly low dollar value item compared to damage that can occur on a home, we urge our clients to think twice about filing many small cell phone claims. A claim is still a claim, and will be factored into your homeowners rates for up to five years.
As cell phones become more common and land lines more obsolete, the protection for these devices will be increasingly important. This information is a good guideline to use when deciding if your homeowners policy is the right place to find coverage for your phone. Don’t forget, many cell phone companies and carriers offer an insurance plan as well. It is a good idea to do a comparison and ask your agent how your policy will be particularly affected.