Credit Card Cell Phone Insurance and Replacement Protection
Smartphones are probably the one of the most expensive things that you carry around with you every day. Having some sort of insurance or protection on your phone is a good idea — something that extends beyond the reach of your screen protector. Fortunately, some credit cards come with cell phone insurance.
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What Is Credit Card Cell Phone Insurance?
Credit card cell phone insurance will cover your phone if it’s damaged or stolen. There are, some exclusions, but on the whole it can be a very beneficial policy to have. Some cards don’t offer cell phone insurance, but you might still be able to claim some benefits under other purchase protections.
Some credit cards offer general purchase protection, which secures purchases you make with the credit card against damage or theft. Your cell phone might already be included in this; check the fine print.
If your cell phone qualifies for the warranty offered by the carrier or manufacturer, then your credit card might offer an extended warranty as well. If the regular warranty has expired, then check with your credit card. Credit card extended warranty protection usually offers another year or two, so this could save you some money in the right circumstances.
What Does Cell Phone Insurance Cover?
Cell phone insurance typically covers damage or theft, because you can prove both of these situations. The proof of damage is self-evident, and you’ll have to provide a police report if you’re looking for theft to be covered. A few plans cover lost cell phones as well.
You have a certain amount of time to make a claim, usually about 2 months, and then you’ll be reimbursed for the phone.
Limitations on Credit Card Cell Phone Insurance
Loss is not covered by most credit card phone insurance providers, since it’s difficult to prove. Check under the couch cushion again before you check to see if loss is covered by your credit card— you’ll have better luck with the former. With a few select plans, though, you might luck out.
Additionally, the cell phone insurance offered by credit cards is probably supplemental. If the phone is covered first by your homeowner’s or rental insurance, then your credit card will let them tackle it. However, reporting it to your homeowner’s or rental insurance providers first might result in higher rates in future.
Just reporting to it to your credit card isn’t always the way to go either. The protection will be limited to a dollar amount annually, so if this is a repeated occurrence for you, your credit card phone insurance might not enough. Examine all your policies to figure out the best balance.
Here’s a few other common exclusions in credit card cell phone coverage:
- Cosmetic damage on a still functional phone (so no cracked screens, sorry)
- Phone accessories
- Prepaid cell phones
- Phones purchased by someone other than the cardholder
How to Get Free Credit Card Cell Phone Insurance Coverage
Credit cards that offer cell phone insurance are typically reward cards and require some sort of membership fee. There are a few, though, that you can enroll in for free. Don’t be afraid to shop around if coverage is important to you. Credit cards offer a variety of insurance policies, so look through them and decide what’s important to you.
Pay Your Cell Phone Bill With the Credit Card
Luckily, getting your cell phone covered by your credit card is pretty easy as long as the card offers it. Just make sure you’re paying your cell phone bill with your credit card every month. As long as you do so, your phone will be covered. If you have any doubts or questions, check your plan and your credit card’s policy.
Credit card cell phone insurance is a frequently forgotten perk, but don’t wait until you drop your phone off a dock to get it. The sooner, the better. With how vital smartphones have become to our lives, it’s better to get your ducks in a row beforehand.
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Dayton is a chronic Wikipedia addict, which is detrimental to her social life but stellar for her writing. She resides in Boise, ID, surrounded by her own frantic outlines, highlighted encyclopedias, and potatoes. The latter was not by choice.
This post was updated September 17, 2018. It was originally published August 29, 2018.