Is cell phone insurance saving you money in the long run? - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Is cell phone insurance saving you money in the long run?

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When we invest a good deal of money in a new smart phone an insurance plan seems like a no-brainer.  But make sure you really read the stipulations of the plan.  Some cost as little as $5.99 a month, but it's how much you'll pay in a deductible if it's lost or needs to be repaired that you should really examine.

One of the top problems with the cell phones, like iPhones, is the delicate screens.  One drop with an unprotected screen and you could be staring at a shattered display and a huge deductible.  That's why more and more people are opting out of insurance and instead paying for repairs on an 'as needed' basis.

I met Chuck Morrison at SmartPhone MD in Charlotte's Overstreet Mall where their business is booming.  Since the company started in Columbia, South Carolina five years ago they've grown and opened several new stores.  Inside SmartPhone MD you'll see their ‘wall of broken screens'.  They repair broken screens and much more. The average cost of repairs, according to Morrison, is about 100 dollars. 

I met Rebecca Green enjoying a sunning day uptown when she described the day her new phone crashed to the ground, "I was at the post office and I was fumbling with a package and it just dropped and shattered the screen."   The phone was a gift from her grandparents and to fix it she had to send it off, and go without a phone for three days, so it could be repaired under her insurance plan.  Learning that the deductible was probably more money than just a trip to a repair shop, Rebecca says she'd reconsider insurance on her next contract.

When Ahna Brown's screen shattered like she didn't have insurance.  "I took it to one of the places in the mall and they just did a quick fix on the screen, it was about a hundred bucks."

It's stories like Ahna's that have helped phone repair companies grow.  At SmartPhone MD they've repaired about 25 thousand phones since opening in Columbia.

There are many reasons why insurance is a good thing for some.  If you have teens who lose a phone, the cost of your deductible weighed against the cost of replacing the phone might make the monthly fees worth it.  But think long and hard, and crunch your numbers before you sign on the dotted line.

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