¿Do your devices need insurance?

Paying extra to insure your electronics can give you peace of mind after a new purchase. If, like most of us, you’ve dropped your phone, you might be tempted to buy it. ¿Do your devices need insurance?

Consumers are nearly 50% more likely to choose brands that offer coverage, according to research by Mulberry, a provider of these plans. This is one of the main reasons why big retailers like Amazon, Walmart and many others highlight them. But just because buyers buy these bundles doesn’t necessarily mean they’re worth it.

There are other options, including third-party insurance and even your credit card. Plus, blueprints – which research shows are more profitable than the devices themselves – can be a better deal for the companies that sell them than for you. Our calculations on the back of the envelope show that Apple’s plan (one of the most comprehensive) can work if there’s a 1 in 3 chance you break your phone, but what that doesn’t have to happen. So is it really a good idea to secure your devices? We analyze five popular options, including the option to do nothing.

Option 1: Retailer insurance plans It can be convenient to buy a plan from a retailer

You do this at checkout and they promise to be easy to use. But these plans are more expensive than some other options, such as using your credit card or home insurance (if possible). Almost all major retailers today offer their customers some type of insurance. Walmart offers its own plans, while Target sells them through insurance company Allstate, and Apple has AppleCare that extends a one-year limited warranty on its products. Amazons are primarily sold through Asurion, an independent company that specializes in extended warranties. Retailer bundles typically cost about a quarter of the product’s price. Products sold by independent companies can cost between $ and $25 per month.

But the biggest expense is usually a deductible. Asurion charges a deductible from $99 to nearly $500. AppleCare charges a deductible from $29 to nearly $150. All the plans we’ve reviewed, including accidents like screen breakage, water damage, coffee spills, and more, promise to make it easy to file a claim online in minutes. . Asurion, the third-party site used by Amazon, claims to ship 96% of replacement items the day after the claim is submitted.

Some fine print to know: If your device is damaged, you may need to mail it. If it is lost or stolen (so you don’t have to hand it over), you may be asked to provide a police report. For items that are still within the manufacturer’s warranty, you may need to file a claim with the manufacturer before the extended warranty goes into effect. Or a company can work with you as an intermediary with the manufacturer.

Option 2: Out of Business Insurance Plans Retailers are not your only option when it comes to insurance.

You can also look to a third party, which can be useful for anyone looking to secure multiple devices in one place. Asurion sells a bundle for most home electronics for $25 a month. It also offers cell phone coverage for $13 per month. Discount may be available if more than one person is insured. For example, SquareTrade.

Allstate-owned company that specializes in protection plans, offers a Phone Protection Plan for up to four phones, priced at $19.99 per month, compared to 8.99 dollars per month for a single plan. Complaints can be easily filed online for the most common incidents. The sites we’ve reviewed require a few basic steps, and some offer quick alternative steps. When purchasing a policy, be sure to check when service starts. Asurion’s policies start the 31st after you sign up.

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