Handy Hints

Do You Really Need Cell Phone Insurance?

Samsung cell phone

Cell phone insurance is a waste of money right, who needs it? Just two months ago I was so excited to have my new cell phone, a Samsung Galaxy SIII, it was an awesome  phone. First thing I did when I got home was logged into Amazon and looked for a hard case to protect the phone. I was trying to save money out-of-pocket by using my gift-cards from Swagbucks.

You with think with modern cell phone technology that they would figure something out so cell phones were protected from the average clumsy person dropping them. Even worse a child getting their hands on a cell to play pass the puck or toast the cell phone for breakfast.

I guess I’m just dreaming of the indestructible cell phone but we all know that will never happen, nothing seems to last like the good old days. It’s more about short life span and getting the customer to fork out more cash because they get so used to having technology at their fingertips.

That just seems too easy though because accessories make up another chunk of profits for these organizations as if the ridiculous high costs of cell phones weren’t already a lucrative enough business for them.

Well there was my second mistake (first mistake is coming up), a hard case sounds great right? I’m not sure what I was thinking as I should have bought a rubber one that might absorb some shock if dropped. You can probably figure out where I’m going with this….

Bye Bye Cell Phone

I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket to take a picture at work then put it in my coat pocket so I could continue working. I turned around and my phone flew out of my pocket right onto the nice solid floor in Wal-Mart. Nothing like a new dropped cell phone smashed to bits staring right back at you.

The second I looked down I wanted to cry. I broke my screen on my phone, oh great, sigh. I started to think out loud as I was still in a state of shock,“I broke my cell phone, now what do I do”? It’s that moment where everything just comes to a screeching hault in your life. I know it sounds off the hook but my cell phone carries more weight than just a phone for work and pleasure for me.

At least with a dropped cell in water I would have had a bit of hope of some sort of recovery, but I had blown this one out of the water.

My practically brand new cell phone was laying on the floor with every colour of the rainbow across the screen. I don’t even have a picture to show you because my phone was my camera! Now I can’t even see colour, it’s just a solid black screen with no life to it at all.

So now what?

Importance Of My Cell Phone

I had just switched  from Telus and obtained this cell phone by negotiating a 3 year contract with Rogers Wireless.  I am very uncomfortable being outside of my home without my cell phone. The reason behind this is not that I have some sort of unusual connection to my cell phone, far from the justification.

The reason is that I have a 4 yr old child with an illness who is just finishing his first year of school and has suffered from a seizure disorder since the age of 6 months.

With my job I work on the road and travel to multiple stores around Ontario which I really do enjoy. When I have my cell phone on me I can relax knowing that I can be reached at any given time in case I’m needed. I was working across the road from where I bought the cell phone and where the dropping incident occurred so I went over to see if they could help me out all.

The Bad News

As you can see from the picture above that my cell phone looks fine, the glass didn’t break, which would have been about $100 to fix my phone but that was not my only problem. I was told that the LCD under the glass was completely destroyed and that I was looking at $400 to have it repaired. Boy, did that make me feel better, not.

I nearly had a heart attack, the value of the cell phone is $600. After some in-store credits and the contract I had managed to walk out the first time without spending a dime on my phone.

The phone cost $149.00 on a three-year contract but the in-store credits, some of which ended half hour after I walked through the door, covered that entire $149.00. That left me responsible for $450.00 over the course of three years.

My first mistake….a big mistake

Insurance, What Insurance?

The associate then asked me if I had purchased cell phone insurance? Insurance? What cell phone insurance? She looked at my account and  of course no insurance is anywhere to be found. I do not remember being offered cell phone insurance, although she insisted that they offer it to every customer.

It’s possible I said no but I’m a little clumsy at times and I know this, I can’t imagine I would have said no! The $7.99 a month insurance would have replaced my phone, even if it was physical damage, with a $50.00 deductible. Sounds great now!! Lot of good that will do me.

I didn’t know what to do at this point as I really needed a cell phone at all times. I could put down a $50.00 deposit for a loaner phone and send my phone away for repair or walk out and have to buy a brand new cell phone. I explained why I needed a phone and that I did not have $50.00 at the time.

She suggested that I take some time to think about it and offered me a loaner phone for free for a week, on my word that I would return it.  I was very grateful for her being willing to help me out and that is what great customer service is all about.

That long week

Feeling Out Of Touch

Being a single working mom of two kids one of which has seizures my phone was not only a necessity but it became a very big convenience in my life. I get a lot of email communication for my job and I do not get too many opportunities throughout the day to get on my computer. My social media appearance and email activity had diminished in that long week and I even worried Mr. CBB because I wasn’t around!!

I felt very out of touch with the world, and unable to efficiently organize my work week without my cell phone. The importance of cell phones in our lives seemed so apparent to me at this time. I was missing emails that required a quick response and just fell behind as some days I can get 8-10 work related emails.

I had to make a decision and fast even if it meant breaking my budget and going into my emergency savings account; after all that is what I saved the money for, an emergency.

The Loaner Phone

So now I have a very basic phone that does not allow me to get access to my email, a very slow online browser and I think the original version of mobile Facebook! I certainly lost the convenience of my smartphone that week but I was thankful to be able to make and receive calls.

I called around to a few local repair shops to see if I could find a better deal to have my cell phone fixed. No luck there. There was no way that I could put $400 back into fixing that cell phone. I just could not afford that. I had to decide if I was going to look on Kijiji or Ebay to try and find a cheaper cell phone or pay full price for a brand new cell phone.

My New Cell Phone

I eventually decided to pay full price for a brand new cell phone.

Why did I decide to buy another brand new cell phone?

First of all, I am tired of spending money on cell phones! I opted a few years ago not to have a home phone as I was paying for something that I rarely used, so I rely solely on my cell phone.

Now that I know about the $7.99 monthly insurance fee that would replace my phone for a $50 deductible, I wanted to be able to have that  peace of mind option, this time….. instead of getting stuck in this situation again.  If I were to buy a used phone from Kijiji or Ebay there is no option for the insurance or warranty coverage.

Should I Buy Cell Phone Insurance?

For some people cell phone insurance may seem like a waste of money but for someone who is as clumsy as me and who really needs her cell it’s worth every penny. You might also want to check with your homeowners or auto insurance to see if your policy covers theft, loss or damage to your cell phone before committing to cell phone insurance.

Do your homework, make sure you are protected, if it’s worth it to you. If not, well then I guess you might have to suck up the costs like I have to.

I am now stuck with $450.00 of the cost of this broken, useless phone over the course of my 3 year contract and just spent over $200 on a new cell phone! A lot more than I would have had to pay if had just had that darn cell phone insurance!If this ever happens again, when someone asks me if I have the cell phone insurance I will very proudly say ‘You bet I do!’.

Do you have cell phone insurance? Why or Why not? Have you ever been in the same position I’m in?

Post Contribution By: Katrina is regular contributor for Canadian Budget Binder and is as passionate about personal finance as she is gardening. Katrina is a horticulture graduate with over 10 years experience with landscaping and greenhouse production. Her goal is to share her knowledge and experiences blogging about gardening and her continued passion for personal finance in hopes of motivating others. While being a single mom of two and working in a sales and marketing position, Katrina runs her own Landscaping Services in Southwestern Ontario.

 Quote-Budget and Money

 Have you ever broke your phone while in a contract and not had insurance?

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