The first time I had to file a Verizon broken phone insurance claim was a few years ago. I was in the kitchen and had just taken the Otterbox off my iPhone. You see, I’d gotten some water in the Otterbox case, and I didn’t want to take a risk of the water damaging my phone.
So far, that doesn’t sound so bad, right? But here’s where I made the mistake.
I was in the kitchen with a ceramic tile floor. And then I dropped my iPhone, without its protective Otterbox case on it. And when it hit the ceramic floor, it shattered. In addition, I damaged the body. That left it so I couldn’t charge the phone.
Word to the wise–only take your iPhone out of its Otterbox on carpet. I’ve never made that mistake since then.
How phone insurance should cover this claim
Because we’d opted to get phone insurance on our Verizon Wireless account, I knew I could file a claim for my broken phone. However, I wasn’t sure how to do that. So I thought I’d walk you through the steps on how to file a Verizon Wireless broken phone claim.
But before I do that, let me explain how the insurance plan works with Verizon Wireless. Also, let me explain why we decided to add broken phone insurance to our Verizon Wireless account.
FYI, since getting our first mobile phone, we’ve only ever had Verizon Wireless as our mobile phone carrier. So, I can only speak from my experience.
But I would imagine that AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Cricket, Boost and other wireless carriers offer a similar insurance program and claim process. On the other hand, if I’m wrong, do let me know.
Why we added Verizon broken phone insurance
For the longest time I’d avoided getting insurance for our mobile phones. It just seemed so expensive for a “what if” scenario. I mean, my husband and I had our phones for years and had never broken them.
Then our teenage daughters got cell phones. And eventually smartphones.
Teenagers and smartphones are a bad combination
And then, well, teenage things happened with the phones. One phone fell in the toilet. Another dropped on our driveway. Another slipped out of their hands and tumbled down a flight of stairs.
Suddenly, we were replacing phones left and right. Yes, our daughters should have been more responsible. But accidents happen.
Nonetheless, you know how expensive smartphones are. Once you’ve laid out cash for two new phones in a year, that broken phone insurance doesn’t seem so expensive after all.
How much this broken phone insurance costs
I keep calling this the Verizon broken phone insurance. Technically, Verizon Wireless calls it Verizon Mobile Protect Multi Device. Well, at least that’s the one we have. They offer insurance for single devices, too. We just happen to have four phones on our plan.
It costs $50 a month and covers the four smartphones on our account. So, in a year, we’ll pay $600 for a what if scenario. In two years we’ll pay $1200–or a bit more than the price of the newest iPhone.
No insurance claims for years
What’s ironic is that as soon as we started paying for broken phone insurance, we had no broken phones. I have to admit that having this insurance felt like a waste of money each month.
Then, I shattered my phone and bent the frame. As I said, I couldn’t charge it anymore.
Ironic, isn’t it, that it wasn’t my daughters who needed the phone insurance. No, they’ve been awesome about taking good care of their phones. It was me, their mom. I’m the one who filed our very first insurance claim with Verizon for a broken phone.
What’s covered under phone insurance
In addition to broken phones, this so-called Verizon Wireless Mobile Protect Multi Device phone insurance policy actually covers lost and stolen phones, too. I’ve never lost a phone or had one stolen, so I can’t offer a first-person review of how that all works.
However, having broken two phones–and submitted claims for them–I can give you a step by step overview of how the whole process works. That way you’ll know what to expect.
But, as promised, I wanted to go over what’s covered under a phone insurance policy with Verizon.
Verizon broken phone insurance covers cracked screen repair
With the Verizon broken phone insurance, you can put in a claim to repair a cracked screen. Who hasn’t cracked a screen?
If you have cracked the front screen on your phone, you’re good. You’ll pay a $29 deductible, and you may be able to get your screen repaired that very same day.
The cracked screen repair benefit is unlimited. So, if you or a child drop and crack the front screen–and then do it again–you can get it repaired as many times as needed.
Cracked screen coverage doesn’t cover everything
But if you’ve cracked the front and the back of your phone, the cracked screen repair doesn’t apply. Then you’ll need to submit a full claim to get a whole new phone.
However, as I learned when trying to submit a claim for my daughter’s iPhone XR, having a physically broken phone doesn’t qualify you for a claim. If the phone still works, you’re SOL. On the other hand, if you’ve broken the phone in a way that it can’t charge or the power or volume buttons don’t work, then game on–you can file an insurance claim for a replacement phone.
Battery repair or replacement
Broken phone insurance also covers replacing or repairing your phone’s battery. This is for post-warranty defects.
Even so, there seems to be a lot of caveats with this coverage. For example, it’s limited to some phone models only.
In addition, if you don’t have extended warranty coverage on your phone, you may not be able to claim it. Honestly, it sounds a lot less straightforward than fixing a cracked screen or broken phone.
Replacing a broken phone
As I experienced, the Verizon broken phone insurance replaces the broken phone. You may think you have to go to the Verizon Wireless website to start your claim–and you can, within your account–but you’ll be redirected to their partner Asurion.
What to expect when filing a claim with Asurion
Then, Asurion will ask you for information about the phone including what happened to it. So, when I started the claim for my phone, I’d just put in about the physical damage. Almost instantaneously, Asurion rejected my claim.
After that, I realized I needed to put in more details about how the phone was working. Turns out damage to the port is covered. Shattering a screen isn’t. Well, it is, but under a different claim process. And for that you don’t get a whole new phone.
So, I started another claim with Asurion, this time adding these other details. Asurion approved my claim.
My next step was to turn off Find My iPhone on that phone. For anyone who has ever actually used Find My iPhone to, well, find their iPhone, actively turning this off isn’t easy to do. But I knew I had to since Asurion said they couldn’t move ahead with the claim until that was done.
Steps for getting a new phone
Once you’re done turning off Find My iPhone, the claim completes, and then Asurion overnights you a new phone. When you get the new phone, you activate it and, voila, you have your new phone.
The final step for you is to send back the phone to Asurion. They will provide you with a postage-paid package. You have about a week to send it back. If you don’t you’ll be charged the cost of a new phone.
Additionally, once your phone gets back to Asurion, they will look it over. If the damage described doesn’t match up with what they observe, they may deny your claim after the fact and charge you for a new phone. So, don’t file any fraudulent insurance claims.
You do have to pay a deductible
One of the things I hadn’t expected was having to pay a deductible when I made a phone insurance claim. That was naive of me. I have home insurance, car insurance and health insurance. In all of these situations, you have a deductible.
However, I didn’t expect it to be as much as it was. For example, when I made a claim on my iPhone 6s, I had to pay a $100 deductible to get the new phone. Ouch but OK.
If I needed to submit a claim for my daughter’s phones–both iPhone 10s–the deductible would be $229. I’m sure because it’s a more expensive phone overall.
The phone you get isn’t brand new
Here was another shocker when putting in a broken phone claim. Through Verizon’s relationship with Asurion, you’re not getting a new phone. You’re getting a newly refurbished phone.
At first I was worried about getting a refurbished phone. But I have to say that my replacement iPhone 6 continues to work great. While I’d love to have a new iPhone 13, I just can’t justify the cost when this phone works so well.
Verizon broken phone insurance versus Applecare
Since we’re an all-Apple family–we have iPads, MacBooks and, as you know, iPhones–we’ve looked into Apple Care for any new iPhones we may buy. We always get Apple Care with our new computers.
Why not get AppleCare for a new iPhone? So I’ve decided to compare the pros and cons of AppleCare versus Verizon broken phone insurance.
Pros of Applecare vs Verizon phone insurance
- AppleCare costs $299 for two years of coverage. Over two years, you would pay $360 for Verizon’s coverage. (Verizon charges $15 per month for a single phone coverage.)
- Apple doesn’t charge any deductibles when filing an AppleCare claim for mechanical issues. As I’ve explained above, for us, deductibles could range from $100 to $229.
- You get two claims per year for a broken phone on AppleCare. With Verizon, you can only place a claim once per phone in a 12-month period.
Cons of AppleCare vs. Verizon phone insurance
- AppleCare lasts for two years only. Verizon lets you add on phone insurance and device protection indefinitely.
- Both Applecare and Verizon charge a $29 deductible for a shattered screen replacement. However, Apple limits you to two screen fixes per year. Verizon gives you unlimited screen fixes for that same $29 each time.
Why we originally got Verizon phone insurance
When we each bought new iPhones, we did the payment plan with Verizon. That payment plan was 24-months long and was interest free. So, having phone insurance made sense.
For example, what if something happened to one of the phones before they were fully paid off? Well, we could file a claim and get a new-to-us phone without having to pay the full price for a new phone.
This insurance policy made sense…at the time
That makes sense. It’s kind of like adding on gap insurance when you take out a car loan. You don’t want to risk totalling your car before you’ve paid it off–and then have to continue making payments on a car you no longer have.
However, all of the phones have long been paid off. My older daughter’s phone was paid off in January 2021. Before that, my younger daughter’s phone was paid off in November 2020. Finally, my phone was paid off before both of them.
And my husband’s phone? It’s a hand-me-down iPhone 6 from when our youngest daughter got her iPhone XR.
Why canceling phone insurance makes sense now
I should have canceled the phone insurance as soon as the last of those phones was paid off. We started paying for broken phone insurance three years ago. That means that, overtime, we’ve paid Verizon $1,800, plus $100 for my phone deductible.
We’ve never filed another broken phone claim. My younger daughter recently damaged that three-year-old iPhone 10. But the damage wasn’t bad enough to qualify for an insurance claim. Plus, with a $229 deductible, I’d rather not shell out any other money.
I mean, I can’t do anything about the money I’ve already spent on insurance. But that doesn’t mean I have to spend more money when it won’t get her a brand-new phone.
Ways to protect your phone
I’m a big believer in protecting your investment aka your Smartphone. That’s why whenever we get a new one, we also get the Otterbox.
You may not know it but the Otterbox comes with a warranty, too. That is, if it breaks or malfunctions, you can get a new one. There is a small fee for this but it’s totally worth it.
How the Otterbox warranty works
I’ve been able to replace my Otterbox twice in the past 10 years–and only pay about $6 for it. Both times it was because the plastic part of the case was broken. Because of that, it wouldn’t close properly around my phone or sit inside the rubber outer case.
So, I submitted a claim to Otterbox. And got a new case both times.
I document my experience with Otterbox here. It’s a blog post about buying products that come with a guarantee or warranty.
Walmart protection plan by Allstate
If you happen to buy your electronics, including phones, from Walmart, you can opt to also purchase the Walmart protection plan by Allstate. However, when I visited the Walmart website to learn more, here’s what I learned: you can’t buy that protection online or in the Walmart app. You have to go to a store.
So in that respect this Walmart option isn’t as convenient as Verizon’s. I can just make changes to my account online by adding or removing insurance.
Final thoughts on Verizon broken phone insurance
In all of this time of having Verizon broken phone insurance, I’ve submitted one claim. With all of our phones now paid off, I should have canceled the phone insurance. We really didn’t need it.
However, if you have teenagers with smartphones, I would highly recommend having this phone insurance plan or mobile device protection. Like I said earlier, accidents happen. And if you’re still paying off the price of a phone, it’s a good idea to have insurance.
On the other hand, we’re no longer paying off phones. So going forward there are two things I’ll do when I get a new iPhone.
One, I’ll seriously consider getting AppleCare. As I’ve discovered, AppleCare is cheaper overall.
And, two, if I do sign up for Verizon’s broken phone insurance again, I’ll mark a date on my calendar when my phone is paid off. That way I’ll know when to cancel the insurance and not be paying a monthly fee for something I really don’t need anymore.