I still remember when seeing people with the first iPhone. It was weird because I knew those iPhones were worth a small fortune while I’d barely bat an eyelid should my Samsung Tocco have gone missing. Today, that’s changed dramatically as few people leave the house any more without a phone in their pocket worth anywhere up to a grand. Even so, some people go it alone and opt to live life on the edge without phone insurance, cases or screen protectors. So the question is, is phone insurance worth it?
Should You Get Phone Insurance?
Phone insurance or gadget insurance is available from a range of insurance providers in Ireland. Just like any other insurance, phone insurance will protect you from paying out full whack should your phone be lost or stolen while also covered out of most out of warranty damage and liquid damage. When choosing a mobile phone insurance provider, always check the fine print on their insurance policies, read through the boring terms of business and understand the process involved in making a claim. You might find one insurance company that covers theft but not loss while another insurance policy will provide cover for damage but not water damage.
Pay attention to the details of the terms and conditions; don’t get caught out.
Benefits of Phone Insurance
With that said, you also shouldn’t be scared of paying for phone insurance because the peace of mind that comes with it is incredible. Once your insurance policy is in place and you understand exactly what’s covered, you can really enjoy that €1000 mobile phone sitting in your pocket. I’ve had gadget insurance now ever since I bought the HTC One about four years ago. I’ve insured by Galaxy S7 Edge and my Note8 since then. Sure enough, I’ve only ever claimed once when I lost my HTC One and actually got it replaced by an HTC One M8.
At the time, that phone was worth around €600 and there simply would have been no way I could have replaced it without phone insurance. Now, in the four years, I’ve had phone insurance I’ve paid over €700 for the peace of mind that should that happen again, I’m covered. It’s also really important to remember I did have to pay an excess fee as is standard enough when making a smartphone insurance claim. I think it was about €50 but again, with one more phone loss, broken screen or fall down the toilet and that phone insurance is money well spent.
Now, you could ask whether or not I really need phone insurance. Without even a cracked screen in my lifetime I must be fairly careful right? Not exactly…
Phone Insurance Versus Cases and Screen Protectors
Over the years, I’ve had plenty of close calls. My Galaxy S7 Edge and Note8 have been soaked quite a few times only to be saved by the phone’s IP67 water resistant rating. I’ve dropped my phones countless times and back when I worked in the phone shop I used to deliberately fire it around the shop to show how unlikely I was to break my phone. Obviously, I had an ace up my sleeve that gave me some additional confidence.
Otterbox: King of the Phone Cases
Right, well, of course, I had phone insurance for a start so I had that to fall back to but I also had no intention of making an insurance claim. I’ve used Otterbox cases for years only swapping over to the official Samsung case for my Note8 because Otterbox couldn’t be got in Dublin on launch day. That’s how uncomfortable I am using a smartphone without a case.
Curved screens meant I stopped using screen protectors for a few years too. To be fair, Guerilla Glass has come a long way since my first contract and the HTC One. Screens are less likely to get scratched and less likely to crack than ever before but it did happen to my Galaxy S7 Edge. Nothing major, but the screen was scratched. It’s funny how your eye can be drawn to that one, tiny little scratch.
Anyway, nothing major happened because the Otterbox case has a raised lip. If the phone hits the floor, the screen usually has a little bit of space and is less likely to break, but my advice doesn’t end there.
First Generation Screen Protectors
While I have a case, phone insurance and am more careful than many with my smartphone, screen protectors are also incredibly important to use. Years ago, Zagg were some of the best protectors on the market. I’m not sure what material they were made from but they felt great. The material was a tacky plastic, almost like a transparent vinyl that reduced the likelihood of annoying smudges on the screen along with the chances of smashing it all together. Then tempered glass joined the party.
Tempered Glass Screen Protectors
Tempered glass, as you might have guessed, are glass screen protectors. They literally feel like a second layer of glass over your screen, or just like feel like the screen itself. The massive difference is that when you crack a tempered glass screen protector, it costs about €20 to €30 replace for the iPhone 8. If you crack your screen, Fonfix, an Irish repair company recognised by all major manufacturers, will charge you €410 to fix that screen.
Insurance, Phone Cases and Tempered Glass: The Dream Team
I recently went along to the Irish launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+. In a wonderful moment of convenience, I had an iPhone 6s protected with an Otterbox Symmetry case and a Screen Hero tempered glass screen protector. The phone wasn’t insured but the guys in Fix My I had sent it to me, literally to beat around the place. So in a roundabout way, the peace of mind insurance brings was just achieved by knowing I could break the phone and not be affected by it.
Disclaimer: you’ll have heard plenty about dodgy bloggers blagging freebies and not declaring ads etc. Neither myself or Goosed took payment to do this. I needed a disposable phone and the lads wanted their logic put to the test. At worst it was bartering. Now, back to the fun.
At the Samsung launch, there were various rooms set up to show off the features of Samsung’s new camera. My personal favourite was the slow motion room with trampolines. Cue Martin having some fun with an iPhone and trampolines:
The phone survived the lot and the gathering crowd were being entertained by the crazy man bouncing an iPhone 6s off a trampoline. In short, that meant I couldn’t really stop myself. I must have bounced that iPhone off the trampolines at least ten times. The important thing to take away from all that bouncing is that the phone survived.
Honestly, that picture at the end of the video was taken in the trampoline room immediately after hopping the iPhone off the trampolines and the ground. I’ll admit that shortly afterwards while messing around and stamping on the iPhone (come on, I was at a Samsung event) I did manage to crack the screen protector:
Ok, so I destroyed the screen protector and while that phone wasn’t really mine, imagine that was my iPhone 6s. I would have just created a €375 bill to fix my screen. Instead, it played out like this:
- The Otterbox case took the brunt of the repeated impacts
- When the Otterbox could do no more, the Screen Hero put its life on the line
- Should that have failed, phone insurance would have saved me from a €375 bill
The trifecta. I get uneasy when I see people with no case, glass or insurance. If you have a flagship smartphone, you really should consider getting one of these as they are likely to pay for themselves over their lifetime. I also recommend not hopping your phone off a trampoline.