Featured Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Smartphones Are Waterproof, Right? Think Again!

Picking the right smartphone can be an agonizing decision. You look through reviews comparing one model to the next before deciding on the perfect one. Once you have it you spend your time customizing the display, loading pictures, setting your ringtone and downloading apps. You’ve created the perfect accessory and the perfect assistant; your life is officially complete.

But unfortunately, the smartphone fell into the pool!

The next night at a party you take one wrong step and splash, there goes your perfect BlackBerry Bold into the deep end of the pool. You think back to when you bought the smartphone and the salesperson asked if you wanted to purchase the additional insurance.

Should you have taken it? Would this aquatic mishap even be covered?

You may have assumed insurance was just a ploy to get you to pay more. According to a study performed by InMobi, the average person spends 144 minutes a day using their smartphone in one way or another. Isn’t it worth the extra few dollars to protect something you devote 10 percent of your life to?

BlackBerry offers a variety of anti-theft software such as Lookout and BlackBerry Protect, but if the problem is damage and not loss, insurance may not be a bad idea.

Also read: 25 Best Free Android Apps for Android SmartPhone Users

Waterproof phone get damaged

Image via Flickr, by MattHurst 

Most wireless operators offer policies that will cover loss, accidental damage (including that unfortunate plunge into the deep end), theft and mechanical defects not covered by the factory warranty. Policies will typically have a monthly fee, (AT&T charges $6.99 a month and Verizon charges $9.99) and a deductable which usually runs around $199, but varies depending on your device.

Think again, what of third party smartphone insurance companies?

You can also purchase a policy from a third party like Protect Your Bubble. Their monthly fee is right in line with the wireless operators but they offer a much lower deductable which can be an attractive incentive. Protect Your Bubble also covers a variety of phones (unlike many wireless operators that typically only insure their own devices) and you get a discount if you insure multiple devices.

Retailers now offer extended warrantees

As an alternative to insurance, retailers like Best Buy offer extended warrantees. Extended warrantees tend to be cheaper, involving a one-time fee at purchase, but the coverage is limited. They may prolong coverage of mechanical defects and some accidental damage but they won’t help you if your smartphone is lost or stolen.

How smartphones are desperate not to lose their phones

Image via Flickr, by cogdogblog

Fact to backup some smartphone insurance claims

Los Angeles Times reported that 63 percent of smartphone users would be willing to dumpster dive to retrieve a lost phone, 25 percent would be willing to fight a thief and 12 percent would be willing to run into traffic.

So how important is “phone insurance“?

Deciding whether or not to purchase insurance is a personal choice that requires a little bit of fortune telling. If your smartphone takes a long walk off a short pier two weeks after you purchase it, you’ll be glad you had the coverage. However, if you enjoy two happy, incident-free years you may feel like you’ve wasted money each month for no reason. You have to decide which is worse; to have it and not need it or to need it and not have it.

Let’s talk reality, can you insure your smartphone? Have you ever insured one of your smart gadgets before and what was the experience like? Please share your views in the comment section below.