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Tip: Self Insure

December 30th, 2013 at 07:30 am

This tip is not about health insurance. It's a little tale about a conversation we had with my husband's sister and husband on Christmas about cell phones.

They have a family plan with Verizon that includes themselves, two daughters with smartphones, a son with a dumb phone, my mother in law, and my brother in law's parents. I'm not sure what types of phones all the adults have. They have a contract plan and are paying $5/month...per phone for insurance!!

If you do the math on that, they are paying $40 ($5x8phones) per month just for insurance. They likely will pay that for the 24 month contract, which ends up being $960! Yikes. I did tell them about my sister's husband who needed a new phone while still on contract. He purchased a phone on Ebay that he could use with his cell phone provider. I think he paid about $100. Even if my sister in law need to buy a new phone for everyone on their plan at that price they would be better off then they are with paying the $5 insurance for everyone's phone.

Businesses make big money buy selling insurance for replacement products. The odds are usually low you will need it. I think it is better to simply rely on your savings if something happens to your device.

This is a bit unrelated, but an example of thinking outside the box when something breaks. My husband's laptop screen broke a couple days ago. He left his ear buds in between the keyboard and screen with the screen propped up. One of our daughters bumped into it and the lid closed with a pop. Oops. The computer works great even thought it is a couple years old. We went browsing online to see about screen replacement. Yep, sure enough, it is an option. It is pretty easy to replace a screen. There was a video on the site we purchased from explaining how to do it. We did pay just under $70 with shipping for a replacement screen, but that is far less than buying a new computer!

Do you self insure with electronics, or pay a fee for insurance? Have you replaced a computer screen, or other part to save from buying new?

6 Responses to “Tip: Self Insure”

  1. North Georgia Gal Says:

    I have replaced the screen on my son's laptop. I don't remember how much it cost us. I do pay for insurance on DD phone...that is only because she is so rough on it that we get our money back quickly.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    That sounds crazy to me, especially since phone companies will usually replace your phone for little or no cost as long as you renew your contract with them. At least they used to when I was on contract! One thing I miss now that I'm on prepaid is that the phone co. won't help me pay for replacement phones if one dies or gets lost.

    We've gotten several free parts and repairs at the Apple Genius Bar. It doesn't seem to matter whether or not we're under warranty still, they usually just fix things for free. Maybe we've always had easy repairs or cheap parts needed ...

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    It all seems crazy to me, too. We have never had to replace a phone, so maybe we are the lucky ones!

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    Just got an email for the computer screen company that that it has shipped, and I can get a $20 refund for a quality video explaining/showing us replacing the screen. Not sure we are the right experts for that, but a nice option!

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    Yikes!

    We just had our first (Way premature) phone breakage - but of course like the week after the regular warranty expired - this past year. (That's after 13+ years with never breaking a phone). I commented that we were frustrated that Sprint would not replace phone (way too early in contract I guess). BUT, it was still infinitely cheaper just to buy a used phone (cheaper than insurance). While I was frustrated I was googling a bit for our options and other experiences and I mostly saw complaints about similar experiences from people who had insurance. We never would have paid for the insurance, but just remember kind of rolling my eyes and thinking "Glad we didn't bother."

    Good work on the screen replacement!

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. To be clear - we did not break the phone - it just stopped working.

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