It may sound like a carnival act, but new research shows that if someone knows your age, they can probably predict whether or not you’ve ever dropped and broken your cell phone.
Most of that onus is squarely on the shoulders of Americans under age 44, Recon Analytics found in a consumer study done in partnership with AT&T.
Out of those who self-admitted their oopses, 77% were between ages 18-29. Seventy-four percent of consumers between the ages 30 and 44 also fit into that category.
When it comes to furthering the fault-finding, those people in those demographics admitted that they had dropped their phone in the toilet or bathtub, thrown it against the wall, or were just a complete oaf and dropped their phone while removing it from their purse or pocket.
“Most people are clumsy,” Roger Entner, founder and analyst at Recon Analytics, told ConsumerAffairs. He said that for something people can spend as much as $1,000 on, they sure don’t take care of it.
But, does this mean you should get phone insurance?
With an estimated 1.5 phones being lost, stolen, or damaged every second, is the situation important enough that consumers should have phone insurance to protect against lost or stolen devices, accidental damage from handling physical or liquid damage, and out-of-warranty malfunctions?
If you paid good money for your phone and if having to repair or replace it would be very expensive for you, then it’s a “yes” if you can afford it, Todd Stern at The Money Manual told ConsumerAffairs.
Entner agrees. “If you’ve dropped your phone more than one time a year, insurance makes sense. On the other hand, phone insurance isn’t cheap. The younger you are, the more careless you are with your device which means that device insurance pays off,” he said.
Plus, if you’ve got small kids who handle your phone – or you could use some peace of mind – the extra protection could come in handy.
“As the mom of three young kids, I can tell you first hand - a smartphone is never out of arm’s reach for this generation,” Emily Wiper, vice president and general manager of AT&T New England, told ConsumerAffairs.
“Phones aren’t just a mechanism enabling traditional connection, they’re mobile research devices, calculators, and entertainment screens. One in four people lose or damage their device every year and that number is growing with a smartphone in exponentially more hands!”
What should consumers look for – and how to get a good deal – on phone insurance
Stern agreed with Wiper, saying that at a minimum, consumers should look for an insurance plan that covers damage, lost phones, and theft. And if consumers take part in the insurance that the major carriers offer, they might get a wide number of devices covered under one umbrella.
For example, Wiper noted that AT&T’s plan covers connected laptops, tablets, and smartwatches – and all that does with those devices like battery chargers and SIM cards.
Stern said that consumers might be surprised to find phone insurance might be already built into things they’d never even think about. He recommends that phone owners ask their credit card providers if there’s phone damage insurance that’s part of their arrangement.
One he pointed to was the Chase Freedom Flex card which provides a maximum of $800 per claim, with a limit of two claims per 12-month period, and a $50 deductible per claim.
“The catch is that you must use that credit card to pay your monthly phone bill,” he said.
There are other places consumers should look, too – especially renters.
“A lot of people don’t realize it, but many renters insurance policies will cover a cell phone under certain circumstances,” Sean Burgess, Lemonade's chief claims officer, told ConsumerAffairs.
“While theft is probably the most common, your phone is also covered for things like vandalism, fire, or other damages—even if you’re traveling abroad. If you’ve simply lost or misplaced your phone, however, your insurance policy isn’t likely to cover it.”