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Free cellphone Insurance saved me $660 in repairs.

With smartphones getting to be so expensive, it’s almost irresponsible not to have insurance on them. But unlike car or property insurance, you don’t need to pay for such coverages thanks to a few no annual-fee credit cards including them in recent times.

What is Cellphone Protection?

This benefit reimburses the eligible card cardholder for damage to or theft of or involuntary and/or accidental parting of their cell phone. Reimbursement is limited to the repair or replacement of your original cell phone (with a deductible in some cases) with a maximum benefit limit of $600 per claim – with some having maximum limits per 12 months.

Eligible cardholder has to have their card enrolled in the bill payments on said phone number/contract atleast a month prior to the incident. It does not matter if you bought the phone with that card or if it is in contract. All that matters is that you pay the bill using that credit card. Additionally, the coverage applies to all members on a family plan – as long as the entire plan is paid using said credit card.

Do keep in mind, if your cellphone is stolen, a police complaint has to be filed in order to meet requirements. In most cases, cellphone lost with no explanation or proof will not be covered. So for instance, if you dropped your cellphone in a river (unrecoverable) but have no proof that you did, you will not be covered.

Additionally, if you damaged your phone inside a house/apartment, the home-owner’s insurance or renter’s insurance will take over and not the one offered by the card. Same applies for damage inside a vehicle too or a pre-existing cellphone insurance. If there is no primary insurance, then you may avail the benefit.

Why is this worth having ?

Well it goes without saying but with repair costs so high – it just makes sense to have that peace of mind. Given that most credit cards that offer this – do so at no additional charge of keeping the card – it is worth it in every case (even with the deductible.

My Experience

Back in September 2020, I had accidentally dropped my 4 year old One Plus 3T that I had purchased in India in 2016 ( I entered 2017 incorrectly in my application but they did not ask for proof of purchase). Thankfully I’d enrolled my cellphone plan in auto-pay using my Wells Fargo Cash Wise credit card and I immediately filed a claim.

Filing the claim: One Plus 3T

I created an account on https://www.cardbenefitservices.com/ and added all necessary details to the best of my abilities.

Do note for documentation, attach all necessary documents which are covered in the FAQ section (https://www.cardbenefitservices.com/FAQ/FAQ)

Keep an eye out as they may require additional documentation to be submitted – I had to get a diagnostic form filled out with the estimated cost of repairs – which can also be found on the FAQ page.

Once the claim was successfully processed, I was notified by email of the approval for $575 ($600 max less the $25 deductible). Due to the phone being unrepairable, I claimed the max amount which was what I had originally bought the phone for. If you face a similar situation, please make sure you have a note in the diagnostic form that the phone is unrepairable due to lack of parts.

Filing second claim: Samsung S20 +

Ironically enough, I had bought a replacement phone for myself and moved my sim card to it (from the One plus 3T) which I ended up damaging while mountain biking. The S20 + had a cracked rear glass panel.

I filed another claim following the same process as for the One Plus 3T and was able to get a quote for $110. The claim was approved and I received a check for $85 ($25 deductible).

All in all I saved $660 in out of pocket expenses and will try to be a bit more careful with my cellphone devices as I have technically hit the maximum claim limit of 2 in 12 months.

No Annual fee Credit Cards offering Cellphone protection

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