The iPhone 5 is an expensive gadget to replace with off contract pricing starting at $649. That’s the price users will need to pay if they break their iPhone 5 in the middle of a contract.
With the iPhone 5 on the way top buyers soon, that means users will be able to drop it in just a week. Last year I saw half a dozen iPhone 4S phones come into the local Apple Store broken just a week after release, so it’s important to look for a good iPhone 5 case or an iPhone 4S warranty, insurance or other protection plan.
Verizon, AT&T and Sprint discount the price of the iPhone 5 because you’ll cover it in paying for data and other charges, but this is only offered once every two years.
We’ve rounded up the top iPhone 5 warranty, insurance and protection plans to cut the cost of repairing or replacing a broken, lost or stolen iPhone 5.
The broken iPhone above shows why you might want to buy iPHone 5 insurance or a warranty. Despite the damage, this iPhone still works.
AppleCare+ – $99
AppleCare+ is one of the most popular iPhone 5 warranty options, and it is available direct from Apple and other retailers. AppleCare+ covers the iPhone 5 for two years and includes hardware and support issues.
The new version of AppleCare+, updated last year, includes two accidental damage claims. This means Apple will replace the iPhone 5 if it is dropped, submerged in water or otherwise broken for a $49 fee.
Users can buy AppleCare+ for iPhone up to 30 days after buying the iPhone 5, but it requires a Genius Bar appointment and inspection of the iPhone if not purchased with a new iPhone.
AppleCare+ does not cover loss or theft, so it isn’t the be-all end-all iPhone 5 protection plan.
SquareTrade – $99
SquareTrade sells iPhone 5 protection plans, similar to an iPhone 5 extended warranty. This plan lasts two years and is transferable for users that might sell their iPhone 5 to upgrade next year.
iPhone 5 owners can buy 2 years of iPhone 5 protection from SquareTrade for $99 and three years for $129. This includes up to 4 repairs or replacements, and an option for same-day service. Claims require a $50 deductible and include drops, waterdamage, broken pieces, failed touchscreens and pretty much any other broken iPhone issue you can think up.
One of the most appealing parts about the SquareTrade plan is the ability to take a damaged iPhone 5 to a local Apple Store and pay for a repair out-of-pocket, and get reimbursed by SquareTrade. With this option, users get their phone fixed in one day and avoid the $50 deductible.
SquareTrade does not cover loss or theft, so if you drop the iPhone 5 in a lake, you’ll need to go swimming for it if you want a replacement.
The SquareTrade warranty must be purchased within 30 days of buying the iPhone 5, or users can pay a higher price using the SquareTrade iPhone app.
MasterCard or American Express – Free
Most of these cards offer Extended Warranty Protection. This free service doubles the warranty of the iPhone 5 up to two years. It’s best to call the 1-800 number on the back of your card to verify that it includes the Extended Warranty Protection.
To use this option, pay for the iPhone 5 in full with the credit card. Keep the receipt and a copy of the monthly statement it shows up on. If the iPhone 5 breaks, call the credit card company to start the process, and take the iPhone 5 to a repair shop to be fixed, usually an Apple Store.
You cannot cancel your credit card if you plan to use this option. This does not cover accidental damages, loss of theft. Be sure to pay off your monthly bill or interest will eat into any savings.
Carrier Insurance – up to $9.99 a Month
AT&T and Verizon offer standard smartphone insurance plans for the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 insurance option from Verizon and AT&T includes loss, theft and damage protection. The first plans covered do not include replacement for lost and stolen devices.
The iPhone 5 insurance price on Verizon is $8.11 a month for insurance, and $9.99 a month for Total Equipment Coverage, which also extends the warranty.
Verizon TEC covers two claims in a 12 moth period, and requires a $199 deductible.
On AT&T’s Mobile Protection Pack includes iPhone 5 insurance for loss and theft, as well as “enhanced support” for $9.99 a month. In the past AT&T offered a $6.99 a month insurance only option, so check that out if you want to save $3 a month.
AT&T is limited to two claims in a 12 month period, and charges a $199 deductible. Either of these options pushes the price for 24 months of payments and one claim up to almost $440.
Protect your Bubble – $143.99
If you want to skip the carriers and keep iPhone 5 insurance, you’ll want to look at a service like Protect Your Bubble. Protect Your Bubble sells iPhone insurance for $7.99 a month or a one time fe of $143.99.
Protect your Bubble’s Mobile Gadget insurance covers loss and theft as well as spills and damage with next day replacement offered. The plan requires a $100 deductible, but it’s still cheaper than using Verizon or AT&T for iPhone 5 insurance.
Users who insure multiple devices receive a 10% discount on additional policies.
iPhone 5 Warranty and Protection Options
When it comes to picking the best warranty, you’ll need to figure out what you need most. It’s easy to find an iPhone 5 protection plan with accidental coverage, but loss or theft is tougher to find.
Here’s a handy iPhone 5 warranty protection chart to help you make your decision.
|iPhone 5 Protection Plans||2 Year Price||Deductible||# of Claims||Accidental?||Loss/Theft|
|SquareTrade||$99||$50 on Drop Spill||up 4 claims||Yes||No|
|Credit Card||$0||$0||1 per purchase||No||No|
|AT&T or Verizon||$168-$240||$199||2 per 12 months||Yes||Yes|
|Protect Your Bubble||$143||$100||2 per 12 months||Yes||Yes|
The best value for iPhone 5 protection is from SquareTrade and the AppleCare+ Plans. Both of these plans are affordable and offer good value. They don’t cover loss or theft, so if that’s a concern I’d pick Protect Your Bubble.
The top value for me is SquareTrade. The ability to take the iPhone 5 into a Genius bar for same day replacement, just like with AppleCare, but without the $50 deductible is a big benefit. Users that don’t live near an Apple Store can send the device in to SquareTrade for a replacement.
The worst value is to buy carrier insurance, especially with the $199 deductible. At that point one replacement is $440 over two years, and its a better value to put money in savings.
An interesting option, when it arrives will be a CellHelmet for the iPhone 5, a case with a “safety net of accidental damage coverage” so you get a decent case and peace of mind.
Share why you picked the insurance you did, or why you pass on insurance in the comments?