No, Mobile Phone Insurance Doesn’t Cover Malfunctioning Phones

Insurance on your mobile phone replaces your phone in the case of theft, loss, or accidental damage. Colby has been paying for insurance on his phone, but didn’t realize that what it doesn’t cover is mechanical failure of the phone. If you drop or lose the phone: replacement. If it fails out of warranty: nope. If Colby had known this, he could have just thrown it on the ground from a third-story window, then stomped on it before filing the insurance claim.

I have been with Verizon for more than 6 years. My wife has been with them longer. We now also have 2 phones for our two teenaged children. My wife has purchased insurance on all 4 of the phones for about $7/mo. In the past, we did get one phone replaced via the insurance, though it doesn’t take a lot of math to realize we are behind on the insurance function. But we live on a pretty tight budget, so having to replace a phone on the fly would be no small inconvenience.

On Saturday, I used the phone at about 2pm. I was heading to meet my wife at our daughter’s skating recital. At the intermission, I pulled my phone out to time the intermission as I believed it had run 40 minutes the night before. Much to my horror, my phone only had a black screen. I pulled the battery and replaced it. I swapped my wife’s battery. No go. I later put it on the charger and nothing changed.

So Saturday night, I first tried the Verizon website for their link. This was the first place I was told that my phone was malfunctioning and that my insurance wouldn’t cover that. I believe it took me 8 phone calls, a variety of dropped calls and speaking to people at both Verizon and the company that apparently services the insurance on my phone. I spoke with two supervisors and had to be reminded on at least one occasion that my phone call was being recorded.

The end result was very clear. Had I lost my phone(or presumably had it stolen), damaged my phone or submerged it in water, that would be covered. But Verizon does not cover my phone for malfunction. That is covered by manufacturers warranty. Except not on my phone, because my phone is actually two years old.

This is all the more amusing, because I’m not sure if it’s the right terminology, but my phone is an old phone. I believe it would be declared 2G. No data package. Nothing. The average person reading this, probably used a phone like that 3 or more years ago. I sit at a computer for my job almost all day and have multiple laptops at home, so as a person on a tight budget, a wireless package is really just a luxury I don’t need.

Verizon tried at least 4 times to get me to take an iPhone which I can get for free because my account is eligible for an upgrade. Of course I have to sign up for a 2 year $30/mo data package. So it’s not really free, it’s over $700.

Apparently they do have some other basic models in the store. Of course those will require me to reup my contract. I’m seriously considering leaving Verizon next month when my contract is up. The Verizon network is their big selling point, but I live in the Chicago area and network is really not much of an issue. So price will be my biggest concern. Or rather price/quality.

All in all very frustrating.

When we wrote back, idly wondering what would have happened had he just physically destroyed the phone….well, he already got there. He added:

I slightly impolitely asked the woman who was telling me it wasn’t covered if I poured a glass of water on the phone, dropped it on the floor and threw it in the garbage if my claim could then be processed because it was wet, broken and lost. That was when I was told that I was being recorded.