your iPhone is expensive. New models are around $700, and more expensive models can cost twice as much. Something so small, packed with so much important information, is a big concern for loss, theft, or just severe damage.
We recommend using a case or at least a screen protector (cracked screens are the most common serious iPhone damage) and making sure your iPhone is protected with a passcode and two-factor authentication on your Apple ID. But still, accidents happen and an insurance plan can help alleviate the possibility of repair or replacement.
While Apple’s own AppleCare+ coverage seems like the obvious choice for securing your iPhone, there are other options. Almost all major carriers will insure your iPhone for a price, and some third-party carriers offer plans as well.
US AppleCare+ Alternatives
If you didn’t buy your iPhone from your carrier, you may not be eligible for insurance through them. But there are standalone services, some of which offer coverage for multiple devices, that could be a good option for those looking to insure a phone, laptop, tablet or other portable electronic equipment.
SquareTrade: This AllState company will insure a phone for $9 a month, any make or model, old or new, and a $20/mo family plan covers four devices. Coverage follows you, not your phone, so you don’t have to reapply when you get a new iPhone. You will pay a $149 deductible for the repairs. However, it does not cover loss or theft.
Asurion: Asurion covers damage, loss, and theft, but partners with carriers: Verizon, AT&T, Cricket, and US Cellular. You’re generally only eligible to enroll within 30 days of purchasing a new iPhone or upgrading. Deductibles can be low, while fees are a bit higher than average, but it all depends on your carrier and iPhone model.
AKKO: Phone insurance varies by model, from $5 to $12 per month. But you can cover a phone and up to 25 other items (laptops, tablets, cameras, game consoles, and more) for $15 a month. The $2,000 limit per claim won’t fully cover the replacement of a high-end MacBook or Mac Studio, but it helps. Deductibles are $29 to $99, depending on the claim, and loss or theft is also covered.
Progressive: Progressive offers coverage for phones and electronic devices, covering loss, theft and accidental damage, with no limit on the number of claims. The cost ranges from about $7 a month for a less expensive iPhone with two years of coverage paid for in advance, to about $12 for monthly payments on a more expensive iPhone. The deductible is $75.
Lori: Lori offers four levels of coverage, from Starter to Spoil Me, ranging from around $7 to $15 per month, depending on your iPhone model. The deductible is $49 for screen repairs ($29 at the Spoil Me plan level) and can be more than $200 for a full iPhone replacement due to loss or theft. (If you have Geico insurance, they offer device coverage in partnership with Lori.)
Alternatives to UK AppleCare+
In the UK, several providers offer affordable and flexible packages that protect your smartphone, tablet and PC equipment just like Apple does.
Protect your bubble: It costs £6.99 per month to insure an iPhone 13, but charges an excess of up to £100 in the event of damage or theft.
Gadget Cover: Costs £6.45 per month for an iPhone 13, with an excess of £100 for loss or theft.
Simple Insurance: Allows you to pay for coverage in advance and, in some cases, save. We were quoted £214.95 for a three-year plan on an iPhone 13, which breaks down to around £5.97 per month. Not much in terms of a price drop, but if you have the cash now, it may mean you’re not obligated to a monthly payment for the next 36 months.
Insuring older phones can be problematic; some insurers may require that you have purchased the new phone within the last few months (probably 6 or 18). Be sure to check out the full terms and conditions. Also remember that policies with lower monthly costs often see excesses of more than £100, which may not be worth it if your iPhone’s value is on the lower end.
AppleCare+ US Carrier Alternatives
Most major carriers offer extended warranties and insurance that can greatly reduce the price of a screen repair or battery replacement, or other accidental damage. They may even cover loss and theft. There’s always fine print, though: Many plans are only for those who buy the phone through the carrier (if you’re bringing your own iPhone, you’re out of luck) and must sign up within the first month or two.
Verizon: Verizon coverage is through a partnership with Ausurion (see above). Prices vary by phone model and family plans are available. The $29 screen repair fee is a good deal if you (or your family) are prone to frequently dropping your iPhone.
AT&T: The AT&T Protect Advantage plan costs between $14 and $17 per month depending on the iPhone model, with a $29 deductible for screen repairs and a higher deductible for other repairs or replacements (varies by model). Covers loss and theft, and accidental damage (up to two claims).
T-Mobile: T-Mobile’s enhanced protection plan is called Protection <360>. It allows up to 5 claims per year and offers $29 screen repairs, but deductibles for other repairs or replacements are higher, typically around $99 for accidental damage and $249 for a complete replacement due to loss or theft. Monthly payments are around $18 for most iPhones.
AppleCare+ UK Network Alternatives
UK readers should refer to the policies of the following carriers:
Carphone Warehouse – offers protection against theft, loss and damage (including liquid damage) from £5 a month.
EE: Offers protection against damage, loss and theft. It also offers a multi-policy discount, with prices starting at £4.80 per month.
O2: Provides protection against loss, theft and damage. Comprehensive coverage starts at £6 per month, but varies by phone model.
mobile sky: Sky Protect covers up to four phones from £9 per month against accidental damage, breakdown, loss and theft.
Three: Offers worldwide damage and full coverage with prices ranging from £4 to £7.50 per month.
Virgin: Customers can sign up for insurance when buying a phone, which Virgin says is worth £7.99 a month but comes at no extra cost…in theory. Coverage includes worldwide coverage and protection against damage, loss, theft and more.
Vodafone: offers worldwide damage and breakdown protection from £6.50 p/m, and damage, theft and loss protection from £9.50.
Bank/credit card AppleCare+ alternatives
Some banks and credit cards offer device coverage for phones. Usually the problem is that you have to pay your phone bill with that card to qualify. And most cards that offer this benefit have annual fees.
The exact details vary wildly, so you’ll want to check with your credit card or bank. But if you qualify, it could be a way to save hundreds of dollars instead of buying separate insurance.
In the UK, Barclays, Nationwide and NatWest offer mobile insurance. Some of these banks will cover two iPhones in joint bank accounts, but keep in mind that policies and levels of protection will vary. For example, at the time of writing, Barclays is offering new or existing customers its Tech Pack for £14.50 p/m, which covers up to four mobile phones worth up to £1,500 each, plus an unlimited number of other devices up to said valuation as long as they are not older than five years. When you break it down it works out to £3.62 p/m for each phone, which is very reasonable.
Do you need iPhone insurance?
There is a tendency to think that you need to get insurance as soon as you buy the latest iPhone. Or, at least, that’s the message from companies that prefer you use their insurance services. And while, yes, an affordable, comprehensive policy wouldn’t hurt, sometimes it pays to look closer to home.
For example, if your iPhone breaks within the 12-month warranty period, Apple will cover it for manufacturing defects. AppleCare+ users will also be able to replace an iPhone if it’s accidentally damaged. AppleCare+ charges a $29/£25 deductible/excess for screen damage and $99/£79 for other damage. Here’s how to find out if Apple will replace your iPhone for free. We compare AppleCare+ with normal insurance in a separate article.
Another avenue is to include your phone in home contents insurance. You can add your iPhone to your policy by choosing to include personal belongings coverage, which applies to lost, stolen, or damaged items in the home. Be careful though; Home insurance excess rates are typically higher and could result in higher future premiums.
Finally, just do the math on risk and costs. If you find yourself with a cracked screen often, a plan that offers frequent and inexpensive screen repairs may be worth it. But if you think you’re unlikely to need a full phone replacement for a couple of years, you may end up paying more for insurance (plus deductible/excess) than you would simply to buy a new iPhone.
Watch out for gaps
Most stand-alone policies are reasonable, but some have loopholes with huge repercussions. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates businesses in the UK, has reported that many mobile insurers have misleading terms and conditions.
For example, some companies promised to cover the loss of a phone, but in reality they would not do so if the customer accidentally left their phone in a taxi, for example. The FCA found that the coverage descriptions were vaguely or ambiguously worded, such as the definition of “public space”. This affected whether claims were accepted.
According to the FCA report, a customer’s claim was rejected because he had forgotten his phone at a hotel. The insurer classified the hotel room as a public place once the client had already checked out, which excluded the claim from coverage. You can see the FCA monitoring report here.
Some insurers don’t protect iPhones from computer viruses, though that’s less of a concern on iOS, and a handful will only cover unauthorized data theft and costs if reported within 12 hours.