Should you buy insurance on your phone? Is it the smart financial move? Well I have a story for you.

I dropped and cracked the screen on my Galaxy S2 Epic (Sprint) while cleaning my bathroom floor. The distance it fell – about 18 to 22 inches, no joke. That distance was plenty when the corner of the phone hit dead on my bathroom tile. The phone is still fully functional and the touch screen works fine, but replacement of the glass is the same cost of the replacement of the entire screen and glass. I have no phone insurance through sprint.

I took about an hour to be furious with myself, and then I went into damage control mode.

Facts:

  • Galaxy S2 Epic’s value with cracked screen: $150-ish
  • Cost of Repair to Glass: $200 to $250, but I don’t trust longevity of repair
  • Cost of replacement Galaxy S2 on eBay (fair market): $360 to $400
  • Cost of EVO 3d (similar phone) on eBay: $230 – $250

Option #1 – Buy Evo 3d for $230 to $250 and sell my broken Galaxy S2 Epic for $150 and effectively downgrade for about $80 to $100 bucks.

Option #2 – Buy a replacement Galaxy S2 Epic from eBay for $360 – $400 and sell my broken one for $150 – Total Cost: $210 to $250.

Option #3 – Buy a new phone from Sprint for $599 – less hassle, more cost.

Option #4 – Put a $2 protector over the screen and keep using it, and be constantly reminded every time I look at my phone.  Pray every night that it doesn’t suddenly stop working on me during a critical moment.

Option #5 – Cry.


The option I chose?

Option #1.  Galaxy S2 Epic’s are at a solid price on eBay (fair market), but only for now. In time that $360-400 phone on eBay will be $250 to $300. So I’m not going to buy another Galaxy S2 that will depreciate about $100 dollars in a matter of months. I’ll go back to an EVO 3d (very good phone). The EVO 3d also has met some market resistance on eBay and will probably hang above $200-$230 for a long time.  At the end of the day, I’ll be out about $80 to $100 total.

Some of you are thinking – WHY DIDN’T You have insurance!!!

I normally take great care of my phones and this was a freak accident, but I also am not convinced insurance is the best move… most of the time.  I am sadly, the  near worst case scenario of how not buying insurance could pan out but…

I stand by my decision not to purchase insurance. Think about this, I would have been giving sprint $12 a month, every month, for my entire contract. That would sum up to about $288 without a claim. If I did make a claim on that insurance plan, the deductible would be an additional $100, bringing my total to $388!  Also note that they reclaim your device, so the salvage value is lost (unless you lie and commit fraud). And let’s not forget $388 is most likely enough to replace your phone through eBay (especially if your phone is 12+ months old).

I know there are people out there that break their phone and do a swap before they update  or cancel their contacts for profit, but I am not one of those people.

The lesson here is simple, buy an good case, treat your device with more care than I do, and pray that some freak accident does not happen.

I look forward to buying an Otterbox case for my EVO 3d and giving it the proper respect.

Update (4/4/12): sold my galaxy s2 for 266 minus eBay fees and $6 shipping.

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