(NewsUSA) - Not long ago we only used cell phones to make calls or send cryptic, short-hand text messages. Now, we rely on our phones for storing our contacts and calendar appointments, watching videos, checking email, managing our connected devices and, of course, keeping up on social media. In fact, phones have become such a crucial part of our lives that many people sleep with them.
So when your phone becomes lost, stolen, or damaged, it can send the most unflappable of us into a panic. Which is why, most industry experts agree, it is worth considering cell phone insurance.
For those who may still be on the fence about cell phone insurance, consider this:
1. Despite monthly premiums and deductibles, insurance can save owners money. The average retail price of a new smartphone is $590; even higher for a basic iPhone 7 ($649). More than 70 percent of phone claims are filed within the first year. This means that customers with phone insurance who file a claim at month 12 on an iPhone 7 can save $318 - $342 on a replacement phone after premiums and deductibles.
2. Most after-market "protection plans" are extended warranty plans which only cover accidental damage and malfunctions. Only a cell phone insurance and warranty bundle -- available through most wireless carriers -- covers loss, theft and damage. This is important because one in four phone claims last year were from loss or theft, according to the nation's leading mobile insurance provider Asurion.
3. Most cell phone insurance programs through wireless carriers include cracked screen repair for smartphones with a lower deductible than what you would pay for a replacement device, and often lower than a consumer would pay to take it to a repair shop.
4. Shoppers now pay the full cost of their phones either up front or in monthly installments. Those who have a loss or theft before they've paid off the installments will still have to make the remaining payments. What's more, without insurance you could be left with both the remaining installments and the payments for a new phone. With a 128 GB iPhone 7 Plus, at 6 months a customer could still owe nearly $700 on their old phone while trying to pay for a new one.
5. For the customer that can't imagine being without their beloved cell phone, most carrier cell phone insurance programs provide a replacement device the next day. Replacement devices through the major wireless carriers are backed by a 1-year warranty providing shoppers with peace of mind should they have any mechanical or electrical issues.