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How can I get insurance for my Apple iPhone?

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As you likely already know, and as has become the case with higher priced "smartphones" through many providers, traditional mobile phone insurance is not available for the iPhone. That doesn't mean you want to leave your $500 or $600 iPhone unprotected, does it? Of course not. Luckily, there are still several options out there that will help cover you should something happen to your iPhone.

AppleCare

applecare_thumb.jpgAppleCare is Apple's extended warranty and support program which covers products outside their limited manufacturer's warranty. In the case of the iPhone, AppleCare will provide an additional year of coverage for defects and repair, including the battery. AppleCare does not provide coverage for accidental damage.

AppleCare for the iPhone will supposedly be available later this month. In the meantime, don't worry, you're all still covered by the iPhone's 90-day warranty.

Third Party Mobile Phone Insurance

A handful of companies have arisen to fill the gap created by the lack of carrier-provided mobile phone insurance for certain devices. These companies are now offering coverage plans for the iPhone.

Squaretrade, who has been in business since 1999, is offering coverage equivalent to the AppleCare program, called the CarePlan, for about $10-20 less (depending on the model of iPhone). Should your iPhone need attention, Squaretrade promises to fix it or pay you the full purchase price of the iPhone, all within five days.

The intial program offering from Squaretrade also fails cover accidental damage. However, the company has announced their intention to offer a new, enhanced CarePlan which does provide accidental damage coverage. According to Squaretrade, this enhancement should be available "within a few weeks."

Credit Card Purchase Protection

Many different credit card providers offer purchase protection programs which cover credit card purchase against malfunction and accidental damage. Visa has "purchase security", American Express has the "purchase protection plan", while other card providers term their coverage something else. These coverages are usually restricted to Gold and Platinum credit cards, but can sometimes be found on standard cards as well. Unfortunately, most of these plans only cover purchases for 90 days, which often coincides with the existing manufacturer warranty.

The good news is, many of these programs automatically extend the manufacturers warranty for up to one year. Contact your card provider for details about how your purchases are covered.

Homeowner's Insurance

If you already have homeowner's or renter's insurance, you may be able to cover your iPhone through an extension to your existing policy. For example, State Farm will reportedly cover your iPhone for an additional $32.50 per year.

If you're considering covering your iPhone this way, be careful to check with your insurance company on how your deductible plays into claims made to cover the iPhone. If you're deductible is $500, chances are you're not getting a very good deal. Make sure to lower your deductible (which would bring on additional costs) or get documentation from your insurance company which states that your extended coverage is not subject to your standard deductible.

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