Consumer Alert: Cell phone insurance

(National-NBC) January 10, 2007 - You insure your home, your car, your life, maybe even your vacations, but what about your cell phone?

Considering about 4,000 people lose their cell phones every year, it's certainly worth a look, but whether or not it's a good investment depends on your phone and the policy.

Sheila Muller purchased two Cingular cell phones a year ago - one for herself, the other for her son.  She did it online, through the website

"I purchased two phones with Wirefly, and, um, they ask me if I wanted insurance.  I said yes, and I purchased the insurance."

She thought nothing more about the $49 insurance investment until months later, when her son lost his phone.  She called Wirefly, and found her policy was through a third party, National Cellular of America.  After reaching out to them, a new cell phone arrived in the mail.

"They didn't send me the sim card with it, it's a little memory chip that goes in it with Cingular phones, but I went and I bought one and then I emailed them and they said they would reimburse me if I faxed them the receipt from the sim card."

Aside from the sim card issue, her NCOA policy replaced her son's phone with the same model and make of phone and did not charge a deductible, just two of the things you should ask before buying a policy.  Also, before buying into a product policy, ask what types of damage are covered, replacement policy, accessories coverage, average time for repair and replacement cancellation policy.

In the end, Sheila was quite happy.  Her son's phone was replaced at no charge, and as a gesture of good will, NCOA offered her a free one-year renewal.

Many of the cell phone insurance policies are sold by third parties, so keep close track of whom you are dealing with and how to contact them.

Posted 12:22pm by Bryce Mursch