This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Insuring Your Smartphone May Be Smart

Stocks in this article: AAPL GOOG

Odds aren't good that your smartphone will survive its two-year contract. Asurion, the default insurance provider for the four major phone carriers, says that one in four people will lose, damage or have their phone stolen this year. (Other reports put the survival rates much lower).

"Obviously Asurion is seeing a large number of smartphones to be insured," said Bettie Colombo, Asurion's senior director of marketing communications.

But the disconnect is what a customer thinks a phone costs vs. what it does cost, she said.

In a recent survey, she said, "Consumers told us they expected it to cost $200. The reality of it is there's not a $200 smartphone on the market. Most smartphones could be anywhere from $400 to $700."

To help users determine whether insurance is worth it, take a look at statistics.

The Federal Communications Commission, reporting that 40% of all New York City robberies involved phones, teamed with the four major carriers last spring to create a giant database of stolen smartphones. The carriers promise to block stolen phones on their networks.

And if your phone is lost or stolen, chances are high that someone's going to peek at your personal information. Last spring, security software developer Symantec (SYMC) purposely lost 50 smartphones in five cities for Project Honey Stick. Half were returned. All but two were accessed, with snoopers looking at email, files labeled "HR Salaries" and the "remote admin" app.

But, say mobile companies, theft isn't the biggest reason consumers file a claim. It's damage.

In a T-Mobile-commissioned survey of 1,000 smartphone owners, Kelton Research found that 33% had damaged their phones, while 10% had their phones lost or stolen.

SquareTrade, which insures smartphones for an upfront one-time fee, found that just 4% of covered iPhones were lost or stolen in 2010. Comparably, 24% were accidentally damaged.

The bulk of SquareTrade's claims are from accidental damage, said Steve Abernethy, SquareTrade president and founder. Its 2010 study of 50,000 smartphones found that 75% that were replaced were due to accidental damage. Within that, 77% were from drops. The iPhone 4 was at the top.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs