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NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- Odds are against smartphone owners that their $600 personal assistant will still be around and working soundly when a two-year contract expires. Insurance is one way to get peace of mind, but it may ultimately cost the same price as your under-contract phone.
How much? Let's take the iPhone 4S, as an example. Allowing for one fix (which requires a deductible) during two years, here is how much you'll pay, excluding the price of the phone:
Ensquared, a Delray Beach, Fla. insurer, began offering mobile insurance in 2010 to give smartphone owners an alternative. It offers coverage for two years for $90 with a $50 deductible per incident (up to three claims allowed). This plan option is for damage protection only. Read the fine print
on Ensquared's Web site.
$147 -- At
GoCare.com, the three-year-old warranty company in Arizona offers one- and two-year plans for the iPhone, at $59 and $97 respectively. The warranty covers cracked screens, broken buttons, water damage and extends the hardware warranty. Each claim requires a $50 deductible. You can add coverage at any time or, if you haven't made a claim, cancel for a prorated refund of $7.99/month. Loss or theft is not covered. Read the fine print at
$148 -- At
Apple(AAPL) with AppleCare, a $99 extended warranty that covers hardware malfunction and accidental damage from handling, like "drops and liquid contact." Up to two claims can be made, with a deductible of $49 per claim. You're out of luck though if the iPhone is lost or stolen. Read the fine print
at Apple's Web site.
SquareTrade is another alternative insurer, which is part of
Sam's Club's mobile protection plan (Sam's Club is owned by
Wal-Mart(WMT - Get Report)). You pay $59 for one-year or $99 for two years to ensure the iPhone against drops, spills and other damage. Each claims costs a $50 deductible, and you get up to 4 claims. Losses and theft aren't covered but if that happens, SquareTrade offers a pro-rated refund. It's proud of its high-customer ratings and a large Facebook following. Read the fine print at