What's the Deal: Is cell phone insurance worth it?

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Is cell phone insurance worth the cost? Nydia Han reports on Action News at 4:30 p.m., June 5, 2018. (WPVI)

When your smartphone takes a hit, repairs can be expensive.

Consumer Reports took a look to see if smartphone insurance is a smart choice for you.

In a recent survey, Consumer Reports found that over the last two years, half of the folks they surveyed had at least one major incident with a phone in their household, and if there are kids in the house, that went up to 81 percent.

Without coverage, the average cost to repair a cracked screen for an Apple iPhone 8 is $145. To repair a Samsung Galaxy S8 PLUS around $277.

"Phones in general now are more expensive because they have more sophisticated components," said Consumer Reports Tech Editor Bree Fowler. "Which means if you break it, it's going to cost you a lot more to fix it."

Apple and Samsung sell their own protection plans.

Apple Care + for an iPhone 8 costs $129 and $199 for the iPhone X. Samsung Premium Care is $11.99 a month.

"Coverage plans from Apple and Samsung don't cover loss or theft. They're basically extended warranties, not insurance. So they cover things like cracked screens, mechanical failures," said Consumer Reports Money Editor Margot Gilman.

Another option is getting insurance through your provider.

All four major carriers cover repairs along with loss and theft, depending on the type of plan you select and your device.

But is cell phone insurance really necessary?

"The important thing is to know thyself," said Gilman. "You need to take a step back and ask yourself: am I the kind of person who tends to lose things, do I have teenagers who tend to lose or break things."

Consumer Reports' rule of thumb: if you feel like within a two year period you're likely to have two or more incidents occur to your phone, you may want to get insurance.

Consumer Reports also found that cracked screens are by far the most common repair needed.

Thirty percent of survey respondents said someone in their household had cracked their smartphone screen in the last two years.

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