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Chapter 6: Buyer Protection – Used Cell Phone Insurance

What can you expect for a guarantee when buying used smartphones? Is there always a return policy in place? Do you have any sort of protection in the event of a scam?

Is There Buyer’s Protection for Used Phones?

Yes, there is such a thing as buyer’s protection. But what you are entitled to depends on the place you choose to buy from.

If you buy from a seller directly on Craigslist, there’s no protection at all.

If you buy from Amazon or eBay, your investment is guaranteed. If the item you receive is not as advertised — like a smartphone that doesn’t power on — you can try to resolve the issue with the seller first. If an agreement cannot be reached, company representatives will step in to ensure you are taken care of.

Sellers like The Whiz Cells have a return policy in place.

Should I Have Insurance for a Used Phone?

As for protection after the transaction is finished, you’ll need to look at insurance for cell phones. You can activate protection plans for cell phones to protect your investment. If something happens, you make a claim — like with auto or home insurance — and get a replacement device in return.

Unfortunately, there are a few insurance providers that will not cover used phones. This is because most cell phone insurance plans can only be applied at the time of purchase, when the phone is new — and up to 30 days after.

But there is insurance for smartphones that have been used, so don’t fret. The best mobile phone insurance companies are:

  • eSecuritel — Allows you to purchase a cell phone insurance plan no matter when the phone was bought. This is through Esurance and Allstate.
  • Protect Your Bubble — You can purchase an insurance plan for your phone anywhere from 12 to 35 months after it was bought, provided it’s still under warranty. If you buy a certified refurbished phone from a reputable seller, they usually offer some form of warranty.
  • Mobile Rhino — One of the few insurance providers that will allow you to buy a policy at any time, even for used phones. It’s worth noting, though, that the service price and deductibles are quite high compared to other providers.

What Do Insurance Providers Cover?

This is another point that will depend on the insurance provider. Most insurance companies do not cover a phone that is lost or stolen, except for Mobile Rhino (but that also explains why their prices are higher).

In addition, there are limitations to coverage. For example, some providers may turn down a claim that involves water damage, while others do not. Asurion covers water damage and loss, along with stolen and damaged phones. Therefore, you’ll need to refer to each individual provider to find out more.

Now you know the best cell phone insurance providers, and you’re armed with the info you need to choose a plan. Get to it!

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