(NBC News) It’s that moment of dread. You realize you’ve broken an expensive device. So should you insure your devices?
That may depend on who’ll be using it, and how.
Little hands may be even more accident prone.
A survey by warranty company Squaretrade shows 89 percent of households have a smartphone, tablet or laptop that’s been damaged by a kid.
Many electronics retailers make a hard sell at the register for the purchase of an extended warranty, but Consumer Reports generally does not recommend buying them.
The magazine’s data shows it’s rare for a device to malfunction within the first three years of purchase, and if it does the repair is usually inexpensive.
A variety of insurance plans are also available. Mobile phone insurance plans might be offered directly through your wireless carrier, the manufacturer of the phone itself like Apple or Samsung, or a third party insurer like Squaretrade. Plans can cover loss, theft, physical damage or device malfunction.
So which, if any, should you buy?
“You’ll also want to do the math for whether the plan makes sense,” says NBC tech writer Julianne Pepitone. “How much is the monthly premium, and how high is the deductible? Some plans also cap how many claims you can make in a given period.”
The growth of repair services has made it possible to get a broken screen replaced often for much less than the cost of insurance or getting a new phone. Device theft may also be covered through your renters or homeowner’s insurance.