Cody Hebden is a 23-year-old college graduate currently working as an insurance underwriter in Central Michigan. These are his words…

What if I told you to drop your cell phone insurance plan, and get a plan from an insurance company? What if I said it would only cost you $35/year with a ZERO dollar deductible and a brand NEW replacement.

Listening yet? Good. (Before I reveal this to you I just want to say that being honest goes beyond your individual ethics. I am here to save you money, but I am also here to suggest that low premium costs are the result of honest policyholders.)

The insurance companies that offer coverage through your cell phone provider are there for a reason, to replace your broken, damaged, lost, or stolen phone, and that is great. The only problem is you pay, say $7/month ($84/year) and if you do make a claim, they still charge you a deductible of say another $50. Just for fun, let us say they do not send you through the ringer by making you get a police report or tell you the phone is on back order for the next two months.

Now, the alternative.

Instead, you have a couple options. The first option is best case, so I will mention this first. Go to an insurance agency, any one will do, but preferably an independent agency. I mean, if you are going to save some money, let us keep the local businesses running, and maybe they’ll even save you money on your other insurance needs. Now, ask for an “inland marine policy” or otherwise known as a Personal Articles Floater. The main thing is to get this as a separate policy from your car and/or home and insure your cell phone for the replacement cost. That means that if you were to walk into a store today and buy your phone, how much it would cost WITHOUT a contract. So, say it would be $400. Now, since the policy is already inexpensive, elect to have a zero dollar deductable. Be surprised when the agent asks for an annual premium of $35.

Congratulations, you have just insured your cell phone for $400, with a zero dollar deductible, and what happens when your phone is dropped on accident, lost or stolen? Either the insurance company will reimburse for repair costs or they issue you a check to buy your phone at any retailer.

Option 2 is the same as above, but to include your cell phone as a rider in your home insurance policy, possibly discounting it even more from a multi policy discount. However, with this option, too many claims can cause your homeowners premiums to increase.

Why stop here? Next time you buy your Laptop from a major retailer, skip their service plan. Instead? You guessed it, do the same thing for your laptop, or digital camera. Personally, I have insured my $450 Smartphone and my $125 digital camera on an inland marine policy, and I pay a $35 annual premium, with no deductibles.

More about Cody Hebden:
Cody Hebden is a 23-year-old graduate from Northwood University with a major in Business Administration and designations from the Insurance Institute of America. He has worked in the telecom industry and currently is an insurance underwriter in the Central Michigan region. As a past business owner and entrepreneur, he looks forward to a rewarding career in finances and perhaps consulting.