Free iPhone! (Sort Of)

I think I just earned a free Apple iPhone 13 Pro. Sort of, anyway.

It’s been 12 years since I got my first iPhone in 2008 and I’ve declined AppleCare coverage on every single phone upgrade I’ve had since then. That’s probably 5 different iPhone upgrades.

AppleCare coverage is $10/month or a $200 flat fee. 156 months that have passed since I bought my first one, so I’ve saved $1,000-$1,500 by self-insuring. I haven’t dropped or damaged my iPhones even once over that span.

There would also have been an opportunity cost to spending all that money upfront, month-by-month, so I’m sure I’ve more than covered the cost of my new phone ($1,200).

Hopefully I won’t drop it on the first day I get it!

What are your thoughts on mobile phone insurance? Would it pay out for you?

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9 thoughts on “Free iPhone! (Sort Of)

  1. I always self-insure by not buying the insurance plan for mobile phones. The companies who insure phones are in the business to make a profit. My experience has been the same as yours in that in most cases I am in the money.

    Individuals who get the insurance probably lack savings, so replacing a high hundred dollar or whatever phone is money they don’t have.

    Other areas to self-insure include tire protection plans and extended warranties. Having a home owner’s insurance policy with a higher deductible is equivalent. I have an occasional hit but overall I am keeping the profit that the third party insurer gets.

    Use insurance to insure against loses you cannot afford.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, completely degree. The funniest insurance I was offered was “buyer protection” on a $9.99 rain poncho at a big box sporting goods store!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am actually looking at Dental Insurance right now. Cost is $1,450 annual for four people. The main benefit we are collecting on is 2 cleanings each per year at $760 total. It recently paid $23 out of a $196 charge for two fillings for my son, because of a deductible.

        The elephant in the room is that the Dentist billed $500 for the fillings and agreed to the $196 negotiated rate. Here is the big question, will my dentist agree to charge me the same rates as the insurance company.

        My current dentist bought his practice from my previous long term dentist. My previous long term dentist knew I was about to retire and suggested that I simply pay him directly for services and avoid the cost of limited benefit dental insurance. My previous dentist also knew that I would pay faster with less paperwork than the insurance company.

        I am planning to call his office staff to see if they match the insurance company rates or even give a cash discount and allow me to self-pay. I also am looking for a resource that allows me to verify the insurance company rates to keep everybody honest.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am ashamed to say I’m not sure how much we pay for our dental insurance. I think it is about $1000 a year for two adults. We have been fortunate with good teeth and haven’t had any real costs other than the basic cleanings, which I believe are covered by the insurance without deductible. Our dentist office is on insurance. He just started doing it within the last few years, so maybe your new dentist might be interested in trying that out with you. I think his rates are cheaper than dental rates that we get from our insurance company.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have compared some of the Medical rates with people living in the Midwest including Texas, Wisconsin and Minnesota and was surprised to learn that they were paying more for medical and dental services than I am in the People’s Republic of California. The difference may be driven because there is more competition between providers. For example, my relatives in the relatively Appleton, WI market pay much higher copays than I do. In their case, there was excessive consolidation of local medical providers which seems to have concerned the market.

        In regards to dentists, I find that there is a great variation in treatment plans between dentists. My worst all time experience is when is was on a dental health maintenance organization, which limited my choices. One of the choices wanted to charge me $3,000 at least 15 years ago with a treatment plan that included root plaining (sounds pleasant), four fillings for places I might get cavities (never had any) and actually charge me for dental advices which consisting of trying to sell me a $200 electric tooth brush that is sold through dentists office exclusively on a commission basis.

        I went back to my old dentist to get a self pay teeth cleaning and check up, without telling him anything about the other providers $3,000 treatment plan. The bill from my old dentist came to $95. When my old dentist retired, he sold his practice and so far it appears he cared enough about his patients that he screened to avoid a price gouger. My old dentist had a retirement party thrown by the new dentist and I am sure the new guy got the message loud in clear that he bought a business with a happy clientele because the old dentist had treated his patients and staff fairly.

        Shopping around for medical and dental providers is an important key to health and financial success.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wow – that is quite a difference in cost and approach. I don’t think most people are aware of how much variation in cost there is, since Dentists don’t exactly have a menu board in the lobby. Coincidentally, my wife and I both happen to have our semi-annual check ups at our dentist today. Now I will be extra financially vigilant if any extra ‘treatments’ are recommended!


  2. I have an uncle who wears dentures now. He claimed that he lost every tooth that dentists messed with. Getting unneeded dental work that messes with perfectly good teeth can drive further cost and problems down the line.

    Become an informed consumer of who you do business with in the medical and dental fields. If a treatment plan springs a big surprise on you, get a second opinion. Some of your other posts mention you have a dog. The same is true for Veterinarians.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t ever bought phone insurance. Main reason being that while I on occasion drop my phone, it doesn’t really ever “break.”

    I think instead of insurance, you’ve saved way more money by not giving into FOMO and buying/upgrading to a new phone each year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phones are amazingly durable, aren’t they? I’m always in a panic of accidentally dropping my phone – even had bad dreams where it happened – but it’s never really happened to me. They’ve done a good job making them more durable – especially the glass.


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