VM may be accessed from a toll free number sometimes. Ask your provide about that option. The messages are stored on a server, so it's not like if the phone gets crunched the messages are gone too. See the following site for examples of accessing VM from another phone-
Bob's advice about Cellbrite is spot on. It can often work wonders.
Obviously the phone's a goner; holds a charge but I can't access anything on it. I can either kiss my phone contacts and saved vms goodbye, OR since I'm thinking of switching providers, get a free (basic) replacement phone from current provider, hope they can transfer (somehow) the phone bk from old phone to new, and THEN switch to unltd. data-no contract provider.
This is all too fancy to be workable, but anyone have any thoughts?