Report: AT&T to offer insurance for iPhones

One of the major complaints customers have with the iPhone and AT&T could finally be addressed on June 6, according to The Boy Genius Report.

Oops. CNET

One of the biggest complaints people have had about the iPhone is that if they drop it, lose it, or it gets ripped off, they're out of luck. AT&T doesn't offer any insurance programs for the iPhone like it does for other handsets; I'd wager to guess that's because the iPhone is, indeed, more expensive than the others when not subsidized.

But that appears to be changing. Boy Genius got his recently manicured hands on some evidence that on June 6, AT&T will roll out an insurance program for iPhone users. Awesome.

Described in what appear to be internal documents from AT&T, the MobileProtect insurance will cost $13.99 a month to insure your handset against loss or damage, with a deductible of between $99 for an 8GB 3G to $199 for the king-o-the-heap 32GB 3GS. While at first blush that seems high, consider this: if you lose your iPhone and don't have insurance, you won't be able to buy another subsidized one if you're under contract, so you'd have to shell out the full amount, which can be upwards of $600.

The $13.99 a month comes out to $167.88 a year. That might seem like a lot, but look at it this way: You're offered two iPhones with identical features. One is $200 and has no insurance; you lose it, you're screwed. The other is $368 but is insured; you lose it, you get another cheaper. Which would you buy?

For me, I'd buy the insured one. But I'm a klutz.

The program AT&T is said to be launching will be a partnership with insurance company Asurion, who specializes in these kinds of programs. It won't be included in your AT&T bill, but rather it appears the program will be billed to your iTunes account. To enroll, a user must download the MobileProtect app from the app store within 30 days of purchasing an iPhone. We're not sure if that leaves current iPhone owners out in the dark, but we've asked AT&T to clarify. Normally they don't comment on leaked info, but we'll report back what they say.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.

     

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