Paul has navigated the AT&T claims process to replace a damaged smartphone.
Does AT&T Phone Insurance Cover Cracked Screens?
Yes, AT&T will replace an HTC, iPhone, or any other phone with a cracked screen. They will also replace phones that have been lost or stolen so long as you have purchased AT&T’s insurance. Here is what you need to know:
- When you arrange a replacement phone or file a claim under AT&T’s insurance program, you do it over the phone or online—not in the store.
- You'll need to answer a few questions through an automated process before a representative will come on the line.
- iPhone insurance is covered through a different provider (AppleCare+) than other makes of AT&T phones (Asurion).
- Insurance coverage is limited to two replacement phones per year, but there are multi-device protection plans.
- Return the phone and battery in the package they ship you following the instructions they send.
- For your protection, you'll want to delete all the information from your phone before you send it back.
- Keep your SIM card to use in your new phone.
- The deductible charge will be on your next AT&T phone bill.
- It only takes a few days to get a new phone through the insurance program. Replacements are typically shipped via next-day delivery.
- I had no problem replacing my new phone, but for an older model, an upgrade may make more sense than a replacement. Asurion insurance doesn’t guarantee you a new phone of the same model; you may get a refurbished one, or “different equipment of like kind and quality.”
- When you file an AT&T Insurance claim, the insurance company is actually Continental Casualty Company in California. They underwrite the policy and the AT&T rep acts as the claim adjuster. They may use other insurance companies in other states.
- The rep will ask how the phone was damaged or lost to determine if it's covered much like a caror home insurance rep would.
How I Replaced the Brand-New Phone I Broke
I had only had my AT&T HTC Aria for a week when I dropped it onto the cement from about four feet. It just slipped out of my hand, which for me is a pretty ordinary occurrence; it usually puts a ding or two on the phone, but nothing major happens.
Well, this time, the phone landed screen-side-down and shattered. Maybe the phone fell in just the perfect way to compromise the screen, or maybe the screen on the Aria device is just a bit fragile. I was irritated.
The next morning, I ran to the AT&T store to get a replacement, but they were swamped and said they couldn't help me with filing a claim. I had to call the AT&T phone insurance number since I had purchased their insurance policy (it's actually ACCC Insurance company).
The strange thing is that I never purchase cell phone insurance because I think it's a bad deal for consumers. But last summer I saw how easily a phone could get destroyed with a little water damage. This poor girl had saved up her money to buy an iPhone. On the houseboat, she set it next to a sink to recharge. A kid washing his hands in the sink splashed a little water on the iPhone and fried it, and she didn't have insurance. After seeing how her phone was destroyed by a little water, I tacked insurance onto my plan. It didn’t occur to me then that it would cover cracked-screen damage.
Making the claim for the insurance was super easy. I answered a few questions over the phone for the person that acts as the insurance adjuster. Then a representative came on the line and said a new phone would be shipped via next-day delivery. There would be a $50 deductible on my next bill, and I could get email alerts about the progress of the delivery.
I got the email that day saying the new Aria phone had shipped, and the next day, the phone arrived. I opened the phone, stuck in my SIM card and the battery, and I was up and running.
Before I returned my old phone, I wanted to make sure I wiped it clean. On an Android-based phone, if you remove the battery and the SIM card and restart the phone while it’s plugged in, it will prompt you to restore the factory settings. I followed the prompts and confirmed all my data had been removed.
Then, I put the old phone back into the box the replacement phone came in, I put the label AT&T provided onto the box, and we took it to the post office. I was able to keep the extra battery charger and headphones (which I never use) from my old phone.
One of the things that stood out to me is how easy it is to switch between Android phones if you use Google for mail and calendaring. I highly recommend switching to Google mail for small businesses. In about five minutes, I had my new phone set up, and all my information from Google was synchronizing: contacts, calendars, and email.
AT&T gets a lot of complaints about the quality of their network, but my experience with their phone insurance department filing a claim and getting a new phone was super smooth. Nice job, AT&T!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: What number do you call to speak to someone about returning your phone for repair if you don't have insurance?
Answer: You can call your local AT&T wireless store and find the nearest repair center, or you can also use the AT&T wireless support page at https://www.att.com/contactus/index/wireless.html to contact them for device support if you don't have phone insurance. Expect a repair charge.
Question: If a person from AT&T couldn't fix your phone, do you have to buy a new one or is it free?
Answer: The answer is it depends. If the phone is under warranty, just recently purchased, or insured, you should be able to get it replaced. If it's out of warranty, not insured, damaged from abuse, you are typically on your own to replace it.
Question: Can I file a claim in store?
Answer: They will help you by calling from the store, but sometimes they will give you a number to call instead.
Question: What happens if the current address is different then billing address when requesting a replacement card?
Answer: First, call the bank and update your address. It’s often possible to do this online. After the address is updated, then request a replacement card.
Leah R Bischoff on August 29, 2019:
What are the tiers?
Brice on February 09, 2019:
Now much does it cost for a lost phone claim
AVA on February 07, 2019:
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THE INSURANCE..
I had a cracked screen on an ipad. I called in to file a claim and the lady told me it would be no more than 99.00 if that. I received a 225.00 bill on my AT&T bill today (and I have 350.00 left on installment plan) and have already paid 120.00. So... in total, will have paid 700.00 to have the screen replaced plus the monthly premium for the insurance. THIS IS A SCAM
savannah smith on July 01, 2018:
So I recently dropped my phone in water and so I was going to file a claim. But my question is can I give my damaged phone to ATT and they'll replace it and I can just get a new one right then and there. Cause I really hate not having a phone for 2 weeks cause I'm waiting on ATT to ship it. HELP
Leslie Carver on November 18, 2016:
I really like AT&T. They have great customer service. I was disappointed with the insurance plan. I have had my phone for 20 months (almost 2 years). I have never made a claim. I dropped my phone and broke the screen. I called them and they told me because I have never made a claim, I got the discount and would only have to pay a deductible of $112. The replacement phone was refurbished and immediately had problems. It kept having a big white bar at the top of the screen blinking and the apps would not open. Luckily, I noticed it immediately and had not mailed my old phone back yet. I called them and they said they would send another refurbished phone or I could get the current one fixed for a year. No, thank you. I sent their phone back and had my phone screen fixed in 30 minutes with a local company for only $89.
Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on February 01, 2015:
There is a deductible, but that's less expensive than buying a new phone. But, I agree the phone insurance isn't a very good deal. I've abandoned it.
Zane on February 01, 2015:
Iphone 6, cracked screen. Do i have a 199 deductible for that? if so, insurance is a collosal rip off
Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on October 04, 2012:
That stinks. How old is your phone?
rebemac on October 01, 2012:
I have been a customer of AT&T for four years now I went to make my Insurance claim on my phone and they told me they can not give me the same phone and my options are not to different from what I have but I can not use my lapdock with the phone options provided to me, Needless to say I am not happy. So I am stuck in a contract and I have to pay $125 deductible on a phone that doesn't meet the same standards as the one I have been paying insurance on and I am out $400 in accessories that I can no longer use. And there is not a darn thing I can do.
Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on June 25, 2012:
AT&T phone insurance is very good. There may be subtleties in what they cover, but if you have a problematic phone, figure out what they cover and it's likely your phone has that problem as well as others. It's important to remember that insurance only covers a few phones. So, if you make too many claims, you'll be out of luck.
lilly on March 23, 2012:
I am very dissatisfied with the phone insurance and even the warranty My 4G Infuse has been a prob from the beginning and now the charging port has somehow been destroyed. Been on the phone with ATT all week and all I hear is "Unfortunately, that's the way it is" Well unfortunately I'm going elsewhere.
Amanda on March 19, 2012:
I had my sister's Aria for a few months after my phone broke, and in less then a week I had dropped it twice with the screen braking a little more each time. It still worked for a few months after that but eventually the screen became unresponsive.
Ashlee on February 17, 2012:
That's not the case for me about 3 weeks ago my screen craked and when my mom finally got insurance on it she called to get it replaced,so she did all the documents needed and sent it in but when she call the insurance ppl back they said they didn't get so she sent it again its been a week now and she still hasn't got a response . I just want my replacement phone i.e at&t iphone :/
nik ratiner on August 16, 2011:
mine is so much worse
Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on July 21, 2011:
I left the aria and am now on an iPhone 4.
bob on July 21, 2011:
everyone i know who switched to at&t and got the htc aria have broken screens the screens are terrible fraudulant
Brittany on March 03, 2011:
The same thing happened to my Aria! The screens are horrible. Thanks for the information, it helped a great deal!!!
Kenny on December 21, 2010:
sad thing is, i dropped my aria about a foot off the ground when standing up off the grass (had my phone in my lap) and the screen cracked that easy. i just dont remember if i had insurance on my phone..will find out tomorrow :(
Sarah on December 18, 2010:
Thanks so much. This helped. I dropped my HTC and the phone cracked just like that, and i wasn't sure if i was going to be able to get it replaced, if insurance would even cover it and so forth or how i would go about doing it so, thanks. very helpful. (:
Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on October 26, 2010:
Sam, that's a good point. Do you know how to replace the screen yourself? I haven't looked into it. I dropped my phone three times and twice the screen cracked. You can only replace two phones a year with the insurance. On to the Iphone now:)
Sam on October 26, 2010:
The insurance is still a waste of money.
To replace the screen is $100 from HTC, considering you have to pay a $50 deductible plus $5 a month, that means you must break your screen at least once every 10 months. Also bear in mind that you only have a limited number of claims per year.
Also, if you are able to do it yourself a replacement screen is only about $50(the cost of the deductible)
Kinsey on October 06, 2010:
I bought my phone at best buy because they have asolutley NO DEDUCTABLE!! The iPhone insurance was 14.99 a month, and you could cancel it at anytime. The aria's is 9.99 a month, no deductables, and they'll replace it as many times as you need it. Only thing t doesn't cove ris lost or stolen.
Tif on August 18, 2010:
SAME EXACT thing happened to me, had my phone for 4 days.
Zach on August 09, 2010:
The EXACT same thing happened to me, bought phone, was excited, got knocked out of my hand, shattered screen :/
but i had that insurance which made it super easy and painless to make my woes go away :D
ocbill from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice on July 19, 2010:
A fairly new service now is to fix these screens. I just noticed a lady in line at the courthouse (pls don't ask me my story) but anyways it was IPhone and you just have to get it fixed otherwise it annoys you to death. I am in the market for an HTC w/ video calling though.
Paradise7 from Upstate New York on July 18, 2010:
One thing you didn't mention was the cost of the insurance relative to the cost of the phone. I'm with you in that ordinarily I wouldn't purchase phone insurance. I'm glad you had a good experience with this though, and managed to get up and running with your new phone fairly painlessly. Something that went well; something that went right!!! Hooray!
Earth Angel on July 17, 2010:
Good Hub Paul!!
I too, have always felt 'insurance' on our gadgets was a waste of money!! My secretary talked me into getting insurance on my phone and later a camera!! Wow!! Both more than paid for themselves!!
The more we use a particular device, the more it pays to insure it!! A cell phone used for emergency purposes only won't be exposed to the sheer number of handling hours as a cell phone that we use to run our worlds!!
For me, living at the beach and being an avid photographer, insurance pays every time I accidentally drop my camera in the surf!!
Have a GREAT day!!
Hello, hello, from London, UK on July 17, 2010:
Thank you for your greathelp and advice.
gredmondson from San Francisco, California on July 16, 2010:
I was offered insurance two days ago when I bought my new iphone (3GS, they were out of the 4G's) because I lost my other phone. Now, I am going to go back and buy that insurance. Thanks, Paul, for the shared experience.
sagebrush_mama from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound! on July 16, 2010:
I'd like to insure my iPhone, but they didn't insure them at the time I bought it. It's a worthwhile price to pay, though, given the headache a broken cell phone can be.