How to File an AT&T Insurance Claim for a Cracked Screen, Lost or Damaged Phone
Cracked Screen on HTC Aria
Does AT&T Phone Insurance Cover Cracked Screens?
Yes, AT&T will replace an HTC, iPhone, or any other phone with a cracked screen, lost or damaged, as long as you have bought 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 limits 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 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. It is shipped next day delivery. Very nice!
- I had no problem replacing my new phone, but for an older model, upgrade or replacement may make more sense than insurance. 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. It may be other insurance companies in other states. The rep will ask how the phone was damaged or lost to determine if it's covered similarly to how an over the phone car insurance claim works.
* Note, if you're not insured, it's usually a bad idea to file under a homeowner insurance claim because if there are multiple claims this can drive your rates up. Instead, see if the credit card used to purchase the phone offers a consumer protections policy.
How I Replaced the Brand-New Phone I Broke
Here is how I had my phone replaced through the AT&T Insurance program.
I had only had my AT&T HTC Aria 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; 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 can 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. Then a kid washing his hands in the sink splashed a little water on the iPhone and fried it. 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 a cracked screen damage.
Making the claim for the insurance was super easy. I answered a few questions over the phone from the person that acts as the insurance adjuster. Then a representative came on the line and said a new phone would be shipped 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!