Independent companies insuring electronic devices

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - About one in three new cell phones will break within the first year. It's why so many people pay for loss protection in case the inevitable does happen; but insurance from your cell carrier can be expensive. It's why more independent companies are cropping up offering warranty protection for smart phones and other electronic devices.

When we analyzed the Fisher family's cell phone bill in August, we discovered they were paying $624 a year to insure six devices. If they ever needed to replace one of them, they'd have to pay a $150 deductible. That would be $774 for one new device.

"It just seems like another way the carriers are jacking up their bill," said Chuck Sweeney with Securranty, one of several new warranty companies that insure electronic devices like smart phones, e-readers and tablets.

If you buy a new iPhone 5s from Apple, you can insure it for a year with Securranty for $59. If it's broken for any reason there is no deductible to repair or replace it.

"We're basically cutting out that middle man and going direct to the consumer," Sweeney explained. "Anytime you can go direct to the consumer, the consumer benefits."

Sweeney says his company and others like his don't have to pay rent for a fancy storefront like the major wireless carriers. It's why he says they can charge you less to insure your phone. If your covered device breaks, Securranty guarantees a 5 day turn around to replace or repair it. If you don't want to wait that long, you can have it repaired anywhere, and Securranty will reimburse you the cost of repairs.

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