We’ve all been there.

You’re carrying too many things, you’re grabbing your wallet, keys…and your phone just slips.

First, we listen for the crack of a broken screen.

Next, we flip the phone over to inspect the damage. Sometimes it’s fine and we promise to treat our phones better next time…

And sometimes, the screen looks like it’s been the victim of a baseball through the kitchen window, showing the blue screen of death, and failing to turn on.

This story can have an expensive ending…but did you know your credit card might offer mobile device insurance? It’s a little known credit card perk that could save you big.

Here’s an overview of credit cards with cell phone insurance in Canada:

Credit Card Annual Fee Coverage Amount Coverage Start Date Depreciation % Learn More
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite $120 $1,000 * 30 days from the date of purchase of your mobile
device
* The date the first monthly bill payment is
charged to your account
2% Learn More
National Bank mycredit Mastercard

 

$0 $1,000 * The 60th day following the date of purchase of your
mobile device
* The date on which the second consecutive monthly
payment under your plan is charged to your
Mastercard account
3% Learn More
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card $120 $1,000 * 90 days following the purchase date 2%
Plus up to $300 travel bonus.
Ends October 25th.

Mobile phone insurance explained

It’s important to remember the details when dealing with credit card insurance because there are often a few hoops to jump through before you’re covered.

First, remember that you’re not necessarily going to get back everything you paid for your device. You have to take into account:

  • when you paid for the device,
  • the depreciated value,
  • the deductible you have to pay, and
  • what you’re even covered for.

Coverage start date

When your card has mobile insurance, you’re almost never covered right away. In the case of , the coverage kicks in 30 days after the date of purchase. Most coverage kicks in from 30 to 90 days after purchase.

This means that if the date of purchase is any sooner than when your coverage kicks in, you’re not eligible.

Deductible

A deductible is defined as a specified amount of money that the insured must pay before an insurance company will pay a claim.

This means that before you get any money from the claim you make on your device, you’re going to have to chip in, too.

For the and , the deductibles are:

Mobile Device Insurance Deductible Amounts

So basically, if you paid $800 for your phone (before taxes), you’re going to need to pay $100 before you get any cash from your claim.

With the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite, it’s a little trickier – but often easier on your wallet.

In this scenario, your deductible is 10% of the value of your device after factoring in the 2% depreciation for each month you’ve had your device.

Say the value of your phone after subtracting the depreciation value is $600.

This means that your deductible is $60, AKA 10% of $600.

Depreciation

After you’ve figured out your deductible, you have to deal with the depreciation value.

Basically, this is how much your item goes down in value over time, usually based on normal wear and tear.

Say you bought a device for $800.

To calculate the depreciated value, you’d multiply your depreciation rate from the $800, and multiply that by the 6 months that have passed.

$800 x 2% = $16

$16 x 8 months = $128

To calculate your maximum reimbursement, you need to subtract your depreciation value from your purchase price, and then subtract your deductible.

$800 – $128 = $672

$672 – $100 deductible = $572

This means that in this scenario, your maximum reimbursement would be $572, even if your coverage is up to $1,000.

Related: Best Credit Cards for Purchase Insurance

What your cell phone insurance covers

It’s good to know what your insurance will and will not cover.

What it covers

For most cases, your phone will cover:

  • accidental damage,
  • loss, and
  • theft.

No matter what, it’s good to review your insurance certificate to see exactly what you’re covered for, and not covered for.

What it doesn’t cover

Be sure to still check your insurance certificate, but these are commonly not covered:

  • accessories,
  • batteries,
  • mobile devices purchased for resale,
  • used devices,
  • modified devices (if you’ve jailbroken your phone),
  • cosmetic damage that doesn’t affect functionality, and
  • normal wear and tear.

Here are links to insurance certificates of the 3 cards we’re talking about today so you can see exactly what’s covered:

3 steps to make a claim

Remember that you must make any attempts to make a claim before you try to repair or take any action to replace your device, and you need your credit card issuer’s approval to make sure you’re eligible to make the claim.

In case your device was stolen

Remember to file a police report as soon as possible.

Another thing to keep in mind is cancelling all services to your device, because often you only have 48 hours before you’re ineligible to make a claim.

Gather all related documents

You’re going to need a few documents before you try to file your claim. Keep these on hand for the process:

  • Original sales receipt of your device.
  • Date and time you notified your provider of loss or theft.
  • Copy of your original manufacturer’s warranty.
  • A copy of the written repair estimate, in case of mechanical failure and accidental damage.
  • Account statement showing the full purchase price of your device.
  • A police, fire, insurance claim, or loss report in case of theft.

File a claim on the phone

Now that you’ve got all of your documents, it’s time to file the claim.

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers you need to call.

Issuer Telephone Number
Scotiabank 1-800-263-0997
MBNA 1-888-235-2645
CIBC 1 866 363-3338

Top credit cards with mobile phone insurance

If you’re looking for a card with mobile device insurance, look no further than the .

Packed with high earn rates and $1,000 mobile device insurance, the will earn you:

  • 4% cash back on recurring bills and groceries,
  • 2% cash back on gas and daily transit, and
  • 1% cash back on every other purchase.

If lots of cash back and 11 types of insurance is your game – making the $120 annual fee worth it, this is a strong card to consider.

Also offering you $1,000 in mobile device insurance, but with no annual fee, the is another cash back earner. It’ll give you:

  • 1% cash back on all recurring bill payments and restaurant purchases,
  • 0.5% on all other purchases, and
  • 3 different types of insurance.

For $120, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite has a nice welcome bonus of 15,000 points, worth $344. While making your purchases, you’ll also get:

  • 1 point every $1 spent,
  • 1.5 points for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases, and
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on trips purchases through the CIBC Rewards Centre.

If you’re looking for mobile device insurance and more, this card will get you 12 different types of purchase and travel insurance, and your first year’s annual fee of $120 is waived.

Is insurance for my cell phone actually worth it?

In a world where phone screens are always breaking and phones are always failing, mobile device insurance can be a nice perk to have. Considering we spend upwards of $1,000 on our phones, it can be more than worth it for some, especially if the manufacturers warranty isn’t that great.

Ultimately, it’s up to you. Just remember to put your bill payments on your credit card and used phones aren’t eligible.

We want to hear from you

Is mobile device insurance a perk that stands out to you?

Or is it not worth it?

Let us know in the comments below.