The Scorpion and the Frog

One would think I would learn to never drop my guard or take anything for granted when dealing with insurance companies, but alas and alack, they stuck it to me again.

We just switched over from AT&T to Verizon and got two new Motorola Droid Pro mobile phones for absolutely nothing, all for signing up.  Spiffy phones, no?  Wouldn't you insure them?

Perhaps not, but I am murder on my phone, and I knew I would be dropping it regularly, at the very least.  It would meet its demise when I wash it or forget it on top of my car or I drop it on the blacktop in the middle of a torrential rain or one of the grandbabies dumps it in the toilet.

Trust me.  I need to insure this phone.  So I did.

That was Thursday.  Yesterday (Friday), I received the following terms and conditions for insurance not from Verizon but some third-party insurer, which was startling from the outset.  The shock and then laughter and then determination came on in fast-breaking waves.  Here are the terms and a clear interpretation without all the side-stepping and worming away:

  • "The loss, real or perceived of data, time, financial opportunity, or any other consequence arising from the loss of the use of the wireless device . . . "  Translation: don't go blaming that deal falling through on phone troubles. 
  • ". . . normal wear and tear . . . " Translation: umbrella elimination of anything that survives long enough to wear out. 
  • ". . . inventory shortage, dishonest or malicious acts . . ." Translation: if your frustrated wife grabs it and hurls it into the ocean, or if a group of bullies gang up on you at school, we're not paying. 
  • ". . . cosmetic damage (ex. marring, scratching) . . ."  Translation: if your screen gets bunged up, we're not paying to replace it. 
  • ". . . negligent loss . . ."  Translation: blanket indemnity for us because if you weren't being negligent, you would not have lost it or dropped it or allowed that elephant at the circus to tromp on it. 
  • " . . . liquid damage . . ." Translation: if you knock over your cocoa or diet Dr. Pepper and the phone takes a hit, your loss. 
  • ". . . pervasive corrosion . . ." Translation: if the battery wigs out and starts leaking, too bad. 
  • ". . . loss or unexplained disappearance or voluntary surrender to a third party . . ." Translation: you have no claim if you send it out with your husband or your kids because they cannot find their own, or if you lay it down somewhere at the mall or the grocery store or the hair salon in a fit of extreme abstraction. 
  • ". . . loss in a body of water . . ." Translation: no coverage for toddlers dropping it into the toilet, damage from dish water, rain puddles, ferry rides, fishing expeditions, beach jogging, or swimming pools. 
  • ". . . theft from an unattended premises . . ." Translation: we won't pay if you leave it home. 
  • ". . . or vehicle not reasonably secured . . ." Translation: we won't pay if you take it out of the house. 
  • ". . . in transit either through postal or courier services . . ." Translation: lost in the mail? Not our problem. 
  • ". . . or incidences occurring outside the US or Canada . . ." Translation: don't even try to file a claim if you lose it while traveling. 
  • ". . . are not included with this service. "
As far as I can tell, the only circumstance for which this insurance company would actually pay would be if a meteor fell on you while you were talking on it. . . . But, then again, your heirs would be entirely unable to prove that you actually had it with you at the time.

It isn't truly the company's fault, but my own for trusting them. I mean, they can't help it. Sticking it to their customers is their very nature.

Did we drop the service? Like 3rd-period French.

— Penny

PS:  Do you insure your phone?  Have you ever had a time when you didn't but you really wish you had?  What is the worst treatment your mobile phone(s) have received?  Leave a comment below.  Start a discussion.  I'd love to hear from you.


tomiannie said...

I insure my phone through Sprint and I've never had a problem with them not covering it. My phone gets a lot of abuse thanks to my own butterfingers and the abuses of a pack of wild animals (aka my children). I have gotten it replaced several times, with several models, no problem at all. It is soooo worth it to me.

carrieap said...

I too have always insured my phone and never had any problem replacing it. They even have upgraded it if my model was outdated. I have lost it in rivers, skiing, dropped it while horseback riding, etc.
The only time I didn't get my phone replaced was when I had hit my limit of having my phone replaced in one year. Whoops! My bad!
Maybe the problem is you read the fine print. Maybe the company would replace it but there are always those responsible type people who read the fine print and don't even try because it says it won't. :)

Paul said...

I don't insure and I've never had to replace a phone. Call it luck. I keep old ones just in case, though.

Unknown said...

@Tomi: I am a card-carrying klutz, and it's a marvel that I still have the same phone I've had for four years. That I haven't lost it or completely destroyed it is really a marvel to me. But, my poor mangled Motorola has stuck with me and even came through intensive care when I dropped it in a puddle. Dang! I really wanted an excuse to replace that!

@Carrie: I called up Verizon itself and bought their insurance for $1 a month more and blanket coverage. Actually, I bought Dallas the cheaper coverage because he's lucky if he remembers to get it out of the house, but I bought me the whole shebang.

@Paul: For all my grousing, I still have had the same phone for four years. When we switched over from Go Phone to an actual account, the little free phone they gave us then I gave to Ariane because she had exceeded the limits of her plan. My old one was better.

ginger said...

Ha. This reminds me of the extended warranty Best Buy sells. They will cover anything that is not accidental or on purpose.......I still haven't been able to think of a qualifying circumstance.