It's a millennial's most prized possession. Yet, they are also the most irresponsible compared to other generations when it comes to caring for their smartphone, according to a survey by insurance company Protect Your Bubble.
The president of the Financial Planning Association, Ed Gjertsen II, said consumers, in general, are careless about how they treat such a valuable device and, as is the case with his own teenage children, "they throw it in their backpacks and all over the place."
A whopping 90 percent of millennials even take their phones in the bathroom with them, according to Protect Your Bubble's survey. The "liquid drop" — or the phone falling in the toilet — is one of the most common ways phones get damaged, according to online warranty company SquareTrade, in addition to the most common standard hand drop where the device simply slips from their grasp with 30 percent of people dropping their phone accidentally.
Thankfully, phones are progressively getting more durable. The website iFixit reports that the Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus sport a combination of new technology that makes them far more resistant to liquid damage than previous-generation iPhones. CNBC tested the 6S out and after multiple drops in the toilet, the phone continued to work properly. That's not to say there wasn't any internal damage to the phone, but on the surface, the phone was functional. Which raises the question — do you need phone insurance?
Like any type of investment, it's about your risk tolerance. If you damaged your phone tomorrow could you go out and buy a new one — even at full price?
With a two-year contract the iPhone 6S 16 GB costs $199, but if you damage or lose your phone before the two years is up you must pay the full $650 for a replacement. "That is what a lot of people miss at times," Gjertsen said. If you're good with the cost, then you are more than likely good without insurance.
But if you are a habitual phone breaker and don't want to cough up $650, it's probably a good idea to cover yourself. If you don't fall into either camp or just aren't sure, here are some things to consider:
"I think the case for insurance is threefold: to protect your investment, protect against Murphy's Law and also to help you stay connected to your world if something does happen," explained Matthew Pufall, product director at Protect Your Bubble.
If you are thinking about getting your phone insured, "the details are incredibly important because what you are paying for and what you think you might be covered for could be two totally different things," warned Gjertsen. For example, under most insurance plans, you're covered if you totally destroy your phone, but if your screen cracks, that's out of pocket.