American Express offer a unique insurance benefit with their Explorer, Essential and Platinum Charge (from 1 November 2017) cards that is designed for today’s ever-connected consumer.
Their Smartphone Screen Insurance provides cover for the repair cost of your smartphone screen when you’ve seen your beloved possession ricochet off solid ground, trodden on by a toddler, or used by your kids as a frisbee.
How to get screen insurance coverage
To be eligible for Smartphone Screen Insurance, you must be sporting either an:
- American Express Explorer;
- American Express Essential; or
- American Express Platinum Charge (effective 1 November 2017)
The Business versions of these cards do not include this benefit.
To activate the insurance, you must purchase the phone outright in a single transaction and put the cost of the phone onto your card. Alternatively, coverage is also offered for a phone purchased on a monthly contract using the card.
If you obtain this card part way through your smartphone contract, you are still eligible for coverage as long as you change your monthly payments to one of the eligible cards and wait 30 days from the date of the first monthly payment to be covered.
All cards offer the reimbursement of repair cost up to a total of $500, which is hopefully more than sufficient to cover most repair costs.
For example, if you have AppleCare+, then you’ll be able to repair any iPhone model’s screen for only $45, however, if it is out-of-warranty, then you can be liable for $200-270 to repair it. The latest repair pricing information is available on the Apple website.
Make sure to not make a habit of breaking your smartphone screen, however, as you will be limited to two eligible claims per twelve month period.
For the claim to be determined as eligible, the screen breakage must only result from an accidental drop or impact.
Excess and the claims process
The procedure to make a claim is relatively straight-forward.
You take your smartphone to a repairer of your choice and ensure that you keep a copy of the receipt.
You then fill in an online claims form and attach the receipt along with a copy of your American Express credit card statement showing the purchase of your smartphone or monthly contract payments.
The applicable excess is 10% of the repair cost.
There are a number of policy exclusions under this cover, and these are identical for all of the cards.
The main exclusions include:
- Cover only applies to the screen and not any other parts of the smartphone
- Screen breakage resulting from anything other than an accidental drop or impact, such as:
- water damage, corrosion, condensation, rust or dust
- wear and tear
- breaching manufacturer’s warranty
- intentional or reckless misuse of the smartphone
- any unlawful act committed or attempted by you or anyone authorised by you
- any competitive sports activity
Read the appropriate terms for yourself and ensure the coverage meets your needs.
The introduction of smartphone screen insurance is a welcome addition for cardholders, especially for those holding an annual fee-free Essential card that would not normally include any frills such as insurance.
Its inclusion with the American Express Explorer and Platinum Charge cards is a great additional win for what is already appealing cards for points earn and redemption.
The excess is reasonable, and the requirements to trigger the insurance are easily met. Having the benefit to choose your repairer is an added benefit, and the allowance to claim up to twice per 12-month period seems fairly generous.
It will be interesting to see if other card providers will look to provide something similar given the increasing uptake of smartphones, and whether consumers will expect this feature on all credit cards in the near future, much like purchase and fraud protection is today.
Featured photo courtesy Flickr user Warren R.M. Stuart