A broken back of a Galaxy Z Flip 4
Josh Hendrickson / How-To Geek

There’s a reason why you pay quite a bit to shroud that expensive new phone in a rather generic-looking but bulky case. It may completely cover the color you were so adamant about getting, but it helps to avoid the high costs of accidental damage not covered under the manufacturer’s one-year warranty.

Apple and Samsung generously offer a warranty on all of their smartphones and devices. Unfortunately, those warranties are somewhat limited in what they cover and don’t take into account that everyday life can be messy and chaotic. If you’ve ever wondered precisely what’s not covered under your OEM (original equipment manufacturer) warranty, here’s a quick rundown.

Cracked Screens

It’s so important to equip your smartphone with a glass screen protector not just to keep your fingerprints off the screen, but because cracked screens are very rarely covered by an OEM warranty. The crack would have to be caused by a device effect—which would be quite hard to prove—before the limited warranty would kick in. Fixing a screen that’s scratched or cracked by an accidental drop is your responsibility.

Frame Damage

Similarly to a cracked screen, unless the damage to the frame was somehow a defect, it’s not covered under warranty. Frame damage can include missing screws, minor chips, or in extreme cases, a bent chassis. Generally, if you have frame damage, it’s because you dropped your phone, and, as you know, accidents aren’t covered by the one-year warranty. Oops.

Phantom Black, Lavender, Green, and Cream Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus frames laying next to each other
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Akko Phone Insurance | Starting as Low as $5 per Month | Akko

Liquid Damage

Though modern flagship smartphones are water resistant, a phone that’s submerged for too long can still suffer liquid damage. In these instances, the repair costs are all on you. Most phones are equipped with an internal liquid sensor that warns repair technicians if water has gotten inside, resulting in hardware failures. Unless you can somehow prove the liquid damage was caused by faulty water resistance measures and not something you did, there’s no chance the OEM warranty will kick in.

Damaged Charging Port

Your charging port is a fragile little component that’s vital to your phone’s longevity. If you happen to bend the connector during one of the hundreds of times you’ll jam your cable inside for a quick charge, that’s an instant warranty issue. The same goes for a port that’s corroded, as corrosion indicates misuse and improper handling. Luckily, most flagship phones come with wireless charging capabilities, so at least there’s an alternative way to charge your device if your port starts to act up.

Lost or Stolen Device

Maybe the most painful of these warranty-crushing claims is if your phone is lost or stolen. Despite not being your fault or linked to an accidental drop, warranties don’t cover phones that are stolen. That means you’ll need to put up the full cost of the phone if you want to replace it.

A Saving Grace from OEM Warranties

Akko phone and electronics insurance plans

Now that you know OEM warranties are rarely on your side, it’s time to consider a solution. Akko offers insurance plans that will cover your phone, electronics, personal items, and more for just $15 per month. Not only will Akko cover the cost of repairs for a damaged phone, regardless of how it was damaged, but the insurance plan also covers the cost of a replacement in the event of theft. It basically does everything your free warranty won’t.

Akko’s $15-per-month “Everything Protected” plan has a $29-$99 deductible that’s based on the price of the repair or replacement and covers one phone and up to 25 additional items. There is a cheaper $5-$12 per month plan that’s priced based on the phone’s age and cost, but the $15 plan is a better value.

If you’re looking to combat the limitations of an OEM warranty, a low-cost insurance plan that fills in the gaps is the best place to start.

Akko Phone & Electronics Insurance

Save yourself the headache of dealing with an OEM warranty with a low-cost insurance plan that protects you from accidents and theft.

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