Consumer Alert: Survey says 55% of smartphone users have broken a phone. Here’s the best protection.

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. Here’s a question for you. What’s the most expensive thing you carry with you every day?

Second only to your wedding ring, it’s likely your cell phone, right? A new study is shedding some light on how many of us break that little computer in our pockets. In a recent survey done by Recon analytics, 55 percent of respondents admitted they’ve broken their cell phone.

And that’s a lot of broken phones. According to the Pew Research Center, Ninety-seven percent of Americans owned a cell phone in 2021. And 85 percent of Americans owned a smartphone. The average price we’re paying for a smartphone this year is about $550.

But many folks are paying far more. For example, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is retailing for as much as $1,600. And one age group is breaking their phones more often than anyone else.

“The number one age group that breaks their phone, 27 percent of all Gen Z’ers, so Gen Z’ers are that 11 to 26-year old group, have already broken at least one phone in their lifetime,” said Jason Komenski, an AT&T sales manager based in Rochester.

Here are the top five phone fumbles:

  • It slipped out of my hand. Fifty percent of respondents broke their phone by dropping it.
  •  It fell into water. And the most frequent body of water was the toilet.
  •  I forgot it was in my lap, and I stood up.
  •  I dropped something on it
  •  I fumbled while taking a photo.

So here’s Deanna’s Do List for Protecting that expensive phone:

  • Not created equally. Protect that expensive phone with an OtterBox, Lifeproof or Pelican case. Komenski says these three are tops.
  • If you’re on your phone a lot, consider AirPods, allowing you to take a call without taking the phone out of your pocket or purse.
  • Seriously consider insurance for your phone.

I’m a parent of a Gen-Z’er and my phone insurance has paid for itself time and again. He cracks his screen. We get a new phone for $100. Most insurance plans are $5 to $20 a month. And right now, AT&T and Verizon are in open enrollment. That means you don’t have to buy a new phone to get insurance. You can walk in with your old phone, as long as it’s working, and sign up for insurance.

Also, Investopedia has a list of top phone insurance plans. Click here for that. And I really enjoyed an interesting analysis by Pedro Gonzalez of the best cell phone cases. Click here for that.