I do not recommend for anyone to get insurance. In my experience, insurance is not financially beneficial for the customer. Consider the following calculations:
Insurance costs $7 per month. Over 22 months, that’s $154. Let’s say you happen to drop your phone in the toilet during that time frame. After paying the $100 deductible, the total cost to replace the phone is $254. You can buy your own replacement off Ebay for that much money. A brand new Optimus is only about $175. Even the Evo can be purchased for $300. TEP is overpriced. Insurance on my wife’s diamond is only 1% of the replacement cost per year.
Now, consider your personal history with phones. Most likely, it is not a realistic assumption that you will lose your phone within 2 years. (or 1 year if you are a gold premier member). So what are your options?
I think a better alternative would be if you self-insured. Just put your $7 per month into a savings account. Your bank should be happy to help you set up an automatic savings transfer. After 22 months, you can use the $154 for whatever you want. Perhaps even get a nice upgrade with the “New every 22” silver premier program.
Those are good scenarios and if it makes sense to self-insure, then by all means... But if I drop my phone in the toilet one month after I bought an EVO, I may wish I had the insurance. I see people go into Sprint stores and pay full price for a new phone they didn't have insurance on, but they wish they didn't have to. Insurance isn't right for everyone, but for some it's a nice thing to have.
I would NEVER have a phone without insurance. I remember back in 2005 I had a phone that broke but no insurance and luckily, they said I qualify for another line. I called customer service to see if they would speed up my upgrade date so I can up grade a phone, but to no avail. That taught my a valuable lesson to no go without it. Other lines on my account and phone that I have I had to use TEP. The price of insurance it a grain of salt compared to buying a phone full price. I not a fan of buying phones used online when I don't know of they clean or stolen or have an account balance due.
It covers warranty on little things that go wrong with your phone. A microphone failure is fixed free with it and costs $35 without TEP. Also now there is an app for Blackberry and Android that backs up your contacts, offers remote wipe and location services for a lost or stolen device.
Also you can drop it after 18 months as you may not want the same device if you did drop yours in the toilet. Almost every day I get the call where someone's device is lost, stolen or damaged without TEP. Most people don't go to bed planning on spending $400 on a phone the next day. The 23.33 cents per day is for peace of mind.
Yea I have the same phone I got when I started 2 years ago, and it still is perfect. Paid insurance for too long. Wont waste that money anymore! People need to stop peeing and talking on the phone at the same time. LOL. That's most of the scenerios people place of what happened to their phone. Plus I can buy the same phone I have online for WAY cheaper than $100.
As others have pointed out above... that only covers one situation with a deductible. The TEP also covers warranty and wear and tear issues in store with no deductible at all. Some of these can be taken care of in store without TEP, but with a convenience fee usually of $35 (instead of going through the manufacturer for warranty for example). Also, the manufacturer's warranty only covers the device for 12 months, TEP will cover you as long as you have it on the line.
Some kinds of screen damage are covered with no deductible, small cracks for example (small is subjective, what you may consider small may be larger than what the techs can repair/replace). Whereas large spider cracks, etc. would not be covered in store.
Can someone fix their phone themself? Yes, the parts are available to order from places online. How many people actually are confident enough to open their phone (voiding any warranty that may be left) and replace a broken screen or re-solder a connection? I'd say an extremely small minority in comparison to the number of people who would just rather take it in to the store drop it off while running errands and then pick it back up after it is fixed. I do computer repair and I wouldn't be confident enough to do much major work on my phone. Maybe replace the screen or something, but beyond that, no way.
EDIT: I forgot about the newly launched Total Equipment Protection App as well. Currently it is available for the Android and Blackberry devices, it is planned to come to most Sprint phones as well. It will allow you to back up your contacts to the TEP servers and manage them online. It will allow you to find your phone if you lose it, and also to have it leave a "breadcrumb" on a set schedule so even if it is off you can see the last 5 locations it checked in at. It allows you to sound an alarm if you lose it to help you find it, even if it is on silent or vibrate. It will also allow you to lock the phone or wipe it remotely as well if you lose it. While some of these features are available on Android and Blackberry already (like contact sync) it is a single app that does it all and is cross-platform in case you switch from one type of device to another.