My iPhone Got Stolen: Here’s How I Replaced it for Free

Losing your iPhone sucks. What’s even worse is when you have to pay for a new one. There’s a way you can protect yourself from this misfortune – for free. Here’s how I got $600 for my stolen iPhone.

Help! I’m a Victim!

We all know the pat-pat-panic.

You suddenly realize you no longer feel the familiar pressure of a phone in your pocket. After a bout of frantic thigh-slapping, you realize it’s just in the other pocket. Your heart stops threatening cardiac arrest, and panic is replaced by a flood of relief.

I’ve been there many times. Only, the last time it happened, that relief never came.

My very first music festival, Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama, was more exciting than I could’ve ever imagined. And while there were tons of highlights to the trip, one thing threatened to taint it all.

There I was in the front row, a crazed jumping figure completely engrossed in Dillon Francis‘ closing set. When all of a sudden, I realized something was missing from my arguably too short swim trunks. My iPhone was gone.iphone red

I scoured the crowd, dodging stamping feet, and dug through the sand in search of the year-and-a-half-old iPhone. But alas, the festival demanded a tithe, and I had just unwittingly paid it.

The next morning, as I mourned the loss of my flawless beach candids, I remembered a little something I had read while skimming my credit card statement.

I think this card came with phone insurance.

Sure enough, my phone was replaced for free, and I finally got that flood of relief.

I got a new iPhone 7 Plus (limited edition red, mind you) the next day, and received a check to cover the cost a week later.

Here’s how I did it.

How to Get Free Phone Insurance

Signing up for phone insurance through your service provider is how most people prevent this problem. But for those of us who don’t like extraneous monthly charges, there has to be another way.

Enter: Wells Fargo Cellular Telephone Protection.

For an affordable sum of $0 per month, you get this invaluable cardmember perk by simply paying your monthly phone bill with your Wells Fargo Credit Card.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Credit cards are SO BAD. Well, anything is bad if you don’t know how to use it properly. It’s benefits like these that don’t get enough press.

To make sure you’re covered in the event of cell phone theft or damage, follow these steps:

  1. Apply for a Wells Fargo credit card.
  2. Pay your wireless bill with your WF credit card.

What to Do if You Lose Your Phone

Getting covered is easy, right? Let’s hope you don’t have to use it. But if you do, here’s how to cash it in:

  1. If your phone has been stolen, get a police report. It only takes a few minutes, and you’ve got to have one to get your moola.
  2. Call  866-804-4770 to have a WF claims form emailed to you.
  3. Complete the form, and send over any documents they ask for.
  4. Get that $$$

My experience was with theft. However, the process isn’t much different for a damaged phone. You may be asked to send the phone in if it can’t be repaired at the Apple Store. The company will send you either the amount it costs to fix the phone or up to $600 for a replacement.

Bonus tip: The WF deductible is just $25. I’ve seen other (paid) insurance plans charge as much as $120. Thanks but no thanks.

One Important Thing

This is probably the best phone insurance plan out there. But it does come with one caveat – lost phones don’t count. So, don’t turn careless just because you have WF on your side. This safety net will only catch you in the event of damage or theft.

Phew, That’s Over

Wells Fargo turned my trip from a near tragedy to a blessing in disguise. Check out this plan for yourself and decide if you want to be protected.



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