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"Effective July 17, 2011, the Apple iPhone (all models) will be eligible for coverage with the AT&T Mobile Insurance program (formerly Wireless Phone Insurance)," the company said. "Enrollment restrictions apply. Customers can only enroll within 30 days of a new activation or upgrade, prior activations or upgrades outside of 30 days are not eligible."
AT&T's Mobile Insurance program carries a $4.99 a month premium and covers loss, theft, accidental damage and mechanical or electrical failure after the manufacturer's warranty period has expired. The plan's deductible runs $50 or $125 per approved claim, depending on the device, and only two claims are allowed within any consecutive 12 months.
As Apple's original carrier partner for the iPhone in 2007, AT&T chose not to offer wireless insurance on the device. In 2010, AT&T added a separate insurance option for iPhone customers, though the plan was nearly twice as expensive as third-party warranties.
Rival carrier Verizon Wireless, which began carrying the iPhone 4 in February, also offers insurance for the iPhone, though the handset's plan is more expensive than those of other devices. The company's Total Equipment Coverage for the iPhone costs $10.99 a month per device, with a $169 deductible for the 16GB model and $199 for the 32GB model. Standard wireless insurance from Verizon costs $6.99 a month for non-iPhone devices, with competing smartphones from HTC, Motorola and Research in Motion carrying a cheaper $99 deductible.