Maryland Negotiates Disclosure of Cell Phone Insurance Terms

April 7, 2008

Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced Friday an agreement with four wireless phone providers on disclosure of the costs of cell phone insurance.

Gansler said he wants to be sure consumers know what they are getting.

“While prior company materials contained all the terms of the police in the information provided to consumers, Attorney General Gansler strongly believed that Maryland consumers were not fully aware of the key terms,” the attorney general’s office said in a news release.

Consumers who buy the insurance pay a typical monthly premium of $4 or $5 and a deductible for a replacement if they lose their phone. The replacement may be a refurbished, rather than a new, phone.

Gansler said consumers might not buy the insurance if they understand the terms.

The carriers participating in the agreement to improve disclosure are AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless. Also participating is Asurion Protection Services, which provides cell phone insurance protection.

“Asurion’s brochures have always been reader friendly, with the key terms of insurance conspicuously disclosed in compliance with Maryland law,” said Lanny J. Davis, an attorney for the company and a former special counsel to President Bill Clinton.

Asurion President Chuck Laue said in a statement that “as part of Asurion’s commitment to ensuring our customers have all the information they need, we decided to work with the attorney general and the carriers to improve our brochures.”


On the Net:

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Office of Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler:

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