updated 10:06 pm EST, Wed January 16, 2013
Total Equipment Protection has deductibles, but supplants AppleCare+
After initially deciding not to offer its "Total Equipment Protection" insurance option to iPhone users, Sprint has apparently changed the policy and will begin offering the option starting on January 25, according to a screenshot posted on Engadget. The TEP plan is similar in nature to Apple's own AppleCare+, which expanded AppleCare (at an additional cost) to also cover instances of user-inflicted damage or loss on an iPhone or iPad.
Under AppleCare+, users pay $99 for an iPhone policy, which gives them all the benefits of standard AppleCare (phone support, defect protection) as well as up to two incidents of user-caused damage which will result in the repair or replacement of the unit for a flat fee of $49 per incident. The policy must be bought within 30 days of buying the iPhone.
Sprint's TEP plan differs in that it charges no up-front fee, but instead levies an $11 monthly charge on the user's bill. Users can make claims on more incidents than Apple's limit of two, but deductibles exist in the Sprint plan ranging from $150 to $200 per incident, making the plan considerably more expensive overall, even if the user never makes a claim. Still, the program might prove a better option for those with company-provided phones (where the company would pay the monthly premium), a wish to avoid any up-front fees, or those who tend to have a lot of incidents with mobile equipment.