Protecting your electronic items from water, cracks, and other damage

CLEVELAND - How many times have you dropped your phone and hoped it wasn't broken? As we carry around more expensive devices, protection plans may be an option to consider. We look at whether it's worth the money.

We take our electronics everywhere: on vacation, to the kitchen, even to the bathroom. Make one mistake and your gadget is waterlogged or damaged in a second.

"It was on my lap. I was getting out of the car. It hit the ground. It cracked," Brandon Repp said of his phone. Luckily, Repp had a protection plan through Best Buy and got a replacement phone.

"It's better than what you get through the carriers," Repp explained.

For years, consumers have been advised against buying an extended warranty. So, are these protection plans different?

"My children have broken every iPad I have ever brought into the house, and I've had every single one replaced under accidental damage protection," Kent State Information Technology Manager Christopher Bues said.

Bues looks for plans that offer accidental damage protection like SquareTrade, an online company that sells protection plans. For a tablet or eReader valued at up to $500, the plan costs about $100.

Best Buy's plans vary based on the price of the tablet, but they're comparable.

"A lot of times they have coupons where you can save up to 30-percent off on the warranty," Bues said.

There are other electronic protection options like canopy and Apple care. Always be sure to read the fine print and be aware of deductibles.

If you don't want to buy a plan, consider buying a cover or case. For less than $50, you get another layer of protection for your electronic device.

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