Sprint customers who opted against device insurance and are now regretting their decision have a small window of opportunity to right their wrongs: during the month of March, Sprint is offering open enrollment for device protection, regardless of when the device was purchased. This might be especially useful if you are one of the unlucky owners of an HTC EVO 4G LTE who is having trouble with GPS, LTE reception, or any of the other multitude of problems that users have been reporting and Sprint has been ignoring. Simply enroll, pay your deductible, and file a claim for a new phone. (Hopefully you won’t get another EVO with the same bugs!)

For most people, though, I don’t recommend this, especially since the price of device protection went up last year. The Total Equipment Protection Plan will cost you $11/month, or $264 over a 2-year contract. If you enroll for the less-expensive Equipment Replacement Program, you’ll still pay $9/month, or a total of $216. If you never need to use the insurance, you just wasted that cash, which you could have been putting aside for a new smartphone purchase instead.

If you do need to use the insurance, it will still cost you $150-$200 per claim, depending on your device (it’s $150 for the EVO 4G LTE). There’s also a maximum of three claims that you can file.

Since it’s much cheaper to save up your own money and buy used replacement devices on eBay or Craigslist, I’d recommend against this option from Spring – unless you can specifically prove to yourself that it’s a good deal in your particular case, in which case I say, “Go for it!” To sign up, just sign into your account online and look at your special offers.

[Sprint]