Today’s smart phones are expensive, which is why it might be tempting to buy an added protection plan. It covers you in the event the phone is lost, stolen or damaged. The major cell providers sell protection plans for a monthly fee. Beware. If you remove the SIM (subscriber identity module) card from your phone, the extra warranty is removed with it.

“I learned the truth; it’s not covered for the phone. It’s covered for the SIM card,” Wi Deng told CTV News after filing a claim for her stolen iPhone 6S.

“Your warranty travels with your mobile number, not the device,” said Lisa Rossington, public affairs manager for Rogers.

Deng says neither the Best Buy representative who upgraded her phone, nor Rogers’ customer service representatives clearly understood how the extra warranty worked. She says she was led to believe the added protection applied to the phone.

She says she only learned after she logged onto her Rogers account that the protection plan was tied to the phone number, but even then it wasn’t clear that if she used a different SIM card the protection plan wouldn’t apply.

Deng has five mobile phones on her Rogers account and when she upgraded one of them to the new iPhone 6S, she used a SIM card from one of her other phones because she wanted to use a different number.

The terms and conditions on Rogers’ website were not easy to find and the legal language about how the plan covered equipment was confusing.

Rogers agreed.

“We feel we should, and will, and did honour the warranty because there was a lack of clarity,” Rossington told CTV News.

Deng got a new iPhone 6S to replaced her stolen phone.

Rogers is looking at revamping its website to better explain how the protection plan works and is also is reviewing the terms with its partners, who sell the Rogers Protection Plan, so they can properly explain it to customers.

However, it’s not just Rogers. TELUS and Bell Mobility, which shares a parent company with CTV News, also offer protection plans and those plans are also linked to the phone number –SIM card. Bottom line, if you buy the protection plan, use the SIM card that goes with it and if you change the SIM card remember to transfer the warranty to the different number. That’s what Deng should have done.

-Update-  After the airing of our story, TELUS advised at the beginning of 2016 it stopped selling the protection plan that travels with the SIM card but are still honoring the plan for customers who purchased it.  Instead, the company tells us it's offering an extended warranty service plan that is based on the phone and not the number.