Should I Buy Insurance for Nice Sunglasses?

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If you’ve gone on vacation in a sunny place, you drive often when the sun is rising or setting or you spend a lot of time outside watching your kid’s Little League baseball game, perhaps you’ve purchased a pair of sunglasses from a premium brand.

Is there a worse feeling than the crunch when you accidentally sit on them after leaving them on your seat in the car? Or that sinking feeling when you’re out on a boat and they plop into the water? How about when you leave them in a hotel room in another country?

A few of those incidents may have you considering insurance for your sunglasses … or at least looking for a cheaper brand.

That’s what a listener of the Clark Howard Podcast recently asked.

Do I Need Insurance for Sunglasses?

It’s easy to shell out hundreds of dollars for a pair of nice sunglasses. But is it worth it? And is there anything you can do to protect your investment?

That’s what a listener wondered on the Dec. 13 podcast episode.

Asked Robert in Florida: “Is there any insurance for sunglasses for being lost, stolen or damaged and would you recommend it? My wife is on her third pair of Ray-Bans. What brand or website would you recommend if I don’t want to pay a ridiculous price for stylish glasses of better quality?”

The look on Clark’s face during the podcast seemed uncomfortable as he mulled over spending that much money on sunglasses.

“We need to have a conversation here, Robert. In my TV work, we hired a lab to test sunglesses below $25 that were stylish. And every single one tested perfectly for protecting your eyes,” Clark says. “Several that our shoppers [considered stylish] were around $10.

“So my first, best defense is step away from Ray-Bans or other brand names.”

Protecting Your Sunglasses Purchase With a Credit Card

Clark did offer another solution. Check your wallet. Many credit cards offer purchase protection as an added benefit.

You’ll get protection for a period of time from loss or theft. And then you get longer protection from damage with these credit cards,” Clark says.

“If you use a card that has built-in protections, just by using the card, you will have some semblance of insurance on the purchase of sunglasses. But again, the best protection of all is to buy cheaper sunglasses.”


You may not realize that your credit card offers this benefit. There’s a good chance your American Express or Chase card may offer purchase protection. Visa and MasterCard both operate card brands that offer purchase protection as well, Clark says.

Final Thoughts

Clark may or may not be a ZZ Top fan (see the lyrics for “Cheap Sunglasses”). But his message is similar.

Clark thinks paying for premium-brand sunglasses is a waste of money. You can protect your eyes from the sun with a much less expensive pair. Plus, he says, there are plenty of stylish off-brand sunglasses.

However, if you decide to buy an expensive brand name, a credit card that offers purchase protection should give you all the insurance you need.

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