Awareness, common sense, a durable case and a screen protector can prevent most accidents and help you protect your phone. For the rest, there's insurance for your device.

Today's smartphones are built to withstand the normal jostling of modern life. But few of them can withstand a thorough puddle dunking or being used as a chew toy by your German shepherd.

People have discovered remarkable ways to inadvertently scratch, crack, drown, melt or otherwise damage their phones. But better awareness can help you avoid most accidents, and common-sense protective measures can often minimize harm when they do occur.

Tips on how to protect your phone

1.  Know where your phone is and what hazards may be lurking nearby. Can a curious child or pet reach it on the table? Did you remember to retrieve it from the roof of your car where you set it while wrestling with groceries?

2. Don't take crazy chances. Warming your hands over a campfire invites disaster if you insist on holding your phone while you do! Same thing with holding your phone way, way out there as you snap a picture at the rim of the Grand Canyon.   

3. Be cautious in the bathroom. From setting your phone on a wet vanity to dropping it in the bathtub or toilet, the risks are obvious. And avoidable. It might be best to just keep your phone out of the bathroom entirely.

4. Watch out for those pockets. Don't put keys and coins in the same pocket as an unprotected phone or you'll wind up with a scratched screen. If your phone is in your back pocket, be careful not to sit on it. Check your pockets before you do laundry to avoid inadvertently washing your phone. And when you slide your phone into your pocket., look to make sure that's what you're really doing - and not "sliding" it to the floor.

5. Buy a screen protector. This is an adhesive film you apply on your phone screen to protect it from scratches.

6. Get a case for your phone and use it. Cases come in many styles, thicknesses and materials, offering varying degrees of protection if dropped or exposed to weather. The more active you are, the more rugged a case you should consider. If you're really rough on your phone, check out the OtterBox Defender Series Case. It'll wrap your device in three layers of protection, including covering your screen.

Backup plan: insurance for your phone

To take the worry out of damaging your expensive new device, sign up for Total Mobile Protection within 30 days of your purchase. Total Mobile Protection includes coverage for loss, theft, accidental damage and post-warranty defects, premium technical support and Verizon Support and Protection. If you need to make a claim, you can get a replacement device to your door within two days.

Protect your phone using these common-sense tips and be ready for unexpected incidents with insurance for your phone.

The above content is provided for information purposes only. All information included therein is subject to change without notice. Verizon is not responsible for any direct or indirect damages, arising from or related to use of or reliance on the above content.