Is your phone on the fritz? Mobile devices are such an integral part of modern life that going without one can feel like the dark ages, so getting your phone functioning again is a top priority. Whether your phone landed in the bathtub or on the sidewalk, read on to learn how to deal with a broken phone and prevent the damage from happening again.

Try a DIY Repair

Before you drop your cash at a repair shop, take a shot at fixing your own phone. A wet phone can be revived if immediately placed in a bowl of uncooked rice and left to dry for 24 hours. If your screen or camera breaks, consider purchasing a repair kit to replace it yourself. You can often resolve software problems by simply rebooting the phone. Is your phone under warranty? Contact the manufacturer first to make sure your at-home repair won’t void it.

Consult a Professional

If you lack confidence in your DIY skills or the problem requires materials you don’t have access to, take your busted phone to a cell phone repair shop. Many shops will give you a free quote so you can decide whether the fix is worth it or not. This is also the best option for replacing a cracked screen. Did you buy your phone from a major company like Apple or Microsoft? Many manufacturers have their own repair shops or provide repairs if you mail in your device.

Use Your Insurance

Those extra pennies on your phone bill aren’t for nothing. If your plan includes device insurance, take advantage of it when your phone fails. Depending on your policy, you may be able to get a free repair or have your phone replaced with a new or refurbished device. Insurance is also a great way to protect your phone, so consider adding a policy if you don’t have one already. Whatever you decide to do, checking what your options are ahead of time can help prevent panic if your phone breaks and you are hit with a sudden expense.

Avert Disaster

Whether you had your phone repaired or replaced, protecting your device is important to avoid the hassle and expense of future repairs. Keep your phone’s screen, camera and internal components safe with a durable case. A glass screen protector adds extra security while reducing smudges and fingerprints. Use a waterproof case to prevent mishaps in the bathtub or at the beach. You can avoid software failures by using only verified apps.

Remember, it’s a good idea to have a backup if your phone is very important. Consider using a carrier that allows you to swap your SIM card from one device to another so your boss, kids or elderly family members can always reach you. If you are prepared, you will likely prevent most damage to your phone, but if you ever need repairs, knowing where to go and what to do can be a great benefit. Keep some of these tips in mind as you buy a new phone or deck out the one you have.