Oh, I would not be so quick to assume that. I have had verizon replace phones that were past warranty, replace due to damage that I was admittedly responsible for but they felt shouldn't have happened, cracked screen because started as a tiny scratch and grew. I think depending on the circumstance, if you are honest and if they believe the phone should have been able to withstand it, then they may replace it. I always ask them first, am always honest and am quite often surprised what they will do.
I should add that I am never rude, never demanding and always appreciative. It is worth a try. The worst that can happen is they won't cover it and you use your insurance.