Is it safe to go without the BM-9 cover? That'd depends on how hard you are on gear. Probably. The fact Nikon supplied your wife's camera with a cover seems to point that way. Truthfully though, I'm in total agreement that the plastic cover Nikon supplies is close to useless. They scratch, collect dirt and as you know first hand -- fall off. There are instead, hard glass covers that will protect not only the LCD screen on the back, but the smaller one top right. As one Nikonian suggested, the Giottos screen is superb. They run $30-40. I have used the GGS-brand glass cover on both of my D700 bodies and am very happy with them. They run I the $8 range. I won't compare the two brands, but I am satisfied with the GGS screen covers. I will order the version for my D800 this weekend. There are specific models for each camera -- size is important.