iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus insurance: AppleCare+ vs Other warranties

Broken iPhone with smashed screenIf you are planning on purchasing the new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s Plus, you may want to consider adding one of the various insurance options available to protect your device By default, all new iPhones include a one-year limited warranty that covers defects in the phone. For a small fee, you can expand this warranty to two or three years and even add on accidental damage coverage. In this column, we will discuss of AppleCare+ and compare it with other warranty plans available. 

AppleCare+

AppleCare+ logo
For its iPhone and iPad models, Apple offers AppleCare+, which extends the warranty on the phone to two years, adds additional customer service options and covers accidental damage under certain conditions. You must purchase AppleCare+ within 60 days of purchasing the phone, and you may be required to bring the device in for inspection if you add the warranty after you purchased the device.

AppleCare+ will cost $129 if you are purchasing the warranty plan for an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, which is up from the $99 price tag for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. For that amount, Apple doubles your one-year limited warranty plan to two years from the original purchase date of the device. You also extend your complimentary phone support from 90 days to 2 years. Last but not least, you also receive two accidental claims that’ll replace your phone in case you crack the screen in a fall or damage the phone by dropping it in water. Each accidental damage incident claim includes a $99 service fee.

AppleCare+ requires you to bring the device into an Apple Retail store or send it in for repair or replacement. It does not cover lost or stolen devices. If you lose your phone on a lake and can’t retrieve it, then you are out of luck. AppleCare+ also will replace any defective or broken iPhone headphones, a defective Lightning cable or a battery that has been depleted by more than 50 percent within your warranty coverage period. If you jailbreak a device, Apple will not cover your device under the terms of AppleCare. If you require service, just restore your device to factory settings before bringing it in for service.

AppleCare+ applies internationally and is transferrable, so you can sell your iPhone or give it away and the plan goes along with the device. You also can cancel the plan at any time and receive a pro-rated refund.

AppleCare+ Website

SquareTrade

SquareTrade iPhone 6

Third-party warrantor SquareTrade offers an affordable iPhone protection plan that you should consider as an alternative to AppleCare+. The SquareTrade plans provide three years of coverage for $129, two years for $99 or $8 per month on a pay as you go plan. The warranty extends the manufacturer warranty as well as provides up to three accidental damage claims with a $75 deductible.

SquareTrade is less expensive than AppleCare+, but it is not as convenient as AppleCare+. To receive service with SquareTrade, you can send your phone in to be fixed after you’ve paid the deductible. This is the easiest option, but you will be without your phone for several days. You also can go to the Apple Genius bar or a third-party repair shop to have your phone fixed and SquareTrade will reimburse you for the repairs. Reimbursable repairs include a cracked screen, camera failure, battery failure, liquid damage, charging port failure, touchscreen malfunction, headphone jack problems and others. Similar to AppleCare+, SquareTrade does not cover the loss or theft of devices.

SquareTrade Website

Carrier Warranties

Verizon-logo
Most carriers offer a warranty service that you can add onto your monthly wireless bill. Most of these plans cover manufacturer defects as well as accidental damage. They also include a deductible. Unlike AppleCare and SquareTrade, these policies over theft and loss, providing you extra protection in case you no longer have your phone. They may be more expensive than other warranty options, but some people prefer paying a bit more for this loss/theft protection.

Pricing varies between carriers, so you will have to check with your provider for detailed information. For example, AT&T offers its Mobile insurance on most phones for $6.99 per month with a deductible that decreases over time. A claim within 6 months of purchase will cost $199 while a claim within 6-12 months is $149 and claims after 12 months require a $99 deductible. You are eligible for two claims in any 12-month period.

Retailer Warranties

Best Buy logo
Retailers also offer warranty service using third-party companies that’ll repair your phone after you send it to them. Best Buy, for example, offers a warranty on smartphones that costs $7.99 a month or $159.99 for two years. There is a limit of three claims with a service fee that varies based on the price of your device ($149.99 for phones under $799; $199 for phones over $799). Out of all the available insurance options, retailer warranties are the most expensive.

Credit Card Warranties

Credit Card Visa

If you own a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or other credit card, you should check the terms of your card to see if they offer any form of insurance when you use the card to purchase a device. Plans will vary, but you may be eligible for insurance at a rate that is much lower than competing services.

Conclusion

Purchasing a warranty is useful, but not a necessity. It all depends on how much you want to spend, how well you take care of your iPhone and what retailers or stores in your area. If you opt not purchase a warranty, then you should invest in a durable case and screen protector to protect your phone from a casual drop or water damage. Is your current iPhone covered by a warranty plan? Do you plan adding one when your purchase your next phone? Let us know in the comments.

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