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AppleCare+ Warranty: What Does It Cover, and Is It Worth the Cost?

Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Airpods, and Apple Watch on a bright background

If you’re making a new Apple purchase and evaluating your protection plan options, you’ve probably seen AppleCare and AppleCare+. What are the warranty options, what do they cover, and are they worth the extra cost? We’ll take a look at everything you need to know.

AppleCare+ vs. AppleCare: What’s the difference?

Apple has several types of warranties

AppleCare

AppleCare is Apple’s standard limited product warranty. It automatically comes with all new product purchases. For most Apple products, AppleCare includes 90 days of technical support on chat or phone and one year of coverage on hardware failure. That means a product defect that results in the hardware malfunctioning will be covered by Apple for the first year after a purchase.

AppleCare+

AppleCare+ is Apple’s extended product warranty. It is an option that you can purchase at an additional cost from Apple or most authorized sellers. AppleCare+ plans last between 2-3 years depending on the product type, and they start on the day of product purchase. It overlaps with AppleCare standard coverage for a year. However, it provides additional coverage, including screen breaks, accidental hardware damage, and battery replacement. It also provides access to priority customer support 24/7. 

AppleCare+ plans come with limits on the number of claims you can file during the plan. You can file a total of two claims during a 12-month period. When you file a damage claim, you need to pay an additional deductible or service fee. You can get your product repaired or replaced through mail-in or in-store options.

AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss

Theft and Loss coverage is an extra cost option only available for iPhones. It costs an additional $70 onto the AppleCare+ cost, and you pay $50 more for Theft and Loss claim deductibles. It offers the same length and coverage as AppleCare+, but also includes replacement options if your iPhone is stolen or lost. 

The claim limit of two claims per 12-month period remains the same with a plan that includes theft and loss - so if you break your screen twice and then lose your device in the same year, your loss and theft coverage won’t be valid. Having a Theft and Loss claim requires you to have Find My iPhone enabled on your device during the time that it’s lost or stolen and throughout the claims process so Apple can validate your claim. 

Products you can get covered with AppleCare+

Apple covers its full range of products under AppleCare+ plans. Here are the details of what AppleCare+ plans look like for each product type.

iPhone

  • Coverage length: 2 years from purchase date, or longer with monthly plan
  • Cost of plan + 2 damage claims for iPhone 13: $257-$397 depending on damage type
  • Claim limits: 2 damage claims every 12 months
  • Deductibles and fees: $29 for screen damage, $99 for accidental damage, $149 for theft or loss

Mac

  • Coverage length: 3 years from purchase date
  • Cost of plan + 2 damage claims: $477-$877 depending on damage type
  • Claim limits: 2 damage claims every 12 months
  • Deductibles and fees: $99 for screen damage, $299 for other damage

Earphones (Including all Beats headphones and AirPods)

  • Coverage length: 2 years from purchase date
  • Cost of plan + 2 damage claims for Beats: $87
  • Claim limits: 2 damage claims every 12 months
  • Deductibles and fees: $29 for accident damage

iPad

  • Coverage length: 2 years from purchase date
  • Cost of plan + 2 damage claims: $167
  • Claim limits: 2 damage claims every 12 months
  • Deductibles and fees: $49 for accident damage

Apple TV

  • Coverage length: 3 years from purchase date
  • Cost of plan + 2 damage claims: $59
  • Claim limits: 2 damage claims every 12 months
  • Deductibles and fees: $15 for accident damage

Apple Watch

  • Coverage length: 2-3 years from purchase date, depending on model
  • Cost of plan + 2 damage claims: $217-$307 depending on model
  • Claim limits: 2 damage claims every 12 months
  • Deductibles and fees: $69-$79 for accident damage, depending on model

What are my other options besides AppleCare+?

If you choose not to spring for the extra cost of AppleCare+, you’re not doomed to be stuck with a broken phone screen or other damage forever. Here are options other Apple users choose:

Pay for your own repairs

This option allows you to only pay for damage when it occurs, rather than an upfront plan cost. 

You can choose to get a repair through an authorized Apple repair service and pay out-of-pocket. This is more expensive than the plan, but depending on the claim and number of claims, it might not cost that much more. The cost of individual repairs depends on the damage type and the model. To give you a sense, Apple has published some of the costs for out-of-pocket repairs, including a cost chart for iPhone screens

You can also find a third party repair service to fix your damaged product. This comes at a much lower cost than going through an Apple service. But not going through a company does come with risks. Many contract phone repair technicians require the customer to take on the liability—if a mistake is made during the repair that results in a phone problem, the customer is left with it.

Get a quality extended warranty from a different provider

You’re not stuck with getting the warranty option provided at checkout. If you want other protection plan coverage options, there are many providers who you can purchase a plan from individually. Just like Apple, they have an expert repair network that handles Apple device repairs regularly and knows the systems and hardware, and they handle the liability. 

An advantage to these options is that they have different coverage details than AppleCare+. With other electronics warranty providers, you can often get:

  • Longer or shorter plan durations
  • Different deductible costs (or no deductible costs)
  • Different claim limits (or no claim limits)

For example, let’s look at the details for an iPhone 13 for AppleCare+ alongside options from other providers: Best Buy, Squaretrade by Allstate, and MulberryCare.

You can see coverage details from more providers and products on our electronics extended warranty comparison post.

 

AppleCare+

Best Buy

Squaretrade

MulberryCare

Cost 1-yr plan

N/A

$199.99, through membership with TotalTech

$107.88, through monthly plan

FREE

(value of $53.99)

Cost 2-yr plan

$199.99

Or monthly for total of $239.76

$399.98, total for 2 yr membership

$215.76

$78.99

Claim limits

YES

Up to 2 claims in 12 months

YES

Up to 2 claims in 12 months

YES

Up to 4 claims per plan

NONE

Deductible

YES

29 for screens, 99 for other

YES

99 service fees with each claim

YES

149 for all claims

NONE

Is AppleCare+ worth the cost?

Whether AppleCare+ is worth the expense depends on the product you have, the plan cost, and whether you file a claim (or more than one) while you have the plan. If you damage your Apple product and have AppleCare+, the cost of the plan and the deductible will be less than paying for a repair from Apple or a new device on your own. 

However, the plans are not inexpensive. If you don’t end up filing a claim or using the AppleCare+ services during your plan length, it’s a hefty cost without much benefit. Even if you do end up filing a claim, depending on the product and type of damage, the deductibles and fees also add a substantial cost. 

With other options available to you, including less expensive plans from other warranty providers that also offer expert Apple coverage, it’s important to do your research before making a decision. If you want to see what the protection plan costs of different Apple products are with MulberryCare, download the Mulberry browser extension. It allows you to instantly see and add protection plan options wherever you shop online. 

Happy woman customer and child, with text about 12 months of free product protection

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Janessa McQuivey

About the author

Janessa McQuivey is the Content Marketing Manager at Mulberry. Her degree in Human Development fueled a love of understanding customer experience. She has been in research and writing for 3 years and has covered everything from AI technology to her own dating life. Janessa has published across blogs, newspapers, and academic journals.

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