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AppleCare+ Warranty: What Does it Cover, and is it Worth the Cost?

If you’re making a new Apple purchase and evaluating your protection plan options, you’re probably familiar with AppleCare and AppleCare+. But what do these product protection plans really cover? Are you getting enough value based on what they cost? Read on to learn more about how product protection works, the types of warranties offered and how to pay less for the same coverage. 

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

Apple has several types of warranties. Keep in mind that your phone's manufacturer warranty generally doesn't cover accidental damage, so it's important to do your research and know what type of coverage you want. 

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 via 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 you can purchase at an additional cost from Apple or most authorized sellers. AppleCare+ plans last between 2-3 years depending on the product, 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'll have 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 another option (only available for iPhones) for an additional cost, on top of AppleCare+. This option offers the same length and coverage as AppleCare+, but also includes replacement options if your iPhone is lost or stolen. 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, so keep that in mind if you add this coverage option. It costs $70 to add theft and loss coverage to an AppleCare+ plan, and you'll have to pay an additional $50 deductible on a Theft and Loss claim. 

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 since you used your two claims on the broken screens. 

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

Are there product protection options besides AppleCare+?

Yes, and some may be far more affordable. If you choose not to spring for the extra cost of AppleCare+, you’re not doomed to be stuck with a cracked phone screen or broken microphone forever. Here are options other Apple users choose:

Option 1: 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. The cost of individual repairs depends on the damage type and the model. Apple has published some of the costs for out-of-pocket repairs, including a cost chart for iPhone screens to give you an idea of what it may cost if you don't have product protection.  

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 could be risky. Many contract phone repair technicians require the customer (you) to take on the liability—if a mistake is made during the repair that results in a phone problem, you're left to deal with it on your own.

Option 2: Get a quality extended warranty from a different provider

The warranty option provided during the checkout process isn't your only choice. If you feel like the warranty options offered by the retailer are expensive, or don't provide the coverage you need, there are many providers who you can purchase a plan from individually. Just like Apple, other warranty providers have an expert repair network that handles Apple device repairs regularly, knows the systems and hardware, and handles the liability. 

With other warranty providers, you can often get advantageous plans that provide better coverage:

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

Take a look at the comparison below - it provides details for iPhone 13 coverage through Apple, Best Buy, Squaretrade by Allstate, and Mulberry. 

Chart

 

If you shop around for coverage, you could end up with an equivalent plan, like MulberryCare, that has no claim limits and no deductible when you file a claim. Sometimes it pays to do a little research. Interested in coverage details from more providers? Check out this electronics extended warranty comparison.

Is AppleCare+ worth the cost?

Whether AppleCare+, or any extended warranty, is worth the cost depends on the product you have, the coverage details, and whether you file a claim(s) while you have the plan. With so many different options available, it's most important to do your research before making a decision. In addition to the cost of the plan, make sure you understand the service fees and deductibles. Some warranty plans can seem appealing, but with hidden fees and deductibles you could end up getting hit with some hefty charges when it comes time to file a claim.

If you want to test the waters with product protection before you commit to an extended warranty, download the Mulberry browser extension and get access to unlimited free 1-year product protection. You'll be able to see instantly when free MulberryCare is available while you're shopping, and you can compare extended plan options right in your cart.  

 

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Kim Miller

About the author

Kim Miller is the Head of Consumer Marketing at Mulberry. She is passionate about building products and brands that make consumers happy, save them money and make their lives easier. Have an innovative idea for Mulberry you'd like to share? Give her a shout! She'd love to chat about anything from fintech and UX to gardening and antiquing.

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