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Is extended warranty coverage for your phone worth it?

phone with cracked screen

You could argue that it depends on the value you're getting from an extended warranty plan. Not all warranties are the same, so it’s important to do your research to compare your options before choosing the extended warranty coverage that suits your needs. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about phone warranties to help you make a decision.

Is the manufacturer warranty for your phone enough?

Probably not, unless you leave your phone charging on your desk all day and never take it out into the real world. A manufacturer warranty comes free with a new phone, but it will only cover hardware or electrical failures that are due to faults in manufacturing. Beyond that, you're on your own to repair or replace your device if it gets damaged. There are ways you can extend the life of your phone, but accidents are bound to happen that require outside assistance.

An extended warranty, or product protection plan, is an affordable way to guarantee you'll have options to help with repairs if the damage is not covered by the manufacturer warranty. Extended warranty coverage can also extend the length of the manufacturer warranty, in addition to coverage accidental damage issues like drops, breaks or cracks within the extended warranty period. You can even add an extended warranty after your phone purchase if you're within the required timeframe.

What does a manufacturer warranty cover?

As far as phone warranties go, some common defects that might be covered by a manufacturer warranty include:

  • The battery fails to hold a charge
  • The phone arrives with pixel damage or other damage to the screen
  • The screen turns green
  • The phone overheats and shuts off

How does an extended warranty work?

Let's assume your phone came with a 1-year manufacturer warranty. Lucky for you, nothing happened during that first year. You're going into year two of owning that phone and your battery decides it will no longer hold a charge, rendering your phone useless. It's just over a year old Not to worry, you made a smart decision and purchased an extended warranty through Mulberry. You can easily file your claim online through your Mulberry dashboard by answering basic questions about how the accident occurred and attaching pictures of the damage. You will not need to pay any deductibles or fees for repairs. That's right, no fees. No deductibles.

Remember how we said not all extended warranty coverage is created equal? If you're looking for the best extended warranty option, deductibles and fees are one of the key elements to pay attention to when comparing plans. If you're familiar with AppleCare+, you probably know that you'll be required to pay various fees and deductibles depending on the device and the damage that occurred. With a comparable MulberryCare plan, you'll pay no deductibles and no fees. If it sounds too good to be true, check out this comparison.

This guide on what a warranty covers provides more detailed information on various types of warranties.

Does a manufacturer warranty cover accidental damage?

A standard phone manufacturer warranty does not cover accidental damage. That means if you damage the phone yourself, any repair or replacement costs will not be covered by the manufacturer and you'll have to pay out-of-pocket. 

A manufacturer warranty also does not cover damage from unauthorized modifications. In other words, if you decide to crack open the phone yourself to fix or change something internally, it will void the manufacturer’s warranty.

If you do want to protect your phone against breaks, drops, and damage, you will need to get a product protection plan or extended warranty plan on your phone.

How long does a manufacturer warranty last?

The length of a manufacturer warranty for your phone depends on the manufacturer or seller. For example:

  • Apple iPhone warranties last 1 year
  • Samsung phone warranties last 2 years
  • Google Pixel phone warranties last 1 year
  • Refurbished certified phones from AT&T come with a 90-day warranty

Another benefit to extended warranty coverage is that you can choose the length of coverage when you purchase the plan. Some warranty providers may only offer one option for an extended warranty length, while others give you several plan length options. You may find you get a better value with a longer-term plan, like a 3- or 5-year plan. If you keep your phone until it dies, a longer-term plan may make sense for you. If you usually upgrade your phone every 2 years, you may find a 2-year plan suits your needs. Shop around before you buy to see what term-lengths are available, and what makes the most sense for you.

What are the most common phone damages?

There are umpteen, random ways you can break your phone. Here are some of the most common accidents that cause damage to smartphones, according to frequency of google searches:

  • Water damage, resulting in waterlogged screen or damaged battery
  • Dropping or sitting on a phone, resulting in a cracked screen
  • Freezing or overheating due to extreme temperatures
  • Damaged phone speaker from moisture, dirt, or sand

How do you know if your phone is under warranty?

You will need to check the details of your individual warranty agreement to know if your phone is still under warranty. There are some easy ways to find that information.

If you have a warranty through your phone provider or the store you bought it at, look for product documentation from your time of purchase. The phone owner’s manual will likely have the manufacturer warranty information. The purchase receipt or order confirmation email may have information about any extended warranty coverage you purchased, including the date it began, who the provider is, and how to file a claim.

If you have an extended warranty through Mulberry, go to your Mulberry customer dashboard or follow the link in your email after purchase to access your dashboard. You can log in at any time to see the coverage details and plan length for your specific policy.

Which phone warranty should you get?

Your phone warranty options will depend on what phone you buy. Pro tip: you can get MulberryCare for any of your devices! However, there are many warranty providers that limit what devices and carriers they'll cover. Samsung Care+ is only available for Samsung phones, and AT&T warranty is only available for AT&T provider users. We created this guide with side-by-side comparisons to help you determine the best electronics warranty for different electronics. For more information information on some of the most popular phone warranty plans, check out the links below:

 

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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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