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What is a Protection Plan?

What is a product protection plan?

Product protection plans go by many names: product service plans, extended service contracts, extended warranties, and more.

No matter what they’re called, they all refer to the same type of offering: a service plan that provides consumers with product coverage beyond the standard manufacturer's warranty.

What does a manufacturer warranty cover?

A manufacturer's warranty provides a guarantee that the manufacturer will cover product defects or other quality issues caused by the actual manufacturing of the product. These warranties typically have limitations, such as the timeframe and types of product issues covered, and requirements, such as registration upon purchase. A manufacturer's warranty does not usually cover cosmetic damages or malfunctions, as it is designed to ensure your product is functioning correctly. 

How does this compare to extended warranties or product protection plans?

Product protection plans typically offer coverage for unexpected product issues, including defects, malfunctions, and accidents, for time periods longer than standard manufacturer warranties. Accidental damage is a key element to look for when it comes to product protection, as many providers may simply offer an extension to the manufacturer's warranty. 

Unlike manufacturer warranties, product protection plans come at an additional cost that you'll pay on top of your purchase price. Retailers often partner with product protection companies in order to offer extended protection plans to customers when purchasing high value products like electronics, furniture, and cars. This is particularly helpful for taking care of costly repairs and replacements if an issue comes up.

How do I know what a product protection plan covers?

Specific coverage and fees can vary significantly between product protection plans, and the process for filing and handling claims can be pretty different (and often very cumbersome) depending on the company servicing your plan. If you can't find simple instructions as to how you'll file a claim and what it will cost you, steer clear of that provider. Before you purchase a protection plan, you should know exactly what it will cost, what the process is to submit your claim and how to track the status. 

At the very least you should know if there is a deductible you'll be required to pay when you file a claim, and if there are any additional fees you'll be charged based on the type of incident, specific product damage, etc. For example, you may not realize that AppleCare requires an additional deductible if you damage the screen of your device. Check out this article to learn how to calculate the cost of an extended warranty. 

Whether you’re considering purchasing a plan or have already purchased one, you should be able to access the plan’s terms and conditions to read all the details. But if you don’t want to comb through fine print, you can hopefully find coverage highlights during the checkout process or in a warranty customer dashboard. If you're a Mulberry customer, you can log into your customer dashboard to see all of your plans, coverage details, and claims status. You can also reach out to our customer service team right from your dashboard if you have any questions. If you can't find contact information to talk with a real, live customer service representative, that's another sign to look at other protection plan providers.

Product protection plans can offer significant coverage benefits to provide you the peace of mind that your products will last long term, especially when it comes to preparing for those messy, everyday accidents. If you'd like more information on how to determine if an extended warranty is worth it for your purchase, check out this article.

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Mulberry is on a mission to help consumers protect the things they buy while saving on everyday financial products. The Mulberry browser extension allows consumers to get free 1-year product protection plans wherever they shop online, plus savings on extended coverage and other financial products.

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