Top 5 New iPad Warranty and Insurance Options Compared

The new iPad 3rd Generation is on the way to home and stores across the country, which means it will soon be in your hands, where you’ll be able to drop it and break it.

The iPad isn’t a cheap gadget, and in drop tests the iPad doesn’t do so well. Even if you plan to use your iPad at home most of the time, you may want to invest in a warranty or insurance option.

(Read: New iPad Buyer’s Guide)

According to SquareTrade, the iPad 2 didn’t get sent in for bad parts, but the company did see, “skyrocketing rates of broken screens,” something we may see again with the iPad 3rd Generation.

New iPad 3rd Generation Warranty Options

Warranty Options:

Comparison
Questions

Conclusion

You can see how quickly the iPad’s screen cracks when dropped in the video below.

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If you have no warranty on your iPad, you may end up paying a third-party to replace your screen or buying a new iPad at full price.

Do I Need an iPad Warranty?

If you are purchasing the $499 iPad it may not make sense to buy a $100 warranty, as you’ve spent 20% of your purchase price. However if you opt for a 4G LTE 32Gb or 64GB iPad 3rd Generation model, a $100 warranty is only 12% of your purchase price.

If you plan to use your new iPad at home, in bed and will keep it in a highly protective case, you may not need a warranty as much as a frequent traveler or student.

Warranty vs. Insurance

It is important to know what each warranty or insurance option covers. Typically a warranty will not cover loss or theft, while insurance options can include coverage for lost or stolen iPads. Not every iPad insurance or warranty option has the same coverage, so keep that in mind before you buy.

AppleCare+  - $99

For $99 you can add AppleCare+ to your new iPad purchase. This enhanced Apple warranty includes hardware failures, battery failures and accidental damage for two years. You also get extended support over the phone and in your local store.

AppleCare+ iPad

If you drop your iPad or it gets wet, you will need to pay a $49 processing fee to get it replaced, and the plan covers 2 accidental damage claims. You must buy AppleCare+ within 30 days of purchasing your new iPad.

AppleCare+ does not cover lost or stolen iPads, so if you drop your iPad int he bottom of a lake, you better dive in after it.

Pay with Credit Card – Free

american expressIf you have a MasterCard, Visa or American Express with a warranty extension feature, paying for your iPad with a credit card is the smartest move. Call the number on the back of your credit card and ask it you have a warranty extension benefit, and ask for a copy of the plan. Most Platinum and Gold cards offer this service free of charge.

This free service gives you a second year of warranty coverage, during which the credit card company will pay for repairs, most often performed at your local Apple Store. You will need to keep your receipt and a copy of your billing statement showing the purchase to use this, so I suggest saving it in a safe place.

If you cancel your credit car, you lose this warranty, so keep that in mind before you clean your wallet out. If you don’t pay your credit card off before your next billing cycle this isn’t a free warranty, so keep that in mind.

SquareTrade – $89 for 2 Years

SquareTrade is one of the biggest names in aftermarket warranties. For $89 you can get a complete aftermarket iPad warranty option that includes accidental damage, like the drop you saw above. For $89 you can protect your new iPad from drops and warranty issues. Like most accidental warranty options, you will have to pay a $49 deductible if your iPad needs repaired.

Squaretrade new iPad warrranty

The SqaureTrade warranty is on sale for the New iPad Launch, with a regular price of $119 for 2 years. You must buy your SquareTrade Warranty within 30 days. SquareTrade promises fast turnaround times. If they can’t “provide a solution,” within 5 business days they pay for your warranty.

Worth Ave Group – $70 – $127 for 2 Years

Worth Ave Group provides insurance for your new iPad, or as they call it on the listing page, the iPad 3. Worth Ave Group covers a lot of different issues from drops all the way up to natural disasters and theft.

In order to offer this coverage, Worth Ave Group charges a different price depending on the iPad 3 model you have. The 16GB iPad 3 costs $70 to insure, while the 64GB 4G LTE iPad is $127 for two years.

iPad 3 insurance

The Worth Ave Group insurance covers accidental damage, fire, flood, theft and vandalism. There is a $50 deductible if you need to file a claim.

Protect Your Bubble $137 and up for 2 years

Bubble_SqueakProtect Your Bubble is a new gadget insurance company in the U.S., but has operated in the U.K. for many years. They offer iPad insurance for $9.99 a month or a one time fee of $137 and up for your iPad.

For this fee, you get loss and theft protection, water damage coverage, cracked screens and more. The downside is that you have a $75 deductible if you need to use the insurance, putting your total cost around $200.

Protect Your Bubble does offer discounts of 10% for each additional gadget you insure, so you can see extra savings if you insure your iPhone or smartphone with them. You must buy your Protect Your Bubble insurance plan within 90 days of buying your gadget.

iPad Warranty and Protection Options

If you want to compare your iPad warranty and iPad insurance options, this chart will help you figure out which one is the best value for you based on your coverage needs. It is very important to know what your warranty covers, and to see that in writing in the policy, not just told to you by a spokesperson or customer service rep.

iPad 3rd Gen Protection Plans 2 Year Price Deductible # of Claims Accidental? Loss/Theft Disaster
AppleCare+ $99 $49 2 Yes No No
Credit Card $0 $0 1 per purchase No No No
Protect Your Bubble $137 and Up $75 2 Yes Yes No
SquareTrade $89 $50 at least 2 repairs Yes No No
Worth Ave Group $127 $50 1 – Quoted Coverage Yes Yes Yes

Best Value

AppleCare+ and SquareTrade remain my two favorite warranty options. Neither covers loss or theft, but adding that type of coverage can greatly increase the cost of insurance.

At $89 SquareTrade is the best value for iPad insurance, covering everything from water damage to broken screens. AppleCare+ comes in a close second, with similar coverage and a $10 premium, but adds the ability to take your ipad to a local Apple Store if it breaks.

I really like the value you get for a $89 and $99 fee. If you’re worried about a broken screen or water damage, these two iPad warranties are my top picks.

While I am a huge fan of theft and loss coverage, the total cost of close to $200 (with a deductible on Protect Your Bubble) makes it a tough sell on the $499 iPad. If I was insuring a $829 iPad it might make more sense.

Did you buy an iPad warranty? If so, which one did you go with?

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Updated on 4/30/2012 to reflect new prices and plan options.

Comments

  1. Eric Weiner says

    I believe this info is somewhat incorrect:

    1. Applecare only has a deductible on damage replacement (twice for the life of the warranty). Otherwise, repairs have no deductible and no limit on the number of repair requests for the life of the warranty.
    2. Squaretrade now has a $49 deductible for ALL claims damage or otherwise.
    3. Squaretrades warranty is a deminishing value warranty where the cost of each claim is deducted from the coverage amount. Costly repairs can eliminate the warranty fast
    4. Plans that are insurance based typically do not extend the coverage for manufacturer defects
    5. Plans that are insurance based typically do not allow repeated claims during the life of the coverage

    • Daniel says

      Reading on squaretrade coverage details I found this on exclusion:
      Accidental damage: Unless Accidental Damage from Handling Protection is purchased, we don’t cover items that are accidentally damaged – such as water damage, dropped iPods, and cracked laptop screens.

      So?

    • Aaron Cooper says

      Eric,

      I am the Director of Marketing for Worth Ave. Group.
      Our insurance plans offer unlimited claims during the life of the policy. You are correct that we do not cover manufacturer defects, however all Apple products, including the iPad, come with a one year warranty included. This means that if you’re paying for a two year extended warranty, you’re really paying for one year of something you already have free with the product (save for the accidental damage aspect).

      Additionally, a warranty offers repairs only up to the value of the warranty purchased and only one replacement because the warranty is on the actual “device” whereas we offer unlimited replacements and repairs and our insurance is on the person rather than the device itself. When you have to replace your device you have to replace your warranty. You do not have to purchase additional insurance because you already have it.

      I hope this helps clear up any questions!

      –Aaron

      • Carmen says

        Hi, Eric, I’m planning to buy an iPad Insurance for myself and another for my son’s.
        I have some questions that are not clear in your site. You said that your plan offers unlimited claims, but I could not see this anywhere in your site. Another point that is not clear, is if your insurance will pay for a loss where I forgot the iPad somewhere and someone steals it. Second, how will I prove, if the device is ever stolen, if it’s just theft rather than robbery (I don’t see the culprit)?
        Finally, does your insurance cover the device for international travels?
        How can I clarify all these questions?

      • Renee Manning says

        Hi Aaron, I’m interested in getting coverage with Worth Ave. Group please email me. Thanks

  2. Starman_Andromeda says

    Nice write-up!

    Please amend the ST portion.  “get a complete aftermarket iPad warranty”  It’s not complete if it doesn’t cover theft!  Or, if one is a stickler (warranty vs. insurance), then at least add a comment there that it doesn’t apply to the burgled or absent-minded! (You did provide a comment in the summary section.) I had great service from ST on an iPhone 4 home button issue– just as Apple does, they send you a prepaid mailing box designed for the iPhone–and the turn around was just a few days! Amazing!

    As to the credit card, I’ve had great success.  IIRC, however, they sent me a check rather than posted a credit to my card.  In any event, it’s not clear why you say that if you don’t pay off your monthly bill, there’s a charge!  “If you don’t pay your credit card off before your next billing cycle this isn’t a free warranty, so keep that in mind.” 

    Hope you revise that or tweak that section, too!

    But, otherwise, very helpful and thorough.  Thanks!

    • Josh Smith says

      If you don’t pay it off and only pay the minimum, you’ll be paying for it in interest fees. Which is how they are able to offer the service. 

  3. Starman_Andromeda says

    Oh, and let’s hope that Worth Avenue is providing more than 2 months of coverage for $127!  :-)

    “64GB 4G LTE iPad is $127 for two months”

  4. majestic says

    I debated between SquareTrade and the Apple+.  I went with the AppleCare+ because it also offers support in that price.  That’s a big difference from the SquareTrade.  So if for some reason you ipad doesn’t work right or won’t sync, etc., you can call them up and they’ll help you with it.  Another reason I went with the AppleCare is that the repairs are done by qualified repair people–the ones who make it.  I’ve heard there are some issues at times with SquareTrade repair contractors.  For me it’s a no brainer decision to go with the AppleCare+ vs. SquareTrade. 

  5. Joshua Nelson says

    Actually the Worth Ave Group is pretty reasonable for the 16 GB wifi – you can get 3 years of theft, loss, damage – everything for $99. I am going to get that I believe.

  6. Pete says

    I am awaiting my 64g Wifi LTE. It was purchased at Best Buy(who I really dislike), as a b’day gift.
    the charged my family $169 for two year ADH for the 16G they bought me, I returned and got money back for both IPad and warranty. So, I am now awaiting the upgraded one. I was planning to go withApple, because of Apple Care Support. and the store is near. However, was debating because Square Trade offered me 2 yrs for $79/ 3 Yrs. for $109 with $40 coupon.
    Now, I am all messed up..Knowing me I will want to trade in after 2 yrs anyway.
    I believe homeowners ins. will cover theft.does anyone know?

    • Nate says

      Your homeowners should cover theft an loss, but it all depends on your deductible on claims. You might pay 500 deductibe to get a new 500 ipad

      • paulo says

        Be sure to check with your insurance company–they’re unlikely to cover damage and can even have exclusions for highly coveted items– such as the iPads.

        In addition, check out personal property endorsements– some companies provide, for a small fee, superb theft and accident coverage–but many have also specifically dropped tablets and smartphones from their coverage!!

  7. Robby Grace says

    I just signed up with insure apple iPad (www.insureappleipad.com). they have a really good offer. I also have my iPhone insured with them. 

  8. Angelo says

    The best iPad insurance is at http://www.esurranty.com! They have loss and theft coverage and there is no limit on claims. The deductibles are $0 for mechanical failure, $50 for cracked screen and $145 if you lose it or it’s stolen! They have a money back guarantee with a full refund if you aren’t happy! The 1 year cost is only $89 and if you ask the live chat reps, they will give you a 10% discount on your order. http://www.esurranty.com is the BEsT BAR NONE!!!

    • paulo says

      Have you used their services to get repair or replacement?

      Until one has experience on the other end of these warranties, you never know the quality. With Apple, you’re assured of getting coverage. I’ve also had success with Square Trade. So, that’s the key… make sure that you’ve read about people who have actually had to take advantage of the warranty– and what kind of service did they get!!

  9. Nick says

    My son recently dropped/shattered his iPad2 (16GB) we purchased from Walmart back in November, 2011, when they were giving away $50 iTunes cards with purchase. We opted for the Walmart warranty plan $79 / 2 years – generous coverage including accidental damage, spills, etc. I’m a little embarrassed to say I bought a technology product at Walmart, but the screen was replaced free ($0 deductible) , quickly and without hassle. They sent a prepaid shipping label as well (I did pay the local PostNet $6 to pack it well.) Warranty price is $99 if your device is over $500, but still comparable to others. Just something to consider if you’re thinking of a purchase.

    • paulo says

      However, there’s the question of whether one wants to support that particular company and what it’s done to communities and workers–and whether one wants to support the political agenda of the family that owns it! In many cases, there’s a reason products are cheap or cheaper!

      • Rich says

        Political agenda? It’s more about being profitable and employing people. They’re a business ….

  10. Amanda Kelly says

    I went through all of the options on this article & after doing more research, I found iSmart Protection Plan. I ended up going with iSmart Protection Plan [www.ismartwarranty.com] because I had an already broken iPod and had a hard time finding a company that will take an already broken device. I’m very satisfied with them and I recommend them to everyone because they offer small deductibles, but unlimited repairs, so it was well worth my money.

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  12. Ico0525 says

    I’m getting an ipad for my babies mama, I know for a fact it is going to break. It’s only a matter of time. I need the best insurance possible.

  13. ellidn says

    You might want to edit for international travellers afraid of theft!!!! Square Trade has a $200 deductible for all intl. claims. That’s what made me choose Worth Ave instead — they let you choose the deductible and they change the price accordingly.

    NSSI.com used to offer great cheap coverage for students, but they recently stopped.

  14. Ryan Critchett says

    The challenge with a lot of these companies is they don’t actually execute the repair. My company, for example, does (because we’re an iOS device repair company). Apple, will give you a refurbished device most of the time, that doesn’t have your data and settings on it. :\

  15. Jake A. says

    One important thing to consider is speed during the claims process. Based on the information in this article, I purchased Worth Ave insurance for 2 iPads. I am still in the middle of a simple claim for a dropped iPad with a cracked screen that I contacted Worth Ave regarding on Jan 29, 2013. It is now Feb 20, 2013. As much as I dislike Best Buy, when we walk in with a cracked screen we leave with a new iPad on the same day. Worth considering. For the curious, here’s my communication with them so far:

    1/29 – called Worth Ave to ask what I do with a cracked iPad screen. Do I need to get an estimate for repair or do they want me to just send it in. I was told that I did not need to get an estimate…just email the claim in and they would send me a box for repair.

    1/31 – I submitted my forms to Worth Ave by email. Following all instructions given.

    1/31 – got response saying claim was received.

    2/4 – got an email from them asking to correct the year on the incident. This being early in 2013, I assumed I wrote 2012 accidentally. I did not. The form was correct and I let them know that on the same day via email response.

    2/6 – received response with apology for their error and that they would be sending the box.

    2/11 – finally received box and sent iPad on the same day via enclosed FedEx shipping label.

    2/20 (today) – have not received any communication from them yet regarding claim or repair.

    It seems that this process is going to take close to (or perhaps even more than) a month. I understand it’s different that Best Buy, but this is pretty slow.

    • Mira says

      You should reply to AARON COOPER’s post and ask for help. His reply states that he is the director of marketing.

    • Aaron Cooper says

      Jake, this should NEVER happen.

      I apologize for just getting back to this topic. I thought I would receive email updates to replies but I guess not. Anyway, I would really like to hear from you about your poor experience so that I can make things right and make sure this does not happen again.

      • Adam says

        Aaron, I’m looking for insurance but my school purchased the iPad over 30 days ago. I’m at 35 days past purchase today. Does Worth still insurance even after 30 days from purchase? I know Apple and ST require purchase within 30 days. I can’t find the answer anywhere on the Worth site. Thanks!

    • Chris Finch says

      Sorry to hear about that unfortunate experience Jake. My own experience was thankfully just the opposite with Worth Ave. From first file to fixed screen was less than a week. I was very surprised and grateful. Except for Walmart’s product protection plan (only good for individuals and not schools) Worth Ave. seems to be the best thing going, for the money, that I have found.

  16. Jenn starr says

    I received an open box iPad 3(1st one, before the new one came out 6mo later). My 5 year old broke the screen, when I returned it to Best Buy(it had ADH) we walked out with the new iPad 3 less than an hour later. it is broken again not even 3 months later and I’m hoping ill be able to go in with the same experience as last time (yes, I purchased the ADH plan again).

  17. Vicki says

    I bought Square trade insurance. I called S.T. When my IPad just needed a battery– they claimed that stores were selling bogus Square Trade warranties. And mine was probably one of those. They’d never heard of my store where I purchased the IPad. Also, the phone rep asked all sorts of irrelevant questions. Finally (after 5 minutes) I insisted that they look up the warranty under my name. Voila! They found my name! Then, I had to send a email attachment with a copy of my receipt! I don’t know why I need to mail the IPad in but I guess that I have to risk it. My other option is taking it to an Apple Store 200 miles away. Next time, I would definitely go with Apple Care……..I think?! What a hassle. Vicki

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