Best iPhone 12 AppleCare+ Alternatives: Insurance and Warranty Options
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Best iPhone 12 AppleCare+ Alternatives: Insurance and Warranty Options

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The best AppleCare+ alternatives can protect your iPhone 12 and save you money. There’s even a couple of ways to double your iPhone 12’s warranty for free, which means you may be able to spare yourself the expense of buying AppleCare+ on top of a new iPhone. If you are looking for an insurance plan or extended warranty for your iPhone 12, it’s important to consider exactly what they insure, how much they cost, and their limitations.

While buying insurance isn’t nearly as exciting as buying a new iPhone, it’s important to protect your purchase. Apple’s made improvements to make its new iPhones more durable than older models, but that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. We recommend protecting the iPhone 12 with a case, handling it with care, and keeping it away from water since it’s not truly waterproof.

AppleCare+ offers many benefits to iPhone 12 buyers, but it comes at a steep price. AppleCare+ for the iPhone 12 lineup starts at $149 and ranges all the way up to $299. Those prices can be tough to justify if you’re not likely to take advantage of all of the AppleCare+ benefits, especially if you’re buying multiple iPhone 12s for your family or business.

Apple’s expanded AppleCare over the years and raised the price of its offerings in step. Some of the best AppleCare+ alternatives offer iPhone 12 shoppers the protection they need without all the bloat. The iPhone 12 series starts at $699 for the iPhone 12 mini and ranges all the way up to $1,399 for the iPhone Max Pro. Tacking on AppleCare+ or a third-party warranty or insurance plan is the last thing most people want to do when paying those kinds of prices, but it’s worth at least considering if it would be difficult for you to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your iPhone 12 out of pocket.

Best iPhone AppleCare+ Alternatives: Insurance & Warranty

Here are the AppleCare+ insurance and warranty alternatives we recommend.

Below is a table that summarizes what it costs to insure the iPhone 12 and extend its warranty. It also includes details on each insurance plan’s deductibles and coverage limitations. As with all insurance, these plans have plenty of fine print, which we recommend reading in detail before buying. Be sure to balance the up-front costs with the deductibles as there are trade-offs.

Apple and some of the companies listed below charge more to protect the iPhone 12 Pro models, but we’re using pricing for the basic iPhone 12  for comparison purposes.

Best iPhone 12Insurance & Warranty Options

iPhone 12 Insurance & Warranty

Monthly Cost

2 Year Price

Deductible/Replacement

# of Claims

Accidental?

Loss

AppleCare+

$9.99

$199

$99 total/$29 screen

2

Yes

No

AppleCare+ with Loss & Theft

$13.49

$269

$99 total/$29 screen/$149 Loss/Theft

2

Yes

Yes

Verizon

$15

$360

$199 total/$29 screen

2 per 12 months

Yes

Yes

AT&T

$8.99

$216

$200 total, $29 screen

2 per 12 months

Yes

Yes

T-Mobile

$14

$336

$249 total, $29 screen

2 per 12 months

Yes

Yes

American Express Purchase Protection NA NA $0 One Time Yes 90D

Upsie

NA

$105.99

$75

Price of iPhone

Yes

No

Squaretrade

$12.99

$312

$149

up to 4

Yes

No

Out of Warranty/Self Insure

$0

$0

$399 total/$199 screen

No limit

Yes

No

AppleCare+ Insurance and Warranty

The primary benefits of AppleCare+ for the iPhone 12

AppleCare+ sets the benchmark in terms of simplicity and customer service, especially if you live close to an Apple Store. iPhones can often be repaired or replaced the same day you bring them into the Genius Bar for service. Apple also offers the best remote support and diagnostics, which means you can quickly get a replacement without even visiting a store in many cases.

Apple recently dropped its Theft & Loss deductible to $149, which takes away some of the pain of losing an iPhone.  That makes the AppleCare+ with  Theft and Loss  option more compelling as it’s only $3.50 more per month than the standard AppleCare+ plan. One advantage of paying for AppleCare+ by the month is that you can extend the coverage to up to cover your iPhone 12 up to three years after the date of purchase.

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Insurance and Warranties (Asurion)

If you don’t want to pay Apple directly for AppleCare+, you can always purchase an insurance and warranty plan through your wireless carrier. The three largest wireless networks in the United States all partner with a specialty insurance companies, such as Asurion, which is who you will have to file a claim with should you break or lose your iPhone 12.

Each wireless carrier bundles a variety of services into their protection plans to make them sound more comprehensive. The result is that you may be paying more than you would with AppleCare+.  The bulk of what you’re paying for is the third-party insurance, with a few dollars tacked on per month for things like extra storage and phone support. Depending on your carrier’s scheme, you can receive a new device as soon as one day after filing your claim. In some locations, local Asurion-authorized technicians can repair your iPhone the same day you file a claim.

 

Buy Your iPhone 12 with an American Express or similar Premium Credit Card

American Express and other premium credit cards double your iPhone warranties to two years.

If you buy your iPhone 12 with an American Express card or other premium credit card, you have even fewer reasons to buy AppleCare+.  That’s because American Express and other credit card issuers automatically extend warranties on purchases and other forms of purchase protection.

American Express generally covers purchases against theft for up to 90 days and extends purchases’ warranties by one year. American Express doesn’t actually repair iPhones and other covered items itself but instead asks customers to submit repair estimates for approval. It’s more paperwork than some may care for, but this is a benefit that too many iPhone shoppers overlook.

You can find the details on your particular American Express card’s extended warranty terms here and the  purchase protection  details for each American Express card here.

If you don’t have an American Express card, check your Visa or MasterCard’s purchase protection policies. Some cards and brands, such as VISA Signature cards, offer comparable warranty extensions. If

Squaretrade Warranty and Insurance for the iPhone 12

Squartrade’s warranty and insurance covers up to four iPhones for just $19.99 per month

SquareTrade is a reputable third-party iPhone insurance and warranty option. SquareTrade offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to repairs. You can bring your iPhone 12 to a local authorized iPhone repair shop, mail it for repair, or bring it to your local Apple Store. In many locations, Squaretrade will send a technician to the place of your choice and repair broken iPhone displays with a $25 deductible.  General damage and repairs cary a $149 deductible.
SquareTrade is owned by Allstate, a well-known insurance company. Squaretrade costs $8.99 per month, which is only $1 cheaper than AppleCare+ without theft and loss protection. SquareTrade can save significant money with its family phone protection plan, which costs $19.99 per month for up to four iPhones. That’s a 50% savings compared to buying AppleCare+ for four lines.

Upsie

Upsie iPhone 12 insurance and warranty costs $105.99

Upsie is another extended warranty and insurance option we recommend for protecting your iPhone 12. A two-year warranty and damage protection plan for the $799 iPhone 12 costs $105.99. That works out to just $4.38 per month, which is less than half the price of AppleCare+. One thing to note about the Upsie warranty and protection plan is that it comes with a flat $75 deductible. That’s cheaper if your iPhone 12 is seriously damaged and needs to be replaced, but more expensive than other options if you just need to fix a cracked display.

Like Squaretrade, Upsie will help you fix broken iPhone 12s at local repair shops or you can mail it in. With this iPhone 12 protection plan, you can bring it into the Apple Genius Bar for repair and Upsie will reimburse you.

One advantage of Upsie is that you can sign up for its extended warranty and protection plan up to 120 days after you buy your iPhone 12. That can come in handy as Apple won’t sell you an AppleCare+ plan more than 60 days after you buy your iPhone 12.

Skip AppleCare+, AppleCare+ Alternatives and Buy the Next iPhone

If you’re more interested in keeping your iPhone 12 protected from manufacturing defects rather than physical damage, you may be better off just buying a new iPhone each year and relying on Apple’s one-year warranty.  Apple, wireless carriers, and used iPhone resellers are all eager to buy gently used iPhones and they generally offer about 50% of the original price for year-old iPhones.

For example, Apple is currently offering $350 off the iPhone 12 when you trade in the iPhone 11. Verizon is offering up to $550 for iPhone 11 trade-ins for new customers. AT&T is offering up to an $800 bill credit for new and existing customers that sign up for some of its unlimited plans and turn in an iPhone 8 or more recent iPhone.  Combine these sorts of credits with the $149 upfront AppleCare+ and you’re really close to the cost of a new iPhone.

Self Insure Your iPhone 12

Many iPhone owners have spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on AppleCare+ without ever filing a claim or needing to get their iPhone repaired. If you have several iPhones in your household and take care of your iPhones and live a relatively quiet lifestyle, then AppleCare+ and similar services may not be worth buying at all. But if paying $199 for a screen repair or $399 for more serious damage would be a big hurdle for you, you can self-insure your iPhones by simply putting aside $10 to $20  per month per iPhone in your household.  This strategy works best if you have two or more iPhones to self insure as you’re spreading the risk around a bit, similar to how the insurance companies listed above do.

Let’s say you have four iPhones to ensure and you set aside $40 per month that it would cost to buy AppleCare+ for each of them. After 12 months you’d have $480, which is more than enough to cover one out-of warranty repair at the Apple Store. After two years, you would have $960, which is more than enough to buy a new iPhone if you don’t have any incidents.

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