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:



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

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?

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