With the new batch of iPhones recently announced, it’s that time of year when phone users across the world start wondering how they can best protect their devices. With handsets getting more and more expensive, it’s no wonder that people are looking for the most comprehensive, affordable solution for them!
Whilst iPhone users will have the option to upgrade to AppleCare+ with their new device, there is some debate as to whether it’s actually worth the money, and if it delivers the same amount of protection as a third-party mobile phone insurance policy. Let’s look at the arguments.
What is AppleCare+?
AppleCare+ is essentially Apple’s manufacturer warranty, which is available for purchase on any newly bought Apple product. This includes iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks. If you want to activate your AppleCare+ policy, you have to do so within 60 days of your purchase, and it locks you in for 2 years, ensuring you get cover for the entire length of your agreement.
One of the main benefits for AppleCare+ is that users get direct support from Apple whenever it’s needed, with priority, 24/7 phone lines and repair channels. That said, it does not operate as a normal phone insurance policy, so there are so distinct differences between the two types of cover.
In terms of what is actually covered within your AppleCare+ policy, it’s precisely what you would expect from a manufacturer. Repair and replacement are included as standard, though this only applies to the manufacturer’s damage or fault. So if something goes wrong internally or your battery suddenly dies, you can easily make a claim through Apple.
Accidental Damage is covered, however, you can only make up to 2 claims over the course of your contract. So 2 claims within 24-month. If you damage your device to the point of needing repair more than twice, you’ll need to pay for it out of your own pocket! But whilst AppleCare’s support for physical damage may not be great, it does provide excellent cover for any software issues, which may be difficult to define and fix through a regular insurer.
In contrast, a dedicated mobile phone insurer can offer a lot more protection than AppleCare+. For example, with a premium, comprehensive policy you’ll get protection against accidental damage, liquid damage and screen damage – all of which can be claimed on multiple times! Most insurers will also cover you against theft and loss as standard, which is not covered under AppleCare+.
Similarly, phone insurance will protect you against unauthorised use – which covers the cost of any data, calls, or texts that are made without your knowledge, but to a specific amount. You’ll also get the added benefit of being covered worldwide, so no matter where an accident might occur, you’ll still be able to claim.
Despite essentially being an upgraded manufacturer warranty, AppleCare+ does cost money to activate, which varies depending on the model of your phone. For example, the iPhone X costs £199 to protect for 2 years under AppleCare+, whilst the iPhone 8 only costs £129. However, this does not include your excess charge should you have to make a claim. Currently, Apple charges £25 excess for screen damage and £79 for all other types of damage, on top of what you already pay!
By contrast, a comprehensive mobile phone insurance policy will protect your iPhone X for £110 annually, or for around £10 per month. As with AppleCare+ the overall price of insurance will decrease or increase depending on the model of your phone. Most insurers have a set excess price for any repairs, which can range anywhere from £115 per claim to £60. Again, this is all dependent on the make and model of your device!
The decision to invest in AppleCare+ over a third-party insurer really depends on what’s more important to you: price or protection.
On the face of it, AppleCare+ is the more cost-effective option – providing decent cover at a reduced price point. However, it’s important to remember that you get a lot less for your money with this policy, and you could end up spending much more money on repairs if you have to make multiple claims. Similarly, with no theft or loss cover, you could leave yourself exposed to extra cost should the worst happen.
By contrast, while a dedicated insurance plan is slightly more expensive annually, it offers maximum protection for you and your device, ensuring that no matter what happens, you’ll be able to claim.
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