Apple has quietly extended the length of time for customers to get their iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, etc. covered under its AppleCare+ program.
Fine print — Whereas customers who bought insurance upfront were previously limited to 2-3 years of coverage with limited options to renew, AppleCare+ coverage can now be extended indefinitely when using recurring payments.
Apple says the new policy applies to Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the U.S. Owners can opt to pay for their renewed coverage by the month or annually. New coverage needs to be purchased within 30 days of the date of original coverage expiring or insurance will end.
Protect yo shiz — AppleCare+ is an extended warranty program for products like the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Beyond repairs for manufacturer defects, AppleCare+ also provides repairs for up to two incidents per year. Pricing varies by device type:
- AppleCare+ for the standard iPhone 12 costs $149 for two years or $7.49 if paid monthly. Coverage includes two repairs every 12 months. For an additional $70 or $219, customers get two replacements in instances of loss or theft, though an additional $150 excess will be incurred to actually get a replacement phone.
- Macs can be insured for anywhere from $99 for two years ($8.25 if paid monthly) for the Mac Mini, up to $379 for a 16-inch MacBook Pro. Customers get a maximum of two repairs every 12 months.
- iPad’s can be insured for anywhere from $69 ($3.49 monthly) for the basic tablet up to $129 ($5.99 monthly) for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, including two repairs per year.
- An Apple Watch Series 6 can be insured for $79 ($3.99 monthly), which includes two accidental damage repairs every year.
Cheaper than the alternative — Under the plans, customers still have to pay a nominal fee, like $49 for the iPad, to have their device’s screen or external enclosure replaced. But that’s a lot more affordable than it would be without insurance, where Apple says repair prices can easily reach $600. Apple’s devices are notoriously hard and costly to fix and typically require an authorized technician who has been certified by Apple to receive specialized equipment and replacement parts, so it’s near impossible to get a much better deal.
Considering one accidental coffee spill can easily destroy a $2,000 MacBook, AppleCare+ is a good buy at $200-300, especially if paid monthly. If you want to know how to extend your device’s AppleCare+ coverage before it expires, Apple has a new support page up detailing how.