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Applecare and Other Extended Warranties and Protection Plans: The Forgotten Accessories of the Electronics World
Are Your Possessions Protected?
The average person seems to be surrounded by electronics these days: televisions, DVRs, game consoles, etc. And that's not even mentioning the electronics that we carry about on our persons, such as iPhones, Blackberries, Kindles and so on. That being the case, it only seems to make sense to have extended warranties and protection plans.
For the uninitiated, these are service plans that will pay for the repair of replacement of your possessions should they become damaged. This is the same concept that is applied to automobiles and homes. (In fact, I have hubs on Home Warranties and Car and Truck Warranties.) Frankly, it really seems counterintuitive to spend hundreds of dollars for an item - plus hundreds more on accessories like cases, car chargers, etc. - and then not purchase something like a product warranty, which has a tremendous return on investment. With that in mind, we'll now take a look at what are clearly forgotten and overlooked electronics accessories: product warranties and protection plans.
AppleCare for iPads, iPhones, Etc.
Apple is currently the world's most vaulable company, with an entire suite of products that the public just can't get enough of, from iPads to iPhones. Thus, if you own these items and want to protect them, it makes sense to go with an AppleCare Protection Plan.
First of all, Applecare is an Apple product itself, so you will have an excellent idea of what you're getting in terms of quality, service and support. Applecare for Macs generally extends technical support as well as hardware coverage for three years from the date of purchase; iPhones,iPads and iPods have 2 years of coverage from the date of purchase. The plan can be purchased at any time, as long as the initial hardware warranty is still in place. Moreover, Apple allows third-party retailers to sell the AppleCare Protection Plan, so you may be able to purchase it at a cheaper price from sellers like Amazon.com than you can buying it from Apple directly.
AppleCare on Amazon
SquareTrade is another well-respected company in the field of warranties and protection plans. SquareTrade offers a wide variety of warranties for a slew of products, from computers to appliances to iPhones and more. In fact, SquareTrade is now the primary warranty provider for seveal retailers, including Amazon.com.
Moreover, SquareTrade protection plans typically cover accidents as well as defects. This means that, in additon to the typical hardware, mechanical and electrical failures ordinarily covered, damage resulting from accidents such as drops and spilled liquids also fall within the scope of the warranty. (These types of damages are often referred to as ADH - "accidental damage from handling.") SquareTrade offers 2-, 3- and 4-year warranties.
SquareTrade on Amazon
Securranty Protection Plans
Securranty is another provider of protection plans for a broad range of products. Its plans will cover not just typical electronics, but also appliances like televisions, car audio systems and more.
A Securranty warranty can run from one to five years, depending on the product. In addition to the usual coverage for defects, many products can also be covered for accidental damage and handling.
SmartGuard Furniture Protection Plans
Since, we've discussed warranties for all types of electronics and appliances, it seems only natural to go on from there and cover other types of possessions. With that in mind, SmartGuard - which offers 3- and 5-year protection plans - is an excellent way to protect furniture.
First of all, a SmartGuard furniture protection plan will, of course, provide coverage with respect to rips, tears and the like. Burns and breakage are also included, as well as stains from such articles as food and beverages. Finally, there is replacement coverage if a product can't be repaired. In short, SmartGuard offers an excellent way to maintain your furniture in prime condition.
Poll on Warranties and Protection Plans
Do you usually purchase extended warranties or protection plans for new products?
In retrospect, product warranties are excellent ideas and constitute a sound investment - especially when you consider what the cost of repair or a new purchase will be. Moreover, it just seems silly to buy, say, a case for something like an iPhone or Kindle, and neglect to purchase - for the same price or less - a warranty or protection plan that can provide coverage for the entire device. Under those circumstances, an accessory like a case probably only amouunts to half the protection you need, at best, because it's not going to do anything for you if there's a bad internal component, like a defective chip.