Every new Mac purchase comes with Apple’s limited one-year warranty and 90 days of free phone-based tech support. This means that if issues appear Apple will take care of the problem unless, that is, you dropped your MacBook in the bathtub. But if you are familiar with Murphy’s law then you already know that if anything can go wrong, it will. That’s where Apple’s ‘insurance policy’, AppleCare, comes into play.
For an upfront cost of $379 (15” MacBook Pro), $269 (13” MacBook Pro), $249 (Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air), $169 (iMac) or $99 (Mac mini), AppleCare+ will extend Mac support and coverage to three years from the original purchase date, will cover repair costs for Mac, Airport, Apple USB Superdrive, Apple memory and up to two incidents of accidental damage.
One-Year Limited Warranty vs AppleCare+
You don’t need to buy the ‘insurance policy’ at the time of purchase. While Apple previously allowed you to buy AppleCare at any time during the one-year warranty period, you now have 60 days from the date of purchase to decide whether you want Apple’s guarantee that it will step in and cover repair costs if something goes wrong.
AppleCare+ will cover the repair or replacement of a battery that retains less than 80% of its original capacity. By comparison, the one-year limited warranty does not cover consumable parts such as batteries (if applicable).
Another major difference between the limited warranty and AppleCare+ is related to accidental damage. While the one-year limited warranty doesn’t cover repair costs, AppleCare+ does. Among the countless mishaps that can happen, one that is important to highlight is liquid damage – spillages, for example.
During the three-year term the insurance plan covers up to two incidents of accidental damage as specified under the terms of accidental damage from handling (ADH). This coverage applies to mechanical failure caused by accidental liquid spills arising during normal daily usage of the MacBook Pro or any other Mac. AppleCare+ does not cover excessive damage caused by liquid, however. It is also worth noting that most recent Mac laptops, as well as Apple wired and wireless keyboards (except Magic Keyboard) have Liquid Contact Indicators (LCI) to help determine if these products have been exposed to liquid.
While the AppleCare+ insurance policy states that your Mac will continue to work at least during the term of the protection plan, there are some additional costs: Apple will charge an additional $99 for screen damage or external enclosure damage and $299 for other damage, plus any applicable tax.
Having AppleCare+ will definitely give you access to a quick handling of your computer’s issues with Apple thanks to the priority phone support, mail-in repair for portable computers (or carry-in for desktops), and global repair coverage. But it comes at a cost.
And it may cost you much more if you don’t keep the machine clean and tidy on the inside as well. Keeping a well-maintained Mac will help you boost productivity and reach goals more quickly.
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