Apple has quietly introduced a new option for those purchasing a Mac who wish to insure their machine against accidental damage, allowing buyers to elect to pick up AppleCare+ coverage.
Previously, it was only possible to get standard AppleCare cover (with no ‘plus’) for Macs, and AppleCare+ was only available for the iPhone and iPad.
But now, those purchasing a MacBook, iMac, Mac Pro or Mac mini can get AppleCare+ which adds protection for (up to) two separate incidents of accidental damage (and also extends warranty coverage to three years from the standard one year, just like basic AppleCare).
The protection against accidental damage guards against the prospect of dropping your MacBook and having something break – such as the screen – and drink spillages which could play havoc with the internal hardware.
Any repair that Apple makes isn’t free, however. The owner is charged a ‘service fee’ of $99 (around £75, AU$130) for a screen repair or damage to the chassis, and $299 (around £230, AU$395) for any other damage (with tax then added on top in both cases).
Counting the cost
And when you take into account the cost of subscribing to the AppleCare+ plan in the first place – which can range from $99 (around £75, AU$130) for the Mac mini, to $269/$379 (around £210/£295, AU$355/AU$500) for the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro respectively – it’s certainly clear that this insurance is a pricey affair in itself.
But bear in mind that should something bad happen to your machine, those expenses are still less than paying for a full repair of a cracked screen or worse, which can run to a huge amount.
An Apple employee explained the previous situation to Business Insider UK: “There was no coverage for accidental damage in Macs. Even if you were under [warranty], if you broke your screen you paid $475 [£370, AU$630] for that display. If it was liquid damage, it was a flat rate cost of $755 [£585, AU$1,000].”
Another way you could look at it is that whichever way you go – insurance or not – it doesn’t work out particularly cheap, and the real key to owning an expensive piece of hardware, as ever, is to take damn good care of it. You might call it: UserCare+.
Of course, for those whose MacBook might be subject to the ravages of a family environment and younger kids, UserCare+ might not be enough to prevent a potential disaster from happening.
- Want a cheap Apple laptop? These are the best MacBook deals
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).