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Friday, July 29, 2011

Device Insurance - What to do when you can't buy extended warranty from your point of purchase

Recently I found myself considering the purchase of the samsung galaxy tab tablet 10.1 4G from Verizon.  Then I realized that they don't offer insurance unless you stay on one of their data plans.  Since I don't plan to regularly use their plan then there is no insurance option.
Two thoughts popped to mind:
I had safeware for years before the company/division was sold years ago, they dropped all of their policies once it was sold and their terms became much more restrictive and expensive.
I've purchased square trade warranties but never had to use one yet.
I'll assume a purchase for a tablet of around $700.
SquareTrade 2 Year Extended plan - $54.99
Safeware 2 Year Extended plan    - $79.00
Safeware 3 Year Extended plan    - $89.00

Square Trade 2 year plan w/Accidental damage - $99.99
Safeware 2 year plan w/Accidental damage     - $149.00
Safeware 3 year plan w/Accidental damage     - $189.00

Square trade prices are obviously better. Safeware seems to offer another year on tablets are a price that is only slightly more than their one year.  Square trade seems to claim they typically have a better price than best buy warranty's.  Looking for comments/reviews online showed up many on epinions.com for squaretrade and very few for safeware.  Squaretrade most reviews seemed positive with just a few negatives here and there.  If not a huge difference in price depending on the item if a store offered in store replacement/fixing you might prefer that over mailing a device in.  Squaretrade may be worth a try if you want a lower price option than in store, or is not available from the place of purchase as long as you don't mind mail in repairs/replacements.

Be sure to read the details of each there are many requirements and limitations.  Often warranty must be purchased between 60 days of original purchase.  Accidental damage sometimes only covers factory new purchases.  Pre-existing conditions aren't covered, etc. (Read very carefully.)

Are warranty's worth it?
I would say it depends.
For expensive devices likely to break and hard to repair it may be worth it if not too expensive.
Accidental damage can happen very easily to a laptop, netbook, smartphone, tablet - they are small relatively fragile devices that are often fairly expensive.

Anyone have experience with actual repairs/replacements from safeware/squaretrade?  Please leave a comment.

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