Is AppleCare Worth it

Is AppleCare for iMac Really Worth it? (The Truth) | 2021

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Is AppleCare+ worth it for iMac or is the coverage for accidental hardware damage not needed? Unlike other Apple devices, which are prone to damage, iMacs are desktop computers that typically stay safe in one location for long periods of time.

iMacs are not surrounded by food, drinks, and people as often as iPhones and MacBooks are… However, this doesn’t mean iMac’s are invincible. I had to think twice about purchasing AppleCare+ insurance for $169 since I’m careful with my devices. The question still needs to be answered… is AppleCare+ for iMac worth it??

Whether AppleCare+ for iMac is worth it comes down to whether you have rowdy guests, animals, drinks, or other risk factors hovering around your Mac computer. Even so, AppleCare insurance is worth the investment at a mere $169 considering a cracked screen alone could cost you anywhere from $199-$499. 

My cat bit the corner of my iMac display… guess what? A huge crack appeared and cost me almost $500 bucks to repair without AppleCare+. I’ll admit, this is a rare occurrence. However, the real purpose of buying AppleCare for myself was to relieve me of stress when having guests over or when my cat lurks nearby.

The only time you would not want AppleCare+ on an iMac is if you have a dedicated office and you can promise with 100% certainty that no food, drinks, animals, kids, or guests will be in the proximity of your device to damage it.

Related: How Long a MacBook Air Lasts (the truth)

Related: How long a MacBook Pro lasts? (you’ll be shocked)

This article will help you decide if purchasing for accidental damages, and additional support is worth it to get AppleCare+ on iMac compared to the original, free, initial one-year warranty (AppleCare) which covers basic manufacturing defects caused by a faulty device.

Did you know…

It’s reported that a broken iMac screen costs between $199-$499 depending on the type of iMac and the model of the year.

Is AppleCare Worth it for iMac?

Is AppleCare worth it for iMac?
The above Quote is from the Apple support forums

AppleCare+ for iMac is worth it because it has one of the lowest price points ($169) amongst all the eligible devices, yet high out-of-warranty repair costs. Some experts believe that AppleCare+ is never worth the investment, but the iMac is certainly an exception. The reason being is that iMacs have high out-of-warranty repair costs with a low AppleCare+ plan price point.

AppleCare+ for iMac is still considered worth it by many experts, mostly due to the cost of a single, out of warranty iMac repair ranging anywhere from $80-$499.

Will, you’re iMac likely break? Perhaps not, but accidents do happen… and for $169 you might as well play it safe.

Desktops are obviously less than likely to get damaged compared to a laptop or phone and the lower cost of the AppleCare plan reflects this.

Comparing Plans

Compare this to the MacBook Pro’s AppleCare plan, which is $379… this is nearly 2.3 times the cost of iMac’s AppleCare+ plan.

The difference between AppleCare+ and AppleCare warranty

AppleCare vs AppleCare+ whats the differnece mac

What’s the difference between AppleCare+ and the default AppleCare warranty?

When you first purchase an iMac, you’ll have regular AppleCare and not the AppleCare+ for one year. The regular AppleCare is the default limited warranty that doesn’t cover accidental damage, but it does cover malfunctions and defects. Should your device break from a manufacturing defect, you’ll be safe due to this warranty.

You can optionally extend this limited warranty after the 1 year expires if you don’t choose to purchase AppleCare+. However, it doesn’t cover accidental hardware damages…

To be clear, when choosing to purchase AppleCare+ (not the warranty extension), you’re getting accidental damage hardware coverage as well as tech support and other benefits displayed in detail throughout this article 

Should I get AppleCare+ or keep the limited warranty?

You certainly have the choice of not getting AppleCare and just extending the limited warranty, but should you get AppleCare for iMac??

If you can’t promise with 100% certainty to keep your iMac void of food & drinks, or away from rowdy guests, then AppleCare+ for iMac is worth it for the $169, especially when an iMac with screen damage has a repair cost of $199-$499 without AppleCare+.

Repairs under AppleCare cost $99 for screen only and external damage and $299 for all other damage. 

Accidental Damage Tier type (iMac)Cost to repair (service event)
Screen only Damage/External Enclosure-only DamageUS $99/C$129
All other DamageUS $299/C$379

When making your decision

Know that AppleCare+ will also cover accidental damage to the Trackpad, keyboard or Apple mouse, Apple USB SuperDrive, and RAM if you purchased any of these accessories along with your initial, original purchase of the iMac

Should I extend the limited warranty instead of getting AppleCare+?

Those who are 100% confident they’ll be keeping their iMac safe from accidents will likely choose to extend the original warranty instead, which Apple calls ‘AppleCare’, and not AppleCare+. The regular ‘AppleCare’ limited warranty can be extended after the first year expires.

This regular “AppleCare” is the initial one-year warranty that comes with your iMac and is different from the AppleCare+ plan. It covers manufacturing defects such as a defected glitched screen, or a condition that is the fault of Apple and not accidental damage. This comes automatically with your new iMac from any reputable seller. 

How much does the extended limited warranty cost?

Price varies depending on the model and can be found by entering your serial number on the official Apple Support website..

What does AppleCare+ for iMac cover?

What accidental hardware damage does Applecare cover iMac
  • iMac computer & its original included accessories.
  • Other included accessories, such as the power adapter
  • Memory (RAM)
  • USB SuperDrive (Apple)
  • Maximum of two events of accidental damage protection per 1 year with a $99 fee (screen damage or external enclosure damage), or $299 as for other damage (not counting tax)

Important to note: The listed accessories are listed and appear to be covered by AppleCare+ if they are purchased along with the initial iMac. (source: official Apple website)

2 incidents per year: You’ll have AppleCare+ on your iMac for three years from the purchase date and also gives you a maximum of two incidents of accidental damage protection each year. 

24/7support: What’s nice is that if there is something wrong with your Mac you’ll also get both phone & chat support by Apple at any hour of the day.

On-site repair: If you’re using an iMac as a permanent desktop for your job, AppleCare+ actually supports onsite repair by request for desktop computers where an Apple technician will visit your work site for repair. It also means it’s global, so if you’re on vacation and need a repair, Apple can help.

What is not covered by AppleCare+?

What is not covered under AppleCare for iMac

Here’s what is not covered by AppleCare:

  • Normal wear and tear, including repairs for cosmetic damage not correlated with functions of the device.
  • To repair pre-existing conditions of the device if your plan is purchased after the purchase of the device.
  • To protect against catastrophic, excessive damage to the device, including excessive crushed, bent or liquid contact.
  • Preventative maintenance and to replace a device that is lost or stolen.
  • Repair damage caused by abusive, intentional conduct or use not intended by Apple
  • To repair any damage to the device that has been opened, modified, or altered by anyone other than Apple.
  • To repair damage from earthquakes, fire, natural disasters, or similar causes.

Basically, don’t tamper or do anything odd and excessive with your Apple device and AppleCare+ will likely cover it. The country you’re in also affects the coverage situation.

These are paraphrased from the original source on the Apple website, and more can be found on the Apple website for best accuracy. (additional source)

Cons of AppleCare+ for iMac

cons of AppleCare iMac

One con to the monthly AppleCare plan is that if your payment source ( debit card/credit card) can’t be charged  (ex. Lost debit card and your in the gap of ordering a new one), then your plan coverage ceases from this due date (source)

Should I get the monthly AppleCare+ plan or pay in full?

Another con to AppleCare+ for iMac resides on the topic of refunds. You can pay upfront, which saves you 20% compared to the subscription fee. However, if you were to cancel the AppleCare+, then you’d pay a 20% service fee.

So no matter which way you go, you’re paying roughly the same amount if you end up cancelling or transferring the AppleCare+.

Related: How long a MacBook Pro battery lasts

Can I repair my iMac myself and not get AppleCare?

Can you repair an iMac screen yourself?

Many look for a cheaper way of repairing the iMac by doing it themselves since the cost of repairing an iMac at the Apple store is no joke. 

However, this is known to be very difficult and even third-party repair shops have trouble with repairing an iMac screen sometimes.

Getting serviced officially by Apple means a broken screen could run you up to $499 depending on the year and model and a hard drive replacement will cost you anywhere from $159-$459, according to Apple consumers. 

Can I replace an iMac myself?

It’s known to be incredibly difficult to repair an iMac yourself. You’ll have to be okay with voiding your device’s warranty if you plan to do so. If a Mac is taken apart by someone other than an authorized technician, then Apple will typically refuse to service your iMac for repair.

Can you add AppleCare+ later after purchase for iMac?

Can I add AppleCare months or years after purchase for iMac

Yes, you can add AppleCare after your purchase if you already bought an iMac and it’s still within one year of the initial purchase date. This includes if you bought your Mac outside of Apple.

Here’s how to add AppleCare to an iMac after you’ve already bought:

  1. Visit the official Apple Support website.
  2. Choose the Mac desktop option, then input your iMac serial number.
  3. Continue to add AppleCare to your device

You can alternatively do this by phone or Apple store. If through phone, call Apple Support at 800-692-7753 with your proof of purchase at hand. If visiting your local Apple store, be sure to bring your device for inspection.

Canceling AppleCare+ for iMac with refund

Can I Cancel AppleCare for iMac

You can cancel via iPhone, iTunes, Apple app store, phone, or mail. There are a few caveats you’ll want to be aware of. There are certain service fees depending on if you purchased monthly or paid in Full. You can indeed transfer a device, such as the iMac, with AppleCare on already on it.

It’s important to note that having AppleCare+ on your iMac is a very good selling point if you plan to sell and replace your iMac in a few years’ time.

You can view by visiting our full guide: How to Cancel AppleCare+ (Get a Refund) | 2020 Life Hack.

Related: 7 Best iPad document camera stands in 2020 (iPhone & iPad)

FAQ: iMac

Why is my device not eligible for an AppleCare+ agreement?

If you’re getting the “it looks like your device isn’t eligible for an applecare agreement”, then you may need to wait 72 hours before registering the device if it’s a new purchase. It could also be that insuring that specific device isn’t possible or too late for you to add AppleCare based on your initial purchase date.

How much does a cracked iMac screen cost to repair?

It’s reported that a broken iMac screen costs between $199-$499 depending on the type of iMac and the model of the year

What tech support is not covered under AppleCare+?

For damage or loss of software or data that was on or recorded on the device. 
For recovery or reinstallation of software and user data.
For third party web browsers, email apps, and ISP software and their configurations required.
For modification of the device that is not intended to be modified.
For issues that could be solved by a software update.
For effects or damages from a third party product.
For using an operating system not related to the consumer software.
For MacOS software for servers, with some exceptions.

Can I get AppleCare+ for a refurbished MacBook?

Yes. Apple Store refurbished device come with the default, one-year, limited warranty and are eligible for AppleCare Protection Plans.

Conclusion

AppleCare+ for iMac is sought after by those who prefer accidental repair coverage (both parts and labor) as well as tech support. The cost to repair a screen with AppleCare+ is $99 (Tier 1 fee) if there is no additional damage beyond the screen-only damage. Additional damage means you’ll be paying the $299 (Tier 2 fee). If a broken screen somehow restricts access to the inside of the iMac for replacement, then you’re likely to pay the Tier 2 fee of $299.

Grabbing AppleCare, later on, is only an issue if you’re trying to take advantage of the protection plan. For example, repairing pre-existing services, then canceling won’t work… as you’ll find there are rules built around this that prevent such behavior. These include, but aren’t limited to checking your device before getting insured when adding AppleCare+ on iMac later on or well after you’ve bought it.