Many of our readers are already asking how they should go about protecting their iPad once they're able to purchase one. Considering that consumers will be paying between $499 and $829 for their iPad, and the portable (and thus heavily handled) nature of the iPad, most iPad owners want to be confident that their investment will be protected in the event of an accident.
Although Apple's iPad warranty will protect buyers for the first year of ownership from technical defects, it will do nothing to protect owners in the event of accidental damage. Considering that the vast majority of iPhone failures are due to accidental damage or handling issues, there is little reason to expect a different situation with the iPad.
That said, many of you are interested in exploring extended/additional protection options for your iPad. Though there are many routes to take, these are the most highly recommended.
Third Party iPad Insurance
Several companies' insurance and warranty solutions are intended serve the needs and wants of consumers who have made significant investments in technology.
SquareTrade, who has been in business since 1999, offers technology warranties intended to provide coverage beyond the manufacturer warranty offered with many devices. Should your iPad meet an untimely fate (i.e. spills, drops and other accidents), SquareTrade promises to fix it or pay you the full purchase price of the device, all within five days.
SquareTrade's warranty plans have received near perfect consumer ratings on NexTag and Epinions, and the company has received an A+ rating from the BBB (Better Business Bureau). As a result, SquareTrade has sold well over one million warranties to date. SquareTrade offers coverage for either 2 or 3 years, at a price starting at $3.99 per month.
For more information on SquareTrade, head to the SquareTrade iPad warranty page.
Worth Ave. Group insurance is another option that protects your iPad not only from accidental damage and spills but also covers theft, fire, power surges, natural disasters, and vandalism. Worth Ave. Group policies are true insurance with unlimited claims during the coverage period and a low $50 deductible. With a persistent Worth Ave. Group policy, you're always covered after the annual premium is paid.
Worth Ave. Group iPad insurance can be purchased anytime after you buy your iPad for a coverage period of 1-3 years. Claims might require police reports or other documentation, however turnaround on iPad policies is normally one week or less. Although Worth Ave. Group does not cover manufacturing defects, the extensive list of covered damages are more likely to happen beyond the first year of iPad ownership.
For more information on Worth Ave. Group, head to the Worth Ave. Group iPad insurance page.
Homeowners / Renters Insurance
If you have homeowners or renters insurance, you may be able to cover your iPad through an extension to your existing policy. Adding your iPad to an existing insurance policy is often considerably less expensive than other solutions, but can be complicated.
If you decide to insure your iPad this way, be careful to check with your insurance company on how your deductible works in regards to personal electronics claims. If your deductible is $500, chances are you're not getting a very good deal. Make sure to lower your deductible (which would bring on additional costs) or get documentation from your insurance company which states that your extended coverage is not subject to your standard deductible.
Extended Credit Card Protection
Many gold, platinum and other credit cards offer extended purchase protection which in many cases effectively doubles the manufacturer's warranty on your device. While this will not provide any accidental damage protection, it may be free of charge if you purchase using your credit card.
Whichever option you choose, protecting your shiny new iPad with some sort of insurance policy can help protect your bank account in the event of the unexpected.