I rarely buy extended warranties. Mostly I’ve found them to be full of exclusions and loopholes that the provider uses to keep from paying off. So I was a little surprised to be having a conversation last week with my college roommate about extended warranties. He’s a heavy eBay seller and buyer and someone that I expected would avoid the extra expense of warranties like the plague. He told me that he generally does avoid them – except for one warranty provider. Plus he had a secret tip for me that I’ll use to enroll most of my gadgets at a big savings.
SquareTrade is a warranty provider and has been in business since 1999. They claim that their warranties are 40% less expensive than retailers. They offer a 5 day guarantee. Send them an item under warranty – and they’ll return it within 5 days of receipt. If they don’t make the service guarantee, the cost of your warranty will be refunded.
However there’s a very unique aspect to the coverage that, according to my roommate, almost every other warranty excludes. They will insure against accidental damage (water spills, breakage). Note: They don’t insure against loss — ie – leaving your phone on the bus).
SquareTrade coverage begins when your original warranty ends (or within 60 days if you’ve bought something on eBay). SquareTrade INCLUDES accidental damage coverage for a slight additional cost (There is also a $50 deductible for accidental damage claims). Most other warranties specifically exclude any accidental damage (ie – water, dropped items, cracked laptop screens).
If you’ve made a purchase over eBay – all you need do is enter the eBay ID and the system will automatically pull in the information to provide a warranty quote.
SquareTrade publishes this comparison of costs for a typical cell phone warranty through your wireless provider. Remember that virtually all cell phone warranties exclude accidental damage (water, breakage) – which SquareTrade covers.
If you’re providing coverage on another item such as a cell phone (I’ll use my BlackBerry Bold as an example) you fill in the item under the retailer section.
Don’t forget, SquareTrade offers accidental damage coverage for an additional fee. In this instance it is another $48 and is included in cell phone pricing. For other warranty items you must ask for it by checking a box at the bottom of the enrollment form. What makes SquareTrade such a great deal is this accidental damage coverage – so I recommend you always enroll.
Luckily there’s a way to save even more on SquareTrade. Coupon codes are readily available that knock off from 35% to 50% of your quote. Search Google or deal sites like Fatwallet or SlickDeals and you’ll find a bunch.
For example, the initial quote on my BlackBerry Bold is $96 for two years. And the phone can be one that I’ve purchased from eBay (which includes accidental damage but won’t cover me if I lose the phone). Remember if you insure a NEW phone that the SquareTrade coverage only kicks in AFTER the regular warranty.
Entering coupon code “WARRANTYSANTA” saves me 35% (maximum of $50) off the full price of this warranty.
SquareTrade is a great way to insure cell phones virtually anything (especially against accidental damage) as well as purchase warranty coverage for used or refurbished items that you’ve bough on eBay.
My college roommate had to make a claim on an old Garmin GPS that simply quit working and was shocked that they mailed a check within a day for the full INITIAL purchase price of the Garmin. He swears by this insurance and uses it in place of the pricier extended warranties that retailers push on you.
There are obviously some plusses and minuses to this plan. For example if you have a cell phone that you rely upon you may want the convenience of carrying it into your local phone store for an immediate replacement. Even through SquareTrade offers 5 day turnaround that may not be fast enough on an item that a local store would swap.
The SquareTrade pricing on warranties is generally cheaper than most retailers – and offers a no hassle coverage. Combine the regular SquareTrade pricing with coupon codes you find online to get yourself a true deal on warranty coverage.
Link: SquareTrade Warranty