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Protecting your iPad or other gadgets

When you buy technological gadgets it is always smart to get a warranty as you never know what is going to go wrong, and how much it is going to cost to fix the problem. If you buy an iPad, Apple is going to try and sell you the Apple Care plan to extend your warranty. It is important to understand what it covers, and what it doesn't cover before opting for that warranty protection. Apple Care is not always the best way to go, neither is the warranty offered at the store of purchase. Knowing your options can help you make a good financial decision when protecting your technology.

Apple Care does not covered accidental damage. This means if your gadget gets wet, is dropped, etc. it will not be covered, even though you paid extra. Those are often the most common problems with gadgets.

If you buy your gadget at Best Buy you may want to extend your warranty because they do cover accidental damage. If you break the screen by dropping your iPad, etc. they will cover it, but you have to pay out of pocket for it. They charge you the cost for the screen replacement. This is less than it would cost you to do it elsewhere, but if you already paid 20% of the cost of your purchase for the insurance, do you really want to pay that amount again to fix a problem? If you get a $500 iPad 2, and buy the extended coverage at Best Buy it will cost you $109 at the cheapest plan, but probably more if you want better coverage, and you still have to pay cost for any repairs. Not really worth it.

When you buy a gadget you should use your American Express Card to buy it if you have one. The reason being that they offer extra coverage on electronics. Basically, if you use your American Express to purchase an electronic they typically extend the existing warranty by one year. This is very similar to purchasing an Apple Care plan for your gadget, but you don't have to pay anything extra to get the extra coverage. Check with your card to see exactly what is covered and how it works.

Another option for protecting your iPad or other expensive electronic gadget is to look into what your home insurance policy covers. Some cover damages to items that exceed a certain value. Others may not cover anything, but may offer an option that you can purchase, such as a computer warranty, and while it may not cover accidental damage, it will likely be less than Apple Care costs for the same coverage.

Of course if none of these options work for you, or if you want just a little something extra, then you may want to consider purchasing electronic insurance through Square Trade. They offer insurance on products you purchase, no matter where they are purchased from. They cover accidental damage as long as it is not intentional. It is a fairly inexpensive coverage, and they are easy to work with.

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