Apple’s warranty program, AppleCare Plus, just saw a significant expansion in its coverage with an added annual repair for accidental damage. The changes, spotted first yesterday by MacRumors in the wake of Apple’s “Time Flies” hardware reveal, mean AppleCare Plus owners are now covered for two cases of accidental damage coverage every 12 months. That’s a total of four fixes over the standard two years of coverage.
The prior window for those two incidents of coverage was 24 months (or 36 months for certain products like Macs). It appears this is the case not just for the iPhone but for all other AppleCare Plus-eligible products, which include AirPods, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats headphones, HomePod, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, and Pro Display XDR.
You can see the changes applied at the new AppleCare Plus website, and the older version of the website as it existed a few days ago. In some cases, AppleCare Plus coverage for products like Macs and the Pro Display XDR was listed as simply “two incidents of accidental damage coverage,” with no time window other than the general three-year extension the warranty provides those pricier products, whereas now the website clarifies it is every 12 months for the duration of the coverage.
Apple has tossed in a few other benefits to the plan, too. For iPhone owners, far and away the most likely to purchase AppleCare Plus, the warranty coverage for the Theft and Loss add-on now has a consistent flat fee deductible at $149 for all models of the smartphone. The older plan used to charge more — up to $269 — for replacing a lost or stolen device if that phone happened to be a newer Pro or Max model.
These changes would appear to be retroactively applied to current AppleCare Plus owners, according to some MacRumors commenters who contacted Apple’s customer support yesterday. And that makes sense, as Apple isn’t adding a new coverage plan as it did with the jump from AppleCare to AppleCare Plus. Rather, it’s expanding its existing one to be more beneficial.
AppleCare Plus is only available with the purchase of a new Apple device or within 60 days of purchasing one, and it has a variable cost associated with the type of device. (Although Apple last month did extend the period of time after purchase you can enroll a new device from 60 days to one year under certain circumstances, the AppleCare+ website still says 60 days.)
For instance, a new iPhone 11 Pro can get AppleCare Plus coverage for a one-time fee of $200 or $10 a month for 24 months. For Macs, it’s more expensive. But Apple will only let you buy it upon purchase or — if the company can check whether your device is eligible — through its website, on the device itself, in-store, or over the phone (with a remote diagnostic check required for the online and over-the-phone methods).