Extended Warranties: Are They Worth It?

This past Friday, I bought an iPhone at the Apple Store. Since I had debated between two models, I almost got a different one the previous week but mentioned the possibility of exchanging it for another. The salesman tried convincing me to buy AppleCare, a protection plan to extend the complimentary coverage of my purchase. I decided to wait until getting settled on the model I wanted.

I’ve been a long-time Apple customer but never bought AppleCare. I own a five-year-old iPad that’s still running great. My first MacBook Pro had battery issues. That got covered by a one-year warranty. My next two Macs both needed the hard drive cable replaced. Because both laptops were several years old, AppleCare wouldn’t have covered those cables. My current MacBook Pro (which I’ve had for over three years) has had two repairs. The first happened within the warranty period. The second one a year later cost me $85. It would’ve cost me more money in the long run if AppleCare was purchased.

I recall getting an extended warranty with a boombox purchased at Best Buy almost 40 years ago. That warranty paid for itself when I once brought the boombox in to be repaired. However, I’ve since shunned extended warranties. They are another way for stores to make money by playing off people’s fears. Most electronic devices already come with a one-year warranty. These products should last a while.

Last week, a zipper broke off my Brandless carry-on suitcase purchased in February 2021 at a store in San Antonio. Remembering other luggage companies have warranties for as long as ten years (or even a lifetime), I searched the Brandless website to see what theirs is. The only thing I could find was their “100-Day Promise.” Another website selling the same suitcase offers a 1 Year Warranty for $21.99 and a 2 Year Warranty for $28.99. Even if I had purchased the latter, that wouldn’t have helped me.

Some protection plans are necessary. Insurance is required to legally drive a motor vehicle and to own a house (if you have a mortgage). Some politicians have pushed to make health insurance mandatory. Others for travel and appliances are optional. A few of my friends believe in extended warranties for high-priced items because of the cost of replacing them. Under AppleCare, there are still additional charges for repairs but not as high as without the extra coverage. That reminds me of car insurance with high deductibles. Life insurance can protect loved ones from financial difficulties if you die, but the premiums can be expensive.

One advantage Christians have is supernatural protection and provision. If you are a tither and giver, there’s the promise that God “...will rebuke the devourer for your sakes” (Malachi 3:11). While wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites never had their clothes wear out. God can cause our modern-day possessions to last longer than normal.

One thing you cannot buy an extended warranty for is eternal life. We have only one mortal life on this earth. Those who believe in reincarnation will have a rude awakening if they die without getting saved. Make sure you have eternal fire insurance. That is only available by knowing Jesus Christ as Lord.

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” - Hebrews 9:27


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