Our homes are filled with expensive electronic gadgets, from TVs and speaker systems to computers and tablets. According to an Asurion survey, the average U.S. household invests $5,000 in home technology—and replacing these devices can be costly and frustrating.
That’s where tech insurance and electronics protection plans may come in. But understanding the differences between them can be tricky. What does an electronics protection plan cover? Is a protection plan the same thing as technology insurance? And what about a manufacturer’s warranty?
Here at Asurion, we don’t just fix and protect your smart devices—we teach you how to get the most out of your tech and appliances. In this guide, we’ll help you understand what a tech protection plan is and how it’s different from electronics insurance or a manufacturer's warranty.
What is a manufacturer’s warranty?
When you buy a laptop or TV, you’ve probably noticed that it comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. This kind of plan is included in the cost of your device and promises to cover repair and replacement fees (for a set period) if your tech has a faulty part or some other production-related error. But if you spill coffee all over your laptop or drop it on the kitchen floor, you’re likely on your own.
What does an electronics protection plan cover?
Protection plans are service contracts that give customers added coverage if their device has a manufacturer's defect or malfunction.
Some protection plans are sold by the original manufacturers, and others are sold by third-party companies like Asurion.
What's technology insurance?
Tech insurance covers situations that a manufacturer’s warranty typically doesn’t, like lost or stolen devices. So if your laptop or phone is stolen, you’d start a claim with your tech insurance company for it to be repaired or replaced. Tech insurance usually involves a deductible. Check with your insurance company to find out more details about what your plan may be as well as your coverage limits.
Are your devices already covered through homeowners or renters insurance?
If you have a standard plan for your homeowners or renters insurance, the personal property section of your policy should cover your electronic devices. This means you may be reimbursed if your laptop or phone is stolen, destroyed by a fire, or ruined in some other way that’s included in the policy. But limits do apply—some of which may surprise you—so check the details of your plan with your insurance provider.
Tips for choosing the best electronic protection plans
- Read the fine print. Before buying a warranty of any kind, make sure you understand how long it lasts, what it covers, how the company will reimburse you, and the return policy. Some protection plans cover accidental damage from handling, but others don’t.
- Do your research. If you’re considering a refurbished product, research the seller’s refurbishing practices—they should test and clean your devices, and they should repair or replace their parts if needed. To learn more, read our guide to everything you need to know about refurbished technology.
Are protection plans worth it?
Sometimes people pass on an electronics protection plan because they don’t want to pay extra money upfront for an issue they may or may not have. But protection plans can also pay off if you suddenly need to repair or replace one of your devices.
If the protection plan costs more than 20% of the replacement cost of your device, you may want to reconsider—the plan could be more expensive than typical repair costs.
Another way to think about it: Without a protection plan, you may spend about $1800 replacing your TV and laptop combined. But if you pay $24.99 a month to protect most of the devices in your home, you could save money assuming most of those covered devices will stop working once over the next 5 years.
Protection plans give you peace of mind, up-front pricing, and access to professional repairs. To learn more, check out our guide to protection plans and whether they’re right for you.