May 16, 02019 Education

The Truth about OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Accidental Damage Protection Plans

With advancements in technology, there is a rapid rise of K-12 schools implementing the 1:1 program which provides Chromebooks, iPads and other popular mobile devices (MacBook, Surface, etc.) to students and faculty for the purposes of an enriching modern education. But something that is grossly overlooked is the need to make sure these expensive devices are covered with the proper insurance coverage.

When thinking about insurance for devices like a Chromebook or iPad, the assumption usually would be to purchase accidental damage protection that the manufacturer offers. After all, the manufacturer made the device why wouldn’t they also be dealt with when it comes to protection and replacement? However, that may not be the wisest decision.

Most OEMs don’t provide insurance. Instead, they offer what is usually called an Accidental Damage Protection Plan (or warranty/service contract). No matter the wording, the plan is usually limited in scope because there’s no complete coverage of the device such as lost, theft, flood, fire, vandalism. If any of those issues occur, your device isn’t protected. 

Another major issue with Accidental Damage Protection plans sold by the manufacturers is that they limit you to the number of claims you can file.  For example, if you purchase a 3 year or 4 Year protection plan and you file a claim for accidental damage and the device gets replaced, then your Protection Plan for that device is considered fulfilled. If this happens in Year 1, then you would have to purchase another plan for future claims.  The claims are limited to the value of the device. If you purchase a $250 Chromebook, the manufacturer’s accidental damage protection plan only covers claims cost in a total of $250 over 3- or 4-year period.  

Some of the other limitations experienced is that the Manufacturer’s do not offer coverage for loss, theft, flood, fire, vandalism and some don’t cover liquid damage as well. The limitations are numerous and chances are the OEM will not fully protect against all losses and you will be out of luck because the plans they offer is not an insurance offering for your device and you’ll still have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars more to replace or repair the devices considering the number of students in each school.  Get a free quote instantly or request a proposal customized to your individual schools’ requirements. 

Another issue is that some of these OEMs manufacture their products very cheaply so they aren’t very durable and will almost be guaranteed to malfunction in a short period of time, so they make extra money off of these Accidental Damage Protection Plans or they offer larger discount on device sales, but sell you a protection plan with limited coverage and claims and make up their margins.

Putting mobile devices in the hands of youth is a pretty major risk in and of itself. Even the most responsible students may have the misfortune of dropping their Chromebook or fumbling an iPad where the result is a cracked screen or even worse, a device that stops functioning.
                                                                                       

Coverage is Crucial

In the event that a Chromebook or iPad is damaged by an accident or carelessness, who is responsible? While some may place the responsibility of the damage on the student (or parents) the device is assigned to, in school districts where families are low income, it may be tough for parents to afford student device insurance coverage. 

More often than not, Schools administrators have to take on the responsibility and ensure the devices are protected should they be lost, stolen, or damaged. If the devices do not have insurance, once an inevitable incident occurs, you could be looking at an expensive repair or replacement which can deliver a heavy blow to the school’s budget. 

What may even be costlier is that due to the student’s reliance on the Chromebook or iPad for schoolwork, they may be kept from their studies (if the school does not have enough loaner devices) and are at risk of falling behind due to the device being out of commission. This makes getting the product repaired or replaced in a timely manner crucial or else it can detrimentally affect the learning process. 

You Have Options

While you could always bite the bullet and go with the manufacturer’s version of an extended warranty or protection plan, it’s important to know that there are other avenues you can take that will be worth the investment and will provide more complete coverage of your devices. Do not automatically assume that the manufacturer is providing the best coverage at the best price unless you assign yourself some homework to shop around and obtain at least 2 – 3 bids on insurance.

3rd party insurance companies like Securranty offer an extended warranty, accidental damage protection plans, including Chromebook & iPad insurance that provides for unlimited repairs and replacement during the entire term of the policy.  So, if you purchase a 4 Year policy, you will be covered for the entire 4 years regardless of the number of repairs and replacements with the insurance plan.  

Securranty also offers customized enrollment & claims management for K-12 schools when students/parents are responsible for purchasing insurance.  Securranty creates a customized landing page for each school so students/parents can insurance for the Chromebook or iPad. School administrators and IT directors can choose to have students/Parents file claim or the school IT team can choose to manage claims.  Securranty’s proprietary technology platform simplifies enrollment and claims management for K-12 school administrators including,  providing real-time visibility and tracking of all claims activity. 

For most of these OEM companies, when you call and report an issue or damage to your device and it does qualify for repair or replacement, you are usually kept in the dark or given vague information on how long it would take to be replaced. 

Securranty has a convenient Online Account Management Portal where you can manage policies, file & track your claims every step of the way from start to finish and stay in the loop of the entire process of repair or replacement. There are a variety of service level options based on your budget & requirements including advanced exchange, Onsite Technician Dispatch & Local repair option, self-repair by schools including Apple Genius Bar repairs for iPads.  Securranty offers a quick repair turnaround time of 5 business days with postage paid to and from the repair depot including providing a 1-year warranty on all repairs. 

Just like the students who do their homework & study hard to get an A, you may consider doing a bit of homework when it comes to researching the best iPad or Chromebook Insurance that covers accidental damage, loss, theft, flood, fire, and other perils. Get a free quote instantly or request a proposal customized to your individual schools’ requirements.