Q. I just bought a new Mac for the family and a new iPhone for me. I decided not to buy AppleCare for them. However, there have been a few close calls with spills and drops. Now I'm thinking maybe I should have bought AppleCare. What do you think?
-Laurence of Rochester, NY, listens to my national radio show on WHAM 1180 AM.
A. I get asked a lot about AppleCare and AppleCare+ (which covers iPhones and iPads).
Here's the bottom line: Extended warranties are about risk tolerance, and risk tolerance is a very personal decision. If AppleCare or AppleCare+ will make you sleep better at night, go for it.
You can still buy AppleCare after you've purchased Apple products, Laurence. So it might not be too late.
First, the good news: All Apple products come with a no-cost, one-year warranty that covers hardware repair. Buyers also receive free phone technical support for up to 90 days after buying a product.
AppleCare and AppleCare+ only kick in after the basic warranty expires.
AppleCare provides an extra two years of hardware service and phone support for Macs and computer displays. It also provides one extra year of coverage for an iPod or Apple TV.
Any time before the one-year warranty expires, you can buy AppleCare. Prices vary by product.
AppleCare+ provides an extra year of coverage for iPhones and iPads. Unlike AppleCare, AppleCare+ covers damage from up to two accidents.