Warranties For Kids’ Electronics – What You Need To Know

Published:
Updated:

A new study indicates that half of all kids have broken their electronic devices. When buying new items, parents are often left debating what warranties are worth it.

"I dropped it on the concrete floor,” said Trey Bradham, tablet user.

"Over 30 percent of people break their devices pretty consistently,” said Benji Kuriakose.

Kuriakose is operations manager from Square Trade, a company that sells warranties for electronic devices. He says kids like Trey, a 7th grader in the Olentangy School district, average more than three hours a day on cell phones, tablets and laptops. Kuriakose says when kids break them, adults spend $2.8 billion a year repairing them.

"We have these massive, massive books in these book bags - and we cram them in.  We over-pack the backpacks.  One nudge against a locker and the tablet's done,” he adds.

Trey's grandmother, Beverly Fink, bought him an inexpensive tablet after he broke his first one. She says the salesman closed the deal.
 
"He said they come with a warranty.  Well, that caught my attention because I thought, that makes sense,” said Fink.

The warranty was not from the manufacturer, but purchased from Square Trade. Two months later, when Trey dropped his tablet, the company replaced it. Kuriakose says manufacturer's warrants cover defects (perhaps a hairline crack) but not a shattered face, damage from dropping or liquids.  For that, you'll need to buy a separate warranty. 

He suggests buying covers and cases for more protection.

"Things that are really valuable to us are often irreplaceable on these devices,” said Kuriakose.

He warns against placing devices near food or drink. One quarter of all devices are dropped in toilets, so he adds don't take them into the bathroom with you, either.

And he says before you buy a warranty, read the small print and make sure you understand what is covered.

If you want to buy a company warranty at the same time you purchase of an electronic device to cover drops, spills, and broken screens:

Apple iPhone and iPad - $99

Samsung tablet and phone - $99 for 2 years

Dell tablet and laptop - $85 for 2 years

Some companies not affiliated with manufacturers that sell warranties:

Square Trade 

Worth Avenue Group 

Safeware