Note: Jonathan Zschau is a Boston-based attorney and a specialist in consumer rights.
UPDATE: SquareTrade has objected to some of the statements and characterizations in this article. The company has some good points, which are published in full here.
As well as a good case or bumper, should you buy an extended service plan to protect your iPhone?
These service contracts are commonly referred to as “extended warranty plans,” “protection plans,” or “insurance plans” and promise to insure your iPhone from defect, accidental damage, and sometimes loss or theft.
The problem with extended service contracts is that they don’t offer you much more than you are already entitled to through your iPhone’s warranty, AppleCare, or existing consumer protection laws.
Although these service contracts do offer additional protection from accidental damage, theft, or loss they are also fraught hidden conditions, exclusions, and deductibles, which ultimately detract from their utility. Except for a very small minority of unusually accident-prone iPhone owners, these extended service contracts are a waste of money.