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AppleCare+ now protects against Mac accidents

Because MacBooks don't bounce as well as iPhones. Nor are they as water repellent.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple announced new MacBooks and its new MacOS High Sierra software at WWDC 2017 on Monday, but neglected to mention it has added AppleCare+ protection for Macs. (There was a lot to get through, to be fair.)

Previously, it offered AppleCare (no plus) for Macs and AppleCare+ for iPhones and iPads. Both coverage plans extend the length of the standard, one-year warranty, but only AppleCare+ protects against drops, spills and other mishaps.

AppleCare for Macs is now AppleCare+ for Macs

Apple's standard Mac warranty includes one year of hardware coverage but does not cover accidental damage. So, if you drop your Mac and the screen cracks, you're on your own. Same if things go sideways after you drop it in the pool. With AppleCare+, you get three years of hardware coverage that includes "two incidents of accidental damage coverage." You'll still pay for Apple to fix such damage but less than if you didn't have Apple's insurance: a $99 service fee for screen damage or external enclosure damage or a $299 fee for other damage.

AppleCare+ is not, however a panacea. If you read the fine print on the AppleCare+ for Macs page, you'll see this line: "If your Mac has catastrophic damage from an accident or is inoperable after unauthorized modifications, you will need to buy a replacement." Still, Apple has made its extended warranty plans more attractive by protecting your Mac from yourself. 

AppleCare+ also provides three years of telephone support; you get only 90 days of phone support with the standard Mac warranty.

AppleCare+ pricing

You can buy AppleCare+ coverage with a new Mac or within 60 days of your purchase. Pricing for AppleCare+ varies by model and is more expensive for MacBooks than Mac desktops, for the obvious reason that you're more likely to abuse a MacBook that you lug around with you than a Mac that sits on or under a desk.

Here are the prices for AppleCare+ for Macs:

  • Mac Mini: $99
  • iMac: $169
  • Mac Pro: $249
  • MacBook/MacBook Air: $249
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro: $269
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro: $379

For more, see our complete coverage of WWDC 2017.