When you buy your iPad, you will get a one year warranty for free, however this warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage. If you want to have more complete coverage, you need to choose AppleCare + or a third party protection plan. AppleCare + costs $99 and you have to buy it when you buy your iPad, or within thirty days of your purchase. If you do not purchase it right away, you have to take your iPad back into the Apple Store so they can inspect it before they allow you to purchase the protection plan.

With the AppleCare + plan you get an additional year of warranty protection and accidental damages will be covered. For example, if you spill your beverage on your iPad, you can get it replaced for free. You get two incidents such as this and there is a $49 deductable. $49 is a low cost in comparison to having to buy another iPad outright though.

If you don’t care for AppleCare + coverage for your iPad, you might choose a third party coverage plan such as SquareTrade. With this insurance, you pay monthly and the deductable is higher for accidental damages, yet you get an additional year of coverage and up to four accidental replacements per warranty type.

The SquareTrade coverage plan includes if you drop your iPad and crack the screen or break internal parts. It also covers antenna and Wi-Fi failure, spills, broken dock ports, all mechanical and electrical failures, and touchscreen failure.  Display failure such as dead pixels, white lines and total blackouts are covered along with if your iPad won’t power on.

It’s up to you which sort of coverage you choose, or if you purchase any coverage at all. If you know you are likely to cause accidental damage, buying additional protection coverage can give you peace of mind and save a lot of money if you do need to replace your iPad.