Internet warranty protects electronics goods

LOS ANGELES Usually I don't recommend extended warranties. But for some electronics products, especially portable ones like phones, laptops, iPads and iPods, it makes sense if it covers accidental damage. And now there is a warranty that will cover that kind of loss.

"Black Friday" is supposed to be a good day for shoppers. But it was a bad day for Palms resident Benny Flores.

"I ended up dropping my phone on Black Friday, and the screen cracked," said Flores.

And that meant that his iPhone was toast. Fortunately he had a warranty that covered such accidents, a warranty he got off the Internet. So he got a new one straight from Apple.

"So I paid $199 and they gave me a new one, and then SquareTrade reimbursed me $200, and all I had to pay was $50," said Flores. That was for the deductible.

Have you ever come close to dropping your phone in water or on the ground? In either case your phone might be dead. For many it's a critical loss.

"Today people are carrying around small computers," said Steve Abernethy, founder, president and CEO of is a website that offers extended warranties on electronics no matter where you buy the product. And he says you can save plenty over the cost of a warranty through a store.

"What SquareTrade created is a direct way where you can say 'no' to the retailer, yet still get a warranty at about half the price," said Abernethy.

And one thing you can't get from the stores is accidental damage coverage, especially good to have for portable devices like phones.

"There's very few things that we'll deny," said Abernethy. "If you pay for example with a phone, we only sell phone warranties with accident damage coverage. And that means if you drop it in the toilet or you drop it in the street, it's covered."

Flores is certainly glad he had that coverage. "Apple doesn't even cover anything like that," said Flores.

One more thing about SquareTrade is it stores all of your warranties so you can find them when you need them.

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