Flying your drone can be nerve-wracking. They are expensive toys and it can be scary knowing how much money is going down the drain if you crash. Luckily, DJI realizes this and has offered both DJI Care and more recently DJI Care Refresh to help cover you. But, is it worth it? Should you get it? Depending on your flying style you should most definitely get DJI Care Refresh. Although, there are other options as well. Let’s dive into DJI’s coverage first.
DJI Care vs DJI Care Refresh??
DJI Care was announced at the beginning of 2016 as, “a protection plan that provides customers with peace of mind and an enhanced after-sales experience”. It works by offering a certain amount of coverage (usually up to the retail value) for a price. The price varies depending on the model selected.
Operator error, signal interference, collision, accident, and drop damage are called out to be included in the DJI Care coverage. This covers almost all crash situations as it includes any accident but do note, that water damage is not covered by DJI Care. Also, if the drone is lost you will not be able to get a new one or have any coverage. You will be SOL. DJI needs you to ship yours back in order to repair it. If it is damaged to the point of no repair and you have retail value or more left in your DJI Care coverage, then you will receive a new drone.
Once purchased the user can send the drone in for repairs and it will be charged under the coverage. The user has no limit on how many times they can send the drone in for repair. There is no deductible and it is free shipping.
Once purchased DJI Care is only valid for 1 year. Once the year is finished, it expires. Almost like an extended warranty. DJI Care cannot be extended.
DJI will cover ship costs as long as it is shipped from the region that the aircraft was purchased in. If you are on vacation I would recommend waiting until you get back home to send it in. Or, cover any additional shipping costs you may incur yourself. See the service process diagram posted by DJI below.
See the table below for information and links to the different DJI models covered by DJI Care. You’ll notice it is mostly older DJI Models and does not apply to most of their newer releases which are covered by DJI Care Refresh.
DJI Care – Grand Table of Info/Links
|Phantom 3 Standard||$129||$499||Click|
|Phantom 3 Advanced||$199||$799||Click|
|Phantom 3 4K||$149||$599||Click|
|Phantom 3 Pro||$279||$999||Click|
|Inspire 1 V2.0||$399||$1999||Click|
|Inspire 1 Pro||$549||$3399||Click|
|Inspire 1 RAW||$819||$5399||Click|
DJI Care Refresh
DJI Care Refresh was released by DJI about a year after DJI Care was announced. I would almost call it DJI Care 2.0. It is basically the newer version of it. It is really your only option for the newer DJI models as DJI Care is not offered for them.
DJI Care Refresh covers operator error, signal interference, collision, accident, drop damage, and water damage. It is nice that DJI added in water damage coverage. This will give people more peace of mind when flying over lakes, ponds, rivers or out of a sudden rainstorm. DO NOTE: DJI Refresh does not cover your drone if you lose your drone! So don’t be all cocky 4 km out (2 and a half miles) thinking “It’s okay DJI Refresh has me covered with water damage”. If it goes down you gotta get it or you’ll lose the cost of both your drone and the insurance. There are products that you can put on your drone that can help you find it such as GPS trackers or floats. This float activates upon contact with the water and will hold 9lbs floating to what it is strapped to. Check it out here.
The purchase price varies per model. But in general, it seems to be about 10% of the retail value for the initial purchase. Once purchased and an accident occurs that is covered (Pretty much anything), you would make a repair request. Then send it in to the DJI techs and pay the 1st replacement cost. DJI explains the service process with the following diagram.
If damaged again within the year, the user would simply follow the same process with the exception of having to pay the 2nd replacement cost. DJI describes these replacement drones as “units in new or like-new condition in terms of performance and reliability”. Do note, there’s a good chance you have gotten a new drone and have had it for a little while and now would like to add DJI Care Refresh coverage. If it has been more than 48 hours since your drone has been purchased, you will most likely be required by DJI to send a video to prove that the drone is working. They can’t have people crashing their drone then going to buy the coverage, waiting a couple of days, and sending the drone in. Take a look here at one of my other posts to view a guide on how to get DJI Care Refresh.
See the DJI Care Refresh – Grand Table of Info/Links below for information and links for the models covered by DJI Refresh. This covers all the most recent DJI products.
DJI Care Refresh – Grand Table of Info/Links
|Model||Purchase Price||1st Replacement||2nd Replacement||Link|
|Mavic Pro Platinum||$129||$89||$139||Click|
|Phantom 4 Advanced||$139||$99||$139||Click|
|Phantom 4 Pro||$169||$99||$149||Click|
|DJI CARE REFRESH||Click|
What’s The Same? What’s Different?
Both DJI Care & DJI Care Refresh are extended warranty/insurance to cover your drone in the event of damage. They have free shipping from the region that the coverage is purchased in and DJI support contact is the same. The difference lies in how it is purchased and a bit in what is covered.
DJI Care is a 1-time fee that then covers your drone for repairs up to its approximate retail value. DJI Care Refresh has a lower fee than DJI care to start the coverage, then once your drone has crashed or is damaged there is a fee for the first replacement (about 10% of the retail value). They do not repair your drone and send it back. Upon approval, they send you back another drone that is new or refurbished. Then if you crash again, DJI Care Refresh covers up to 2 replacements so you simply pay the 2nd fee (More than the first fee, see table above)).
Coverage wise for repair or replacement the main difference is that DJI Care does not cover water damage and DJI Care Refresh does. Then, of course, there are different models that are covered by each. The validity period of both coverages is 12 months. Once DJI Care has expired there are no more options for coverage from DJI. However, there is now also DJI Care Refresh +, which is a 12-month extension only applicable to DJI Care Refresh under certain circumstances. See the guide I have on DJI Care Refresh here which has more info on DJI Care Refresh +.
What’s not covered?
See the highlighted pics below straight from DJI’s website but highlighting the differences and similarities. The similarities are green and differences are yellow.
There are other options for coverage/insurance on your drone. DJI coverage is more like an extended warranty for your drone than insurance. Think of it like Apple Care. It covers accidental damages but only if you still have the phone as it does not cover losses. So I would classify it as more of a special extended warranty coverage than real insurance.
You will definitely want some real insurance if you’re using your drone for commercial purposes. This means you have your Pt 107 license and you are allowed to provide a service in exchange for money. This is due to the extra risk you incur when working as you can be held liable for damages. For example, you go to take a real estate video for a client and you crash your drone on top of his Lamborghini. Or, even worse, you crash a drone into the client’s son in the backyard. Take a look over here for a guide on commercial insurance options for your missions.
I’ve been doing extensive research on drone insurance and there is one more option for hobbyists that could prove to be even better than DJI coverage and more economical. It is a PAP (Personal Articles Policy) offered from State Farm. I get into the details of this option in another post. Check it out here.
To conclude, in the spirit of crashing, see the video below which contains a compilation of drone crashes. I hope you nor I ever end up in one of these types of videos…but if we do, hopefully, we have DJI coverage or Insurance.
My favorite sections of this video include…
- 0:01 – The very first one as it happened in his first few seconds of flight which is awful but amusing at the same time
- 1:55 – This one would be covered by DJI Care Refresh but not DJI Care as it was water damage. Also, I think it’s hilarious when his girlfriend tells him I told you so. [Warning some naughty language in this clip]
- 2:36 – Not only does he hit a tree but then his dog gets his drone and attempts to run off
- 7:31 – This one has a beautifully framed shot and the operator is executing a nice cinematic pull-back shot. However, flying backward blind is dangerous and he backs straight into a tree. It is extremely impressive and lucky that the drone managed to stay up in the air after the collision
- 8:18 – You can see his map, he made quite the excursion and ran outta juice returning home. He came so close to making it back but not quite.
See DJI Care refresh guide coming here.
See State Farm PAP Drone insurance info here.