Many of the American Express cards, including the Platinum, Gold, and SPG cards [these are referral links], offer the Buyer’s Assurance program. This program will double the original terms of your manufacturer warranty, up to an additional year, if the full purchase price of the item was charged to your American Express card that has coverage.
I usually think of these types of programs as useless, requiring too much paperwork, effort, false-denials, etc. However, after my MacBook Pro screen started to discolour, and my Apple warranty expired but a month earlier, I used the Buyer’s Assurance program.
First, I had to call their insurance hotline. The policy is managed by RSA Insurance. Over the phone, they collected the basic information about my claim, including my biographic details, purchase price, and a description of the damage. Fortunately, the person who took my claim was also my claim examiner. He told me to email him the following information:
- A description of the damage and the events surrounding it;
- A copy of the original purchase receipt;
- A copy of the bill where the charge for the item appeared;
- An estimate for repair (I simply emailed a local repair shop, and within an hour, they emailed me an estimate to replace the screen), and;
- A copy of the manufacturer warranty (which I grabbed off the Apple website).
Within 5 days, I received an email from my examiner stating that my claim, which was around $1000, was paid. Wow! Now that’s service!
Even better, when I spoke with my examiner, he stated that I was under no obligation to actually repair the laptop. Once the claim was paid, he didn’t care how I spent the money. I’ve been looking to completely get rid of all my Apple products (changed out iPhone for Galaxy), so I sold the damaged laptop on eBay for $500, and with the paid claim, that means I actually earned a couple dollars from my original purchase price. I was able to switch over to an ASUS Zenbook that I love.
In conclusion, the American Express Buyer’s Assurance policy works wonderfully. It was a quick experience, without any pushback. My claim was rather significant, for ~$1000, and I couldn’t say anything bad about the policy. Kudos to AMEX!
Interesting note: my new ASUS Zenbook has an included “drops, damage, liquid, etc” coverage as part of their standard 1-year warranty. According to the Buyer’s Assurance policy, my laptop should be covered for those risks in year 2, which is amazing!