If you own a DJI drone, then you’ve probably heard of or considered purchasing DJI Care or DJI Care Refresh. These programs are the insurance or damage protection plans offered by DJI for their drones. Depending on the plan you purchase, DJI can either cover fees for repair of the unit or replacement of parts, or offer a replacement unit for a small additional charge.
You might be asking: what’s the difference between the 2 plans? Are either of the plans worth my money? What will happen if my drone runs into birds and crashes? In this article, we discuss the difference between DJI Care and DJI Care Refresh, the coverage of each plan, the associated fees, and whether or not they are worth the price.
DJI Care was the initial insurance plan offered by DJI for their older drones. Right now, you can purchase this plan for the Phantom 3 (Standard, Advanced, 4K, Professional), the Phantom 4, and the Inspire 1 (V2.0, Pro, RAW). The price of purchasing the insurance plan varies with each model.
Basically, DJI Care provides a warranty that DJI will cover repair costs as long as the cause of the damage is within the conditions set by the plan. The acceptable causes of damage include operator error, signal interference, drop damage, accidents, and collisions. As you can see, the acceptable scenarios are quite extensive and should cover the most common causes of drone crashes.
So how does DJI Care work exactly? Each plan corresponds to a purchase price, and a coverage price. If you damage your drone, the DJI Care plan you purchased will cover all repair costs within the validity period as long as the costs are within the coverage of your plan. Should you need to have your drone repaired multiple times, then the plan will still cover all repairs as long as the cumulative cost does not exceed the plan coverage.
Listed below is the breakdown of the purchase price and coverage of the DJI Care warranty plan for the drones for which it is offered.
|Phantom 3 Standard||$129||$499||1 year|
|Phantom 3 Advanced||$199||$799||1 year|
|Phantom 3 4K||$149||$599||1 year|
|Phantom 3 Pro||$279||$999||1 year|
|Phantom 4||$219||$1199||1 year|
|Inspire 1 V2.0||$399||$1999||1 year|
|Inspire 1 Pro||$549||$3399||1 year|
|Inspire 1 RAW||$819||$5399||1 year|
You’ll notice that the coverage price of the DJI Care plans are quite high, more so in the high-end models like the Inspire 1 RAW. In fact, DJI will completely replace your drone if your unit has become damaged beyond repair, given that the coverage of your plan will be equivalent or greater than the cost of purchasing a new drone. In the case of the Inspire 1 RAW, the price of a new drone is only $4,699, well within the coverage price of the DJI Care plan for that particular model.
Under the DJI Care plan, DJI will even cover the costs for shipping your drone to their service center as long as the unit will be shipped from the same region where it was purchased. Should you be in an area outside of DJI service coverage, you might have to shoulder the shipping costs as well as other associated expenses, such as customs clearance or duties.
There are no hidden deductibles in the DJI Care plan, ensuring that you will be able to maximize the coverage amount that you paid for. Best of all, your drone will be repaired by the highly skilled engineers at DJI. You can rest assured that your drone will receive the utmost care from certified and reliable drone experts.
DJI Care Refresh
The DJI Care Refresh insurance plan is the more recent of the 2 plans offered by the DJI, and is offered for all drones released after and including the Mavic. This list includes the Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, Spark, Phantom 4 (Pro, Advanced), Phantom 3 SE, Inspire 2, and the Inspire cameras (Zenmuse X4S, Zenmuse X5S, Zenmuse X7).
How does it differ from DJI Care? Both DJI Care and DJI Care Refresh plans can be purchased at a price that depends on the drone model. Should you damage your drone to a point where it can still be repaired, DJI will provide a repair service or parts replacement free of charge. The similarities pretty much end there, because this is the point where DJI Care Refresh truly shines. For a fraction of the original purchase price of your drone, DJI Care Refresh can offer a new or equivalent to new drone should your original drone be damaged beyond repair. Even better, you may get maximum of 2 replacement units for each DJI Care Refresh insurance plan.
The replacement fee varies for each drone model and for each region, so it is best to check for the actual values in your locality. However, the replacement fees are definitely much cheaper than buying a brand new drone. For illustration, the prices below are applicable for the North America region.
|Model||Purchase price||First replacement||Second replacement|
|Mavic Pro Platinum||$129||$89||$139|
|Phantom 4 Pro||$149||$99||$149|
|Phantom 4 Advanced||$139||$99||$139|
|Phantom 3 SE||$59||$69||$79|
As you can see, the replacement fees under the DJI Care Refresh warranty are really quite affordable. Put into context of, say, a brand new DJI Spark bundle which costs $399, then the replacement fees are truly a great deal.
The DJI Care Refresh plan covers replacement of most of the essential parts of a drone. These include the camera, gimbal, propellers, and battery for the Spark and the Mavic Pro; the gimbal, camera, and propellers for the Phantom 4 Pro, and the propellers of the Inspire 2. For a full list of the replacement parts covered by the warranty, it is best to consult the DJI website.
Another advantage of the DJI Care Refresh warranty is that it now covers water damage, which the old DJI Care did not. If you damage your drone with a little water spillage or should you drop it along a shallow lake or stream, then DJI Care Refresh will take care of repairing or replacing your drone. Don’t go crashing your drone in the middle of the ocean, though. We’ll get to that in a while.
So how do you go about purchasing a DJI Care Refresh plan? For best results, it is best to purchase the plan along with your drone. Take note that each plan is bound to the serial number of a drone, meaning that you will have to buy multiple plans for multiple drones. If you haven’t bought a plan with your drone, you can easily buy one for your drone within 48 hours of activating it. Our advice? Now would be the best time.
Do you have a drone that’s older than 48 hours? Don’t worry, as DJI will still provide insurance coverage. You will need to go through a couple of steps, which may include providing a video showing that your drone is still fully functional.
What are NOT covered under the plans?
Neither of the DJI Care and DJI Care Refresh insurance plans cover loss of the drone. If you decide to fly too far away and consequently lose your drone in an area where you can’t recover it – well, that’s just too bad. Although the DJI Care Refresh covers water damage, the warranty still requires that you retrieve the drone where you crash it. If you lose your drone to the depths of an ocean or the sea, then the insurance plan you purchased can’t exactly help you.
As long as you can retrieve the drone, then DJI doesn’t really care about the circumstances that led to its crash. In this end, we advise attaching a GPS tracker to your drone so it can be easily retrieved even if you’re flying beyond the line of sight. You can technically use the “Find my drone” function in the DJI GO app, but it is better to have some redundancy rather than totally losing your drone.
Is it worth it?
Ultimately, it comes down to this question. Is it worth it to spend several more dollars to get the DJI Care or the DJI Care Refresh insurance plans? In our opinion, there is little doubt that these plans are worth the extra cash.
Any drone flight pro will tell you that crashes are inevitable. In fact, crashes happen even to the best drone pilots. For all the sophisticated sensors and flight intelligence of the DJI drones, they are still lightweight and finicky machines that can be downed by strong winds, rain, birds, bees, or any number of obstacles.
You might be a very conservative drone pilot who always err on the side of safety, but sometimes a little risk is what it takes to get that really cool shot or to test the abilities of your drone. In times like these, having a DJI warranty can give you the peace of mind that you’re not going to totally lose your drone even if you crash. You might even be more open to trying things that you would not consider otherwise if you didn’t have any insurance.
The DJI Care and DJI Care Refresh plans are just like any other insurance plan: you hope you never have to use them, but should the need arise, you will be glad that you purchased the plans in the first place.