Essential Buyers Guide for K-12 Device Insurance

April 19, 2024 by Taylor Thompson K-12 0

There are several factors to consider when deciding how to budget and manage repairs for a 1:1 student technology program.

We're here to help you understand the hidden risks when buying device protection or accidental damage plans. This guide provides key questions to ask potential providers to help you make informed decisions.


K-12 Device Insurance Buyer's Guide


Core Program and Business Questions

Not all protection plan and insurance programs are created equally and unfortunately in this industry there are some companies who operate without the proper legal and financial structure in place, often sacrificing these fundamentals in an effort to compete on price.

This can leave you the consumer at risk and unprotected. Sadly, we have seen examples of this play out where a company has gone out of business and customers are left paying the price. That's why it's crucial to ask these key questions when choosing a plan.

  1. Is the company licensed to sell insurance and service contracts in your state?

    • Fact: Service contracts and insurance plans are regulated differently in each state and some states require service contract forms to be properly filed prior to use in the state.

    • Ask: "Is your company compliant with my state's regulations regarding insurance and service contracts?" 
  2. Is the service provider placing your district's risk with an AM Best A (Excellent) rated or better insurance company? 
    • Fact: AM Best's credit ratings are an essential tool to help consumers assess an insurer's financial strength, creditworthiness, and ability to honor obligations to policyholders worldwide. This is important because if a company were ever to go out of business, it's important to know who the insured entity backing that company and its service contracts is. You can look up carriers here to review their information.

    • Ask: ''Are your Accidental Damage Plans insured by an AM Best A- rated or better insurance company? And is the insurance company named in the terms and conditions?”

    K-12 Device Insurance Buyer's Guide

  3. How long have the vendor and carrier been in business?

    • Fact: Only 50% of businesses survive past their fifth year. Given that service contracts can last 4+ years, it's important for companies to show a proven track record and that they aren't a "popup" provider in it to make a quick buck.

    • Ask: "How long have you and your insurance carrier been in business?" 
  4. What language should I look out for/be worried about when reviewing a service contract?

    • Fact: Even if a contract’s terms and conditions seem to meet your organization’s needs, there could be language included that leaves room for them to be altered and changed in the future. You should only buy a service contract if the terms cannot be changed, or if changes are limited to increasing the amount of coverage you have purchased.

    • Ask: "Can you guarantee that our service contract’s terms and conditions won’t be modified or change during the full term of the service contract?" 
  5. What happens if our service contract partner goes out of business?

    • Fact: Unless the obligations from the warranties and service contracts are insured by an insurance company, those company obligations are dissolved if the service provider goes out of business.

    • Ask: "If you go out of business, who will provide us with the services and repairs promised?" 

K-12 Device Insurance Buyer's Guide

Coverage and Service Questions


  1. What device repair options does your company offer schools and how long does it take for repairs to be completed?
    • Fact: There are several repair options available for schools, however limiting your district to a single repair center can cause delays if they have a part sourcing issue or an influx of repairs.

    • Ask: “What does your current repair network consist of? Do you use a single location, or do you have multiple locations throughout the country? What is your turnaround time for repairs?” 
  2. Is the coverage transferrable when the device is beyond economic repair?

    • Fact: Most service plans only allow for one replacement of a device during the term of the plan. Insurance plans can transfer coverage to the replacement devices for the remainder of the term purchased.

    • Ask: “Are replacement devices covered if the damaged device cannot be repaired?” 
  3. Does your coverage include A/C adapters?

    • Fact: Uncovered A/C adapter replacements can lead to significant, unbudgeted costs.

    • Ask: “Are A/C adapters and power cables covered under your plan?” 

K-12 Device Insurance Buyer's Guide


Claims and Finance Questions


  1.  Does your company provide a claims portal and automated claims adjudication?
    • Fact: Claims can build up quickly and will bog down team productivity if they are not simple to submit with the ability to submit multiple at once.

    • Ask: “What is your process for filing claims? Do you allow for bulk claims submission to speed up our claims procedures?” 
  2. Who funds the program?

    • Fact: Traditionally, school districts fund technology protection plans. Some programs enable parents and families to contribute to the school plans through a secure portal. Some districts will choose both options to cover their devices.

    • Ask: “Can your company collect the insurance premium from our families, and do we have the option to have a hybrid model that is funded by both families and our district?” 
  3. Are there any service fees or deductibles?

    • Fact: Unexpected shipping costs and deductibles can eat into your district's annual budget.

    • Ask: “Will we have any fees, deductibles, or shipping charges when we file a claim?” 

The most important question: "Are you responsible if your Accidental Damage Protection Plan provider does not meet the requirements in your state?"

  • Non-complaint purchases can put your district and government funding at risk. 

K-12 Device Insurance Buyer's Guide

About Safeware

In the last decade alone, Safeware has worked with over 6,400 K-12 districts and schools across the country to protect their technology deployments. Our program is backed by an AM Best A-Rated insurance carrier and multibillion dollar Fortune 500 company—this means that your plans will be safe and sound and administered properly through the life of the contract.


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