A popular saying in the drone world is: It’s not if you crash your drone, it’s when you crash your drone.
Sadly this is a reality and the nature of flying drones. Whether due to outside forces, like the weather, interference from wildlife, equipment failure, or pilot error, drone crashes often happen.
Is it worth it to buy DJI Care Refresh?
Yes, it is worthwhile to buy DJI Care Refresh especially if you fly frequently or if you’re a beginner pilot. And if you’ve invested a lot of money into one of the more expensive DJI drones, it’s definitely worth the peace of mind.
For those times when a drone crash does occur, DJI offers a comprehensive protection plan called DJI Care Refresh, which for an added cost provides DJI products with coverage for accidental or unintentional damage, wear and tear, and also includes water damage, and flyaway coverage.
For the more expensive models of DJI drones, such as the prosumer, professional and commercial lines of drones, having the added security of the newly upgraded DJI Care Refresh may indeed be worth it to many drone pilots, depending on how you fly, what your purpose is for flying, and how often you fly.
What is DJI Care Refresh
In short, DJI Care Refresh is a type of physical damage protection plan for your drone provided by DJI.
The DJI Care Refresh plan offers:
- 2 drone replacements in a 12-month period (1 year)
- 4 replacements in a 24-month period (2 years), as opposed to the previous count of three replacements for the 24-month period
The replacement drones are either new or refurbished units that equal a brand-new drone in performance and reliability.
There is a small window or cutoff, however, in which to purchase DJI Care Refresh, this being immediately when purchasing the drone through a DJI Authorized seller (as an unactivated unit) or within 48 hours of purchasing the unactivated drone.
For those unaware, starting July 2023, the DJI Care Refresh plan has been upgraded at no extra cost.
We’ll be taking a look at those benefit changes shortly.
DJI Care Refresh+
Amongst the changes implemented in July 2023, DJI Care Refresh+ has been discontinued. DJI Care Refresh+ was originally a plan extension for those who have purchased DJI Care Refresh.
For those currently on DJI Care Refresh, you can extend your terms an additional year by selecting the DJI Care Refresh (1-Year Plan), at the DJI Store, for your model of drone that currently has a DJI Care Refresh plan.
Updated DJI Care Refresh Benefits (July of 2023)
See below for some of the changes to the DJI Care Refresh benefits.
Number of Replacements
While the 1-year replacement schedule is still in place at 2 replacements for the 12-month period, the 2-year plan now allows for 4 replacements, as opposed to the previous plan of 3 replacements in a 2-year period.
The overall replacement fee for each drone has gone down by up to 35%.
Additionally, where there were separately priced fees for each replacement count, there is only one replacement fee cost for each count.
As an example with the prior DJI Care Refresh structure, an Inspire 2 would be $339 for the cost of Care Refresh, with the first replacement priced at $209 and the second replacement priced at $329.
Under the new 2023 structure, the Inspire 2 is still $339 for the cost of Care Refresh, with the first replacement priced at $209, however, the second replacement is priced at that same $209.
A difference of $120 over the previous plan.
Extended Coverage Period
Instead of only having the option to cover your drone for 24 months (2 years), you are now able to renew your current DJI Care Refresh for a third year.
If you have a current 2-year service and would like to extend it to 3 years, you can renew the service by purchasing a 1-year DJI Care Refresh Plan in the Service section of the DJI Store during the coverage period.
DJI Care Refresh Pricing
Like with any insurance policy, the benefit of DJI Care Refresh comes into play if there is an unintentional loss of a drone.
As with insurance, the amount you pay for DJI Care Refresh is based on the model of the covered drone.
The more the drone costs to replace, the higher the initial DJI Care Refresh and replacement drone pricing.
Below is a chart of DJI-covered drones that breaks down the price of a 1-year DJI Care Refresh service, the two replacement costs of the drone (first and second replacement costs are now the same price), followed by the Market Value Percentage of the Drone as compared to the pricing of a new unit, based on the DJI Store.
|Mavic 3 Pro||$239||$159||$159||$2,100||27%|
|Mavic 3 Pro
|DJI Air 2S||$99||$119||$119||$799||42%|
|Mavic Air 2||$79||$69||$69||$559||39%|
|Mini 3 Pro||$79||$65||$65||$759||28%|
|Mini 2 SE||$36||$29||$29||$339||28%|
Following the Market Percentage approach, the most long-term value out of DJI Care Refresh would be for drones that fall under the 30% Market Percentage mark.
Note: Although flyaways are covered, they count as 1 replacement AND are priced significantly higher than a standard replacement. See the DJI store for flyaway replacement pricing.
Criteria For Connecting DJI Care Refresh
If you are planning on connecting DJI Care Refresh to your drone, one of the following criteria must be true:
- New and un-activated DJI drone
- DJI drone activated in the last 48 hours
- DJI drone has been repaired in an official DJI Service Center (within 72 hours of receiving an email invitation)
- The drone has been approved via video verification
Activating DJI Care Refresh
If you purchase a DJI drone from the Online DJI store, you can select DJI Care Refresh with your order and the Care Refresh will automatically bind to your new drone.
This eliminates the need to go through the steps of binding the service with the drone.
Secondly, if you decide to purchase DJI Care Refresh separately on the DJI Store, you will need to enter your drone’s serial number when prompted during purchasing DJI Care Refresh.
Lastly, if you purchased your drone from an authorized DJI retailer, you can purchase a DJI Care Refresh activation card.
To activate DJI Care Refresh, follow the directions on the card. You will need to enter the activation code and serial number of your drone using the DJI Care Activation page.
DJI Care Refresh Coverage
A big question on many individuals’ minds is what is exactly covered under DJI Care Refresh.
Damages that are covered:
- Signal loss or signal interference, resulting in a crash
- Collisions with various objects
- Drop damage
- Water damage (complete coverage)
- Operator error, causing damage to the drone
What is not covered:
- Stolen or abandoned drones
- Deliberately lost or damaged drones
- DIY repairs
- Remote controller damage
- Superficial Cosmetic Damage
The DJI Care Refresh Process
If you find yourself in a position where your beloved drone has sustained some type of damage, you’ll need to login into your DJI account online and submit a repair request under your service plan.
Next, you will receive instructions from DJI on how to send your drone to a DJI repair facility for the region you live in.
What’s nice is that the shipping charges for sending and receiving your drone are covered by DJI.
The regional DJI repair center will inspect the drone and then confirm the type of damage the drone has sustained.
If the damage is covered by the terms of DJI Care Refresh, you’ll receive either a new or like-new condition drone.
Unfortunately, there are times when drones are not covered under the terms of DJI Care Refresh due to their damage type.
In such instances, if not covered, you will have the option to pay for repair work or have the drone returned to you, unrepaired.
Is DJI Care Refresh For You?
This is a good question. At the outset, it was stated that DJI Care Refresh could be for you, depending on how you fly, what your purpose is for flying, and how often you fly.
If you are flying for commercial purposes, as a professional drone pilot, you might choose to skip getting DJI Care Refresh.
Why is this?
If you are running your drone for commercial purposes, chances are perform your jobs covered by liability drone insurance.
Most liability insurance companies also offer separate hull insurance for commercial drones, which might be more cost-effective for the drone pilot in the long run.
Another point is that going through the DJI Care Refresh drone replacement process takes a bit of time, time a drone pilot might not have when trying to complete commercial jobs.
If you are a hobbyist planning on keeping and flying the drone for years to come, it also might make more sense to just purchase hull insurance, which can be paid in small and manageable monthly or quarterly chunks that will last the duration of the drone.
When keeping a drone for say more than 3 years, the DJI Care Refresh could run out before you might even think of purchasing another drone, leaving the possibility for non-coverage while still intending to keep and fly the drone.
For the casual hobbyist who flies periodically, getting DJI Care Refresh might be beneficial.
When submitting a drone for DJI Care Refresh there is a bit of downtime, as the drone is shipped out, then gets checked out in a regional center, and then a replacement unit is sent out.
This process can very well take several weeks.
For someone that only flies occasionally, or doesn’t fly their drone regularly for drone jobs, the turn-around time could be a moot point, not causing any undo inconveniences.