Everyone’s talking about the new Skydio 2+ drone, but there’s a less sexy new “product” of sorts in the Skydio lineup: Skydio Care.
Along with Skydio’s new Skydio 2+ announcement during the first week of January, the company also announced Skydio Care. This optional protection plan can be purchased as a supplement to the existing Skydio 2+ Limited Warranty, which comes with your drone.
With it, you’re looking at a replacement drone — no questions asked. Purchase the additional Skydio Care coverage — which starts at $149 — and the company will get you a repair or replacement in the event of accidental damage, which can include scenarios like collisions, water damage, and unrecoverable landings.
That said, paying the $149 alone won’t guarantee a replacement. You’ll also have to pay an additional fee to actually get that replacement drone. Presumably that incentivizes you to not be reckless with or “accidentally lose” your drone, as you’ll need to have additionally skin in the game to get the replacement.
The number of replacements you’re eligible for varies based on the plan you get. Here’s what you can expect:
- 1-year plan ($149 for the Skydio 2+ Starter Kit) up to 2 replacements
- 2-year plan ($249 for the Skydio 2+ Starter Kit)- up to 3 replacements
- Enterprise – up to 3 replacements
And here’s how much it’ll cost you to get a replacement drone once you’ve purchased the plan:
|Cost of replacement|
|3rd replacement (available only with 2-year plan)||$250|
|Lost drone replacement||$550|
If you think you’ll want to purchase Skydio Care, you’ll have to act at the time of purchasing. Skydio Care can only be purchased with a Skydio 2+ kit and cannot be ordered separately.
Additionally, you’re only eligible for one lost drone replacement.
Skydio Care versus the standard warranty
Submit an eligible claim within one year of purchase, and Skydio will either:
- repair it using new or refurbished parts.
- replace it with an equivalent new or refurbished product.
- provide a partial or full refund of the original purchase price to you in exchange for you returning your product.
But the situations that are considered “eligible” for a warranty claim are actually quite limited. Skydio has a laundry list of reasons that exclude your drone from being eligible for its standard warranty coverage on its legal page, but some standout reasons include (but are not limited to):
- Damage caused by reckless, abusive, willful or intentional conduct.
- Damage caused by or as a consequence of engaging in illegal activities.
- Direct or indirect loss caused by natural disasters or war.
- Damage caused by modifications, alterations, tampering, disassembly, or improper maintenance or repairs.
- Unauthorized disassembly (so don’t try to take it apart and fix it yourself first).
- Water, dirt, fire or sand damage, or use in bad weather.
- Damage due to failure to update any applicable software in a timely manner or as directed by Skydio.
- Damage caused by operating it in an environment with electromagnetic interference or with poor or low light conditions.
Clearly, there are many reasons why your drone would not be eligible for a standard warranty. Is a little drizzle considered bad weather? What’s considered a timely manner for your software update? You could find yourself ineligible due to a fairly opaque definition of what is eligible.
And if that’s you (and you want to ensure you do get coverage), then getting the Skydio Care coverage could make more sense.
How to submit a Skydio Care Claim
Submitting a Skydio Care claim is a fairly easy and straightforward process.
- You’ll have to submit the claim via Skydio’s website, which requires personal information as well as your Skydio Care number. If you lose your Skydio Care number, you can contact Skydio’s customer support for assistance.
- You’ll pay a deductible after your claim is processed via credit card.
- If repairing a damaged drone, Skydio will mail you a box and prepaid shipping label to return your drone in. Send it to Skydio.
- Upon receipt of the damaged drone, Skydio will ship your replacement drone via express 2-day shipping.
Is Skydio Care worth the cost?
Skydio’s supplemented coverage is effectively the California-based, follow-me drone maker’s response to DJI Care Refresh. But we don’t always recommend DJI Care Refresh for DJI users. So do we recommend Skydio Care for Skydio users? Here’s a cost breakdown.
Let’s assume you paid $1,099 for a Skydio 2 Starter Kit, and your drone breaks (so you’re able to return it without needing a replacement). Here’s how much you would spend on all the replacements, assume you bought completely new parts (not including taxes):
|Total spend on first drone||Total spend after buying second replacement||Total spend after buying third replacement|
|If you opt out of coverage completely:||$1,099||$2,198||$3,297|
|If you purchase the one-year plan||$1,248||$1,398||$1,598|
|If you purchase the two-year plan||$1,348||$1,498||$1,698|
Without Skydio Care, you could get a third replacement drone for less than the cost of a second replacement sans coverage. But it’s a gamble, as you’re paying more for the initial price on a service you might not use.
And while you’d save $100 by purchasing the one versus two-year plan, also consider the odds that your drone gets damaged in year one versus year two.
Now assuming your drone completely disappears so you have no parts to return. Here’s how much you’ll spend:
|Total spend on first drone||Total spend after buying complete replacement for lost drone|
|If you opt out of coverage completely:||$1,099||$2,198|
|If you purchase the one-year plan||$1,248||$1,798|
|If you purchase the two-year plan||$1,348||$1,898|
This is less of a deal. You only save $300 if you need a replacement for a lost drone and purchase the two year plan. The gamble for coverage to save $300 may or may not be worth it to you.
Also keep in mind that drone technology evolves rapidly. Rather than a replacement of the same model after two years, consider whether you might just want a completely new drone model instead anyway.
For repairs, Skydio Care appears well worth it. But if you’re flying in situations where there’s a chance your drone will disappear and become irretrievable (it ends up in the bottom of Lake Tahoe, or at the top of an unclimbable Giant Sequoia), then Skydio Care might not be.