Welcome to the ULTIMATE guide on the DJI Refresh program, one of the most popular drone crash insurance programs on the market.
Manufacturer backed and readily available at most DJI dealers and retailers, DJI Refresh is an “Apple Care-esque” product that provides peace of mind for new and seasoned drone pilots.
We’ve researched this topic inside out and backwards, and we think you’ll appreciate the level of detail we’ve gone into in this post.
Read on below and see if DJI Care Refresh is worth it for you.
Here we go…
DJI Refresh is essentially a crash replacement program for DJI drones, cameras, and camera stabilizers.
Crash your drone? Quickly get a replacement sent to you (pay a small replacement fee) or pay basic drone repair costs if you would like to keep your original unit.
The program is offered by the manufacturer as an upsell at time of purchase or as an optional purchase within 48 hours of receiving your drone. It can be purchased direct from the manufacturer, via the DJI flight apps (DJI Go 4 etc) and from authorized DJI dealers (your local hobby shop or drone retailer).
Frank Wang, the owner of DJI, once said in an interview that, like Apple, DJI was very focused on constant innovation and progress, and held Apple in high regard. It is no surprise then that DJI Refresh is structured very similar to the Apple Care program for Apple devices with similar pricing structures and restrictions.
How Much Does DJI Care Refresh Cost?
The cost varies per device but typically work out to around 8-10% of the original device cost (does not include or cover accessories).
Here is a recently updated table of what you can expect to pay for DJI Refresh for some of the more common drones they sell:
Now, to be clear, the above table is just the cost to initially purchase DJI Care Refresh. If you crash your drone and would like to replace your drone under the refresh program, you will pay a service fee in addition to the original Refresh purchase.
The cost for the replacement units varies again, and costs are higher for second replacements than for first time replacements under the program.
Here is a screenshot of a recent table illustrating DJI first and second replacement service fees under the Refresh Program (to check for any recent pricing updates click here to go to the DJI site):
How to Purchase DJI Care Refresh?
DJI offers Refresh as an upsell if you are checking out via their online store (see screenshot below) or you can purchase DJI Refresh from one of your local DJI dealers (see map here)
Is DJI Care Refresh Returnable?
Yes and no.
If you purchase a DJI drone (or one of their camera stabilizers) and return the drone, then yes you can apply for a refund of the DJI Refresh that you purchased.
If you buy the DJI Care Refresh and want to keep the drone but decide you want to return the Refresh only then you are unfortunately out of luck as DJI will not accept returns on activated Refresh packages if you do not return the drone.
How to Activate DJI Care Refresh
DJI Care Refresh can be activated via their online portal (click here to visit the online portal). You’ll need your DJI Care Refresh Activation code as well as your drone’s serial number.
You’ll also need to enter in some personal details such as name, address etc.
How Long Does DJI Refresh Last?
12 months from the date of purchase and it allows you to replace up to 2 drones under the terms of the Refresh program. On the recent release of the DJI FPV drone DJI now also offers a 24 month refresh program for and additional $120 (see screenshot below). Again, DJI has mimicked much of Apple’s “Apple Care” program which allows users to replace their broken devices up to 2 times during the time that Apple Care is active (or 3 times in the case of the FPV drone).
How to Get DJI Care Refresh After the 48 Hour Window
DJI does not normally offer the Refresh program if you haven’t purchased it within 48 hours of the initial drone purchase. However it is still possible to get DJI Care Refresh if you jump through all the proper hoops:
First, you’ll need to send DJI video verification that your drone is still in as-new shape, and functioning properly. There is an extensive checklist of items that need to be videoed in a very specific order for you to get approval to purchase the Refresh outside of the 48 hour window. Here is a direct link to that checklist on the DJI site (or, see screenshot below):
Second, once video verification is completed and approved by the DJI team, you’ll have 72 hours from that point on to purchase the Refresh insurance.
So, long story short, be sure to purchase DJI Care Refresh BEFORE the 48 hour window has passed, it’ll save you a bunch of headache!????
Does DJI Refresh Cover Water Damage?
Absolutely, DJI Refresh does cover accidental water damage. See screenshot below:
Does DJI Care Refresh Cover Fly-Aways or Lost Drones?
Yes, at this time it DOES cover flyaway incidents, but does NOT cover a drone you simply lost somewhere (or was stolen etc). In order to put in a claim for a flyaway you are required to upload your flight logs from your app/device and sync them to DJI. If you can not provide flight logs that demonstrate a fly-away situation DJI will not honour the Refresh warranty. To read more about the nuances around this please visit the Terms on DJI’s site here: Terms of Service
Some Items of Note Regarding the Refresh Program (things that aren’t immediately apparent)
Some items to note:
- The DJI Refresh program covers the shipping both ways (to them and back to the customer). Something to factor in as shipping costs for some of the larger drones can be quite significant.
- DJI now offers a DJI Care Refresh+ program that allows you to extend your original DJI Care Refresh and offers an additional replacement of your crashed drone. It also extends the standard manufacturer warranty by one year, all for a very reasonable cost. Learn about this program by clicking here.
- DJI does not cover damage done deliberately. So, if your refresh is almost up and you decide you want a new unit, smashing it with a hammer will probably void your warranty.
- DJI states it does not cover flights in “unsuitable conditions”. So, be careful flying your drone in extremely high winds or rain. If DJI receives the drone and finds evidence (via the onboard flight recorder) that the drone was flown outside of the prescribed flight envelope the program may be null and void.
Is the DJI Refresh Program Actually Worth It?
This is somewhat of a personal question for you, the end user. If you fly very carefully at all times in wide open areas, you may never need it. Remember though, if for example a bird decides to attack your drone and send it tumbling, having DJI Refresh would definitely give some peace of mind. If you like to push the flight envelope every time you fly it may not be a bad investment for you.
Overall, the program seems reasonably priced, and DJI service has improved significantly over the past years (it used to be a bit of nightmare, to be honest). Online forums that discuss the Refresh program seems to have happy users overall.
Some other things to consider:
- You’ll probably purchase your DJI drone on a credit card, especially if buying online. Some credit cards have purchase insurance as a feature, so you may already be covered by your credit card if you crash (be sure to look into this as every credit card provider is different). This may save you having to shell out a few hundred for DJI Refresh.
- If you fly infrequently and buy hull and liability insurance for every flight via one of the insurance apps like Verifly (or one of the other ones listed in our drone insurance blog post), you may be covered for much cheaper than DJI Refresh. Some flights only cost a few dollars in insurance and if you fly infrequently this may be a better option than buying a Refresh program (especially on some of the higher priced drones that DJI has).
You’ll need to decide for yourself if the program is worth it for you. As far as insurance and replacement programs go, DJI has a solid, well priced offering on the table (with a few little quirks as mentioned above). With the recent offering of the “Plus” program (in addition to the standard refresh program) you should be able to fly for up to 2 years (mostly) worry free if you decide to go this route.
Let us know your thoughts, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!