drone in water

Let us insure. Let us protect. Let Us Drone. Buying a new drone is a big decision. You have done your due diligence and spent hours upon hours trying to decide what the perfect beginner drone is. The day has finally arrived and while at the checkout you are asked if you would like to purchase Care Refresh. “Care Refresh, what on earth is that?” Well, I'm here to prepare you for that question so you can make an educated decision.

What is Care Refresh?

DJI's Care Refresh is a comprehensive warranty. If you chose to purchase Care Refresh when you buy a new drone, DJI will replace it with a new or like-new one up to two times in the event of your drone getting damaged.

DJI Care Refresh is a newer version of DJI Care, with a few differences. DJI care was available for older drone models so I won't get too into it, but the big difference is that DJI would repair your drone and send it back to you without you having to pay a deductible under the Care program. 

With Care Refresh, DJI will send you another drone after you pay them a one time fee. That fee will go up on the second go-around if you need to use both replacement options. 

How do I get Care Refresh?

You can get DJI Care, Care Refresh, and Care Refresh+(discussed below) at the DJI store here. You can either buy Care Refresh while you are purchasing your drone or gimbal online or in-store or within 48 hours of activating the drone. 

If it has been more than 48 hours but you decide that you want Care Refresh, DJI allows you to record and send them a verification video. This is basically a video that shows DJI that everything on your drone is currently working correctly as it should and that there is no damage on the drone. 

Here is what DJI would like you to record in the verification video. If you'd rather watch a video on how to make the verification video, that can be found here. DJI requests that you shoot the following items in order.

  1. Serial numbers of your aircraft and gimbal. Make sure both numbers are visible.
  2. Turn on the remote controller and battery.
  3. Enter DJI GO 4 and calibrate the compass outdoors. 
  4. Format the SD card using the DJI GO 4 app. Make sure your memory card is backed up before formatting!
  5. Check the IMU. 
  6. Demonstrate gimbal pitch movement and rotation by moving it up, down, left and right. 
  7. Hover the aircraft in a place at an altitude of around 1.2m and a distance of 6m from you.
  8. Move the drone up, down, left, right forward, backward, clockwise and counterclockwise.
  9. Use the remote controller to record several seconds of video and use the playback button on the DJI GO 4 app to check the recording.
  10. Hover the drone at an altitude of about 20m.
  11. Perform a distance and altitude test, ensuring that the DJI GO 4 app is seen in the shot. Fly the drone at least 200m away and 120m high in an open area. 
  12. Land the aircraft, turn off the aircraft battery, then the remote controller. 

DJI does mention the following tips when recording the verification video:

  • Show the DJI GO 4 app, remote controller, and aircraft in the same shot. 
  • Shoot the video in an open area when it is bright out. 
  • Ensure the video is clear. Do not edit the video. 

That concludes the verification video requirements. Upload the video to DJI's website here, and wait for their approval.  

What circumstances warrant a replacement drone?

On DJI's website, they provide five scenarios where a replacement drone is warranted under the Care Refresh. 

  1. User error 
  2. Signal interference
  3. Collision
  4. Water damage
  5. Drop damage

As you can see, the above five scenarios cover most situations in which a drone could incur damage. There is a list of exclusions on DJI's website where you will not be granted a new replacement drone with your Care Refresh plan.

crashed dji drone

For example, one of these conditions is “damage caused by flight under unsuitable conditions”.  “Intentional damage” is also not covered, so I wouldn't put videos of you shutting your motors off mid-flight on YouTube and expect a replacement at your doorstep the next week. For a complete list of times where you won't be covered, click here and scroll down to “exclusions”.

“DJI Care Refresh and the corresponding product must be purchased from the same country or region. DJI Care Refresh only supports aircraft purchased from official or authorized channels, and its benefits are only eligible in the region where it was purchased.”


One thing that is very important to note is that you must send your damaged drone to DJI in order for them to send you a new one. 

Water damage is on the list of approved circumstances, but chances are the drone has water damage because it took a dive into a lake, or even worse, an ocean. You must retrieve that drone so you can send it back to DJI. 

What parts are covered?

Depending on which drone you have, some parts may not be covered under Care Refresh. Refer to the table below for more information on those parts.

DJI productParts covered
Mavic series and SparkAircraft, bound gimbal and camera, battery and propellers.
Phantom 4 Pro series, Phantom 4 Advanced and Phantom 3 SEAircraft, gimbal, camera, and propellers.
Inspire 2 Aircraft and propellers.
Zenmuse X4S, Zenmuse X5S and Zenmuse X7Gimbal and camera (including lens).

How much does it cost?

Choosing to purchase Care Refresh will cost you about 10% of the drones price. The first time you use Care Refresh you will be required to pay a one time fee. If you use the two of two available replacements, you will be required to pay another fee that is a little higher on the second one. 

Here is a list of how much Care Refresh will cost for each DJI drone, along with first and second replacements. 

DJI ProductCost of Care Refresh1'st Replacement Fee2'nd Replacement Fee
Mavic 2 series$129$119$139
Mavic Pro$99$79$129
Mavic Platinum$129$89$139
Mavic Air$89$69$99
Phantom 4 Pro series$149$99$149
Phantom 4 Advanced$139$99$139
Phantom 3 SE$59$69$79
Inspire 2$299$209$329
Zenmuse X4S$59$49$69
Zenmuse X5S$189$149$219
Zenmuse X7$499$379$529

The above prices are for the US and Canada. All prices shown were last updated on 9/5/2018. For a list of prices in different countries, click here

How long does it last?

If you buy Care Refresh with the product from DJI's website, starting from the second day after shipment, Care Refresh lasts 12 months from that day. If you buy Care Refresh separate from the product, the 12 months will begin on the date of the service agreement.

How do I use it when I crash my drone?

The first step in getting a replacement drone or gimbal under the Care Refresh program is to contact DJI. When choosing to purchase Care Refresh, you also get a prioritized service, meaning much shorter wait times and less hassle.

A representative will walk you through the steps of sending your drone or gimbal to DJI. They will also prepare a shipping label for you, which you can print out and use on your return box.

I should note that DJI does not want you sending items to them that are not included in the Care Refresh coverage, such as the remote controller. You will be responsible for any incurred shipping charges that come with sending items to them that are not covered.

Once DJI has received your damaged drone, they will inspect it and provide you with a cost estimate for the repairs. If you are still under Care Refresh coverage, you may pay the fee and have DJI send you a replacement drone.

You do not have to use one of your two available replacements if you'd rather pay the repair fee. An example of this would be if, after inspection, DJI determines that $89 should cover the parts and labor of repairing the landing gear on your Inspire 2. For one, $89 is a lot cheaper than the replacement fee of an Inspire 2, and secondly, you may as well save your replacements for the unfortunate circumstance where your Inspire 2 goes into the drink. 

If you decide to get a replacement, DJI will pay for shipping and send you a new drone or gimbal immediately after they have inspected the returned product.

How many times will DJI send me a new drone or gimbal?

DJI will send you a replacement drone or gimbal up to two times in the 12 month period that the Care Refresh is active for. 

Remember that there is a fee that you will need to pay each time DJI sends you a replacement, and that fee goes up on the second replacement. 

See the table above, under “how much does it cost” for the complete list of fees and charges. 

What is Care Refresh+?

If you currently have Care Refresh and are loving the peace of mind that comes with knowing that DJI will replace your new Mavic 2 if you run it into a tree, then Care Refresh+ may be for you.

Care Refresh+ extends coverage for 12 more months, and DJI will replace your drone or gimbal one more time (not twice, like with Care Refresh). 

Additionally, your products limited warranty will be extended for 12 more months as well. I find this to be a big plus as manufacturers defects may not initially present themselves. 

You may only purchase Care Refresh+ if you have at least one replacement left on your Care Refresh plan, and that plan has not yet expired.

Care Refresh+ starts on the day your Care Refresh agreement expires, and it is active for 12 months. If you have purchased Care Refresh+ but are still under the original 12 month Care Refresh period and have already used both replacements, you must wait until the Care Refresh period has expired before requesting another replacement.

Like with Care Refresh, you will be required to pay a one time fee when requesting a replacement under the Care Refresh+ plan. Note that the fees for a replacement under Care Refresh+ are different than the fees under Care Refresh. Here is a list of those prices.

DJI ProductReplacement Fee
Mavic 2 (Pro & Zoom)$119
Mavic Pro$79
Mavic Pro Platinum$89
Mavic Air$69
Inspire 2$229
Phantom 4 Pro series$119
Phantom 4 Advanced$99
Phantom 3 SE$49
Zenmuse X4S$49
Zenmuse X5S$149
Zenmuse X7$229

The above prices are for the US and Canada. All prices shown were last updated on 9/5/2018. For a list of prices in different countries, click here.

What's the difference between Care Refresh and the limited warranty?

When you buy a new DJI drone, it automatically comes with a limited warranty. I wrote an in-depth article that explains the warranty and how to see if your drone or gimbal is covered. That article can be found here

The difference between the limited warranty and Care Refresh is what parts are covered and what circumstances those drones or gimbals warrant a repair or replacement. 

The key takeaway is that the limited warranty covers your products against manufacturers defects, and the length of coverage depends on which drone or gimbal you have and what part is found to be defective. 

I'm not going to say that manufacturer defects don't happen, but most of the time damage is incurred is due to some type of user error, in which case the limited warranty would not cover any repair costs. 

The bottom line is that there is a big difference between the limited warranty and Care Refresh, with the latter ensuring that DJI will replace your drone if you hit the tree in your backyard which in turn makes it crash into your swimming pool, frying every electrical component and rendering your Mavic 2 useless. 

Do I get to keep my old drone?

No. As previously mentioned, in order to get a replacement drone you must send the original one to DJI first. Once you ship it to them, that drone or gimbal no longer belongs to you and they will not send it back.

This is important to remember because we often have personal markings on our drones. Take off any phone numbers, addresses, or registration numbers.

Don't forget your memory card! It's easy to forget because of its small size and the fact that it resides mostly out of sight, but sending a $90 memory card with 500 photos on it to DJI would be big bummer.

Can Care Refresh be transferred to another person?

Yes, Care Refresh can be transferred to another individual as the coverage is bound to the units serial number, not the individual that originally bought the drone or gimbal. 

If you are buying a used drone that currently has Care Refresh active, ask the seller for the service agreement. And vice versa, if you are selling the drone then provide the service agreement for the buyer. 

Is it worth it?

So, the big question: is purchasing Care Refresh worth it? It honestly depends and I've come up with a few questions to ask yourself if you're contemplating getting Care Refresh. 

  • Is this my first drone? Naturally, as we are learning to fly, the risk of damage to our drones greatly increases. If this is your first drone, I would personally recommend getting Care Refresh. 
  • Where will I be flying? Flying your drone in the middle of a desert is a lot less risky than trying to race through the woods while dodging trees. Does your location have a lot of obstacles? What about interference?
  • What is my weather like? I am fortunate enough to live in San Diego so weather isn't an issue for me, but while in the Coast Guard on the east coast, I remember the random thunderstorms that would come roaring through on a sunny day. If you live in a tropical place or somewhere with generally bad weather, Care Refresh should be a serious consideration. 
  • How much will I be flying? If you plan to fly once a month, it would be hard to justify getting Care Refresh, and for good reason. If you fly every day, the chances of having an incident go up greatly. 

Trevor's Take 

I actually don't currently have Care Refresh on my DJI drones. Why, you might ask? Well, for a couple of reasons. I've thankfully made it past the newbie stage and hate to pay for insurance that I don't feel that I need *knocks on wood*. I take that back, I probably need it, but I guess I'd rather keep that extra cash in my pocket and play the odds 😉 Secondly, I have gotten in the habit of automatically saying “no” when asked if I'd like to purchase the “extended warranty” or “protection plan”. What about you? Do you have a DJI Care Refresh plan? Have you had to use it? Comment below what your experience was like!

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