A few months ago, the Irvine Applestore declared my MacBook Pro officially "dead" and replaced it with a shiny new one thanks to AppleCare. That machine was a few years old so, while the old warranty transfers over to this new machine, there isn't much time left on it. Today I finally got around to calling Apple to see if there was a way to extend it for three years on the new machine. Turns out there is. Apple is refunding a pro rata portion of the old warranty to me. They say it takes about 30 days to receive the credit. In the meantime I will buy a new AppleCare warranty for this new machine and then I'll be good for 3 years after the date they swapped me out the new machine. By the way, I saved $70 buying AppleCare from Amazon instead of Apple
I should probably also mention that I have a separate insurance policy on my computers for accidental damage or theft. You can usually get them as part of your homeowner's insurance or buy one from a specific electronics insurance broker. So between these two policies, I'm covered for just about any problem with my Macs.
By the way, if you are looking for the AppleCare phone number it is not exactly easy to find. Add it to your Address Book. It is 1-800-275-2273.