When purchasing new appliances, I always want to make sure that they will be able to last for a long time. Because of this, I always check that there is a warranty available. But how much protection do they provide? Are they worth it? I wanted to make sure that I was getting a good deal, so I did some research.
Extended appliance warranties are rarely if ever worth purchasing. These warranties are highly profitable and favor the retailer the majority of the time. Any major appliance problems occur within the given time of the manufacturers warranty and therefore make the extended warranty not worth it.
Whether or not a warranty is a good idea will often depend on the type of appliance you are purchasing. Let’s take a closer look at this issue, so you’ll be able to decide for yourself.
What is a Manufacturers Warranty?
The best place to start is by examining what a warranty is.
A warranty is a statement issued by the manufacturer. It lists the conditions under which you will be entitled to have the product replaced or repaired.
It should be noted that the warranty can’t supersede the consumer laws. In America, these laws are managed by the Federal Trade Commission. If you feel that the warranty is unfairly restrictive, you can complain to the FTC. They will be able to investigate and might take action on your behalf.
Most people look for a strong warranty when purchasing household appliances. This assures them that it will be a quality product that has been built to last for a long time. It will also mean that you’ll be able to get any mechanical issues fixed by the manufacturer.
What is Covered by a Warranty?
In most cases, an appliance warranty will state that a device will keep working for a set number of years.
For example, you might have an air conditioner warranty that lasts for three years. If you start to develop issues within the warranty period, you might be able to get the device repaired or replaced.
This means that you are covered for issues like mechanical faults. It also means that you will be protected from poor workmanship. Often, this will be enough to give most consumers peace of mind.
There are certain circumstances where you won’t be entitled to use the warranty. Often, this refers to any damage that you might have caused to the device. This includes the effects of not using the device properly.
For example, if you hit the air conditioning unit with a sledgehammer you won’t be able to claim the warranty. Generally, the company will want some proof that the product failed during normal operation.
Another reason why the warranty might be denied is that you modified the appliance. This is most common for car parts but might apply to some home appliances as well.
When you made the modifications, the manufacturer can argue that you changed the way the appliance functions. Because of this, they will no longer be liable if it breaks.
If you are sure that you will be able to use the warranty, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer. Often, this can mean showing proof of purchase, like a receipt or invoice.
The manufacturer may have specific instructions that you will need to follow. For example, you might need to package the device up and send it back to the manufacturer. In other cases, you’ll need to drop it at a factory. For larger appliances, the manufacturer might send their team to your house.
The warranty will also determine what happens once the manufacturer receives your appliance. In some cases, they will try to fix it for you. At other times, they will replace it with a new device.
How Long Does a Warranty Last?
The warranty period will often depend on the type of appliance that you have purchased.
For most smaller appliances, you can expect between a three to six month warranty period. For larger appliances, you might be able to get between one to three years.
It’s rare for a warranty to last for longer than three years.
What is an Extended Warranty?
Normally, the warranty will be included as part of the appliance purchase price. However, there are some times when you might want to purchase an extended warranty. This will be an extra cost.
Typically, the extended warranty will be introduced by the salesperson when you purchase the product.
Often, these will be similar to the original warranty. However, they will last for a longer period.
For example, imagine you buy a fridge. The original warranty might last for one year. However, the extended warranty will last for five years.
Typically, you will be able to purchase an extended warranty from both the manufacturer and the dealer who sold you the appliance. But is an extended appliance warranty worth the money? To help answer this question, let’s look at the pros and cons.
What are the Pros of an Extended Warranty?
There are plenty of reasons why someone might want to consider purchasing an extended warranty. First, they will be able to give you peace of mind. If something happens to the device, you know that you will be protected. This is especially important if you are spending a lot of money. Often, if you’re spending more than $800 it might be a good idea to get an extended warranty.
In some cases, an extended warranty might include servicing. If this is the case, it’s often a good idea to get an extended warranty. This will ensure that your appliances have been kept in good condition. This will keep it working for a long time.
What are the Cons of an Extended Warranty?
However, most extended warranties won’t be worth the money. There are a few reasons for this. First, most appliances have been built to last for a long time.
The manufacturer is offering you the warranty because they don’t think that you will need to use it. For example, less than 30 percent of dishwashers break down within five years.
Also, an extended warranty tends to be fairly expensive. In some cases, it will cost more than the repairs would have.
The biggest downside is that it only covers some issues. If your error contributed to the mechanical problem, you often won’t be able to get any relief through an extended warranty.
Though you’ll need to consider both the pros and cons when making up your mind, most extended warranties won’t offer good value for money. The only possible exceptions would be when you’re purchasing a very expensive appliance or if there is servicing included.
Is a Home Warranty Worth it?
There is a third warranty option that you might want to explore. This is known as a home warranty.
In this case, instead of individual appliances, the warranty applies to the major home systems. This can make it one of the most convenient models, giving you a lot of protection under one agreement.
The amount that you’ll need to pay will depend on a few factors. First, you’ll need to think about the size of the house. Often, you’ll need to consider the number of appliances that you want to cover.
You’ll either need to pay these costs monthly or yearly. If something goes wrong, you will be able to get in a professional to repair them for a lower cost.
Like the other types of warranty, there are a few things that won’t be covered by a home warranty. In this case, any surface defects, like scratches, won’t be covered.
You also might not be able to cover items that are already protected under the homeowner’s insurance policy. It’s a good idea to read the fine print to understand the circumstances in which you will be to use the warranty.
There are a few reasons why you might want to get a home warranty. You’ll be able to get peace of mind. If something goes wrong, you’ll be able to rely on the warranty to fix the problem.
It also saves you the hassle of tracking down a contractor to solve the problem. It can benefit those who are planning on selling their house. A home warranty will give the new buyer assurance that you have tried to take care of the property.
Another big selling point is how cheap these warranties are, compared to the potential costs associated with repairing everything.
This can make them a great choice for people who don’t have a large emergency fund. But there will often be years where nothing breaks down. During these years, you won’t be getting any benefits.
While you won’t need to worry about sourcing your own repairman, you won’t be able to pick your own expert. This might lead to some frustration, particularly if you don’t like the work done by the provided repairman. You also won’t get any say over the replacement parts or appliances that you receive.
One of the biggest downsides is the fact that you often won’t be able to use the warranty for items that have been improperly maintained. Whether an item has been maintained can often become an area of contention.
It also means that you might struggle to get second-hand appliances covered, especially if you aren’t sure about their maintenance history.
Whether a home warranty is worth the money will often depend on your personal circumstances. If you don’t have the funds to spend on emergency repairs, it can be a great option.
This will give you some peace of mind if something goes wrong. However, it’s a good idea to do some research. This will ensure that you are purchasing from a reputable company. You should also understand what will and won’t be covered.
Generally, a home warranty will be the best option. It will protect the most important appliances in your house.
This makes it better value for money than an extended warranty, which just covers one device. They also last longer than an extended warranty would.
There are multiple types of warranty protections for you to explore. Often, it’s best to start with the warranty that comes with the appliance. This can last for months, or years, depending on the device.
From there, you can move onto either extended warranties or home warranties. Generally, a home warranty will be a better choice. It allows you to group multiple appliances, saving you time and money.