Protect Your Home Systems, Part 1: Extended Manufacturer’s Warranty

Protect Your Home Systems, Part 1: Extended Manufacturer’s Warranty

What Is the Best Way to Protect Your Critical Home Appliances, Systems, and Equipment? (Part One of a Three-Part Blog Series)

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” When you own a house or condo, there is no truer statement.

Your furnace is likely to call it quits in the middle of winter, your garage door opener is going to break when you’re already late for work, and your plumbing is almost certain to back up right before the family comes over for Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, your standard home insurance policy is unlikely to provide the coverage you need to make repairs or get a replacement. While homeowners insurance does cover the structure of your home and personal belongings for many common perils, it generally will not cover systems and appliances that break due to age and normal wear and tear, or as a result of a sudden and accidental mechanical or electrical failure.

So, what is your plan for these types of situations? For example, do you have a professional repair person you can call day or night to help when a major appliance or essential home system breaks down? Also, do you have funds set aside to cover the costs of any necessary repairs or, in a worst-case scenario, replace damaged equipment?

If you have no answers to these questions right now, do not panic. The Gilbert Insurance team has created a three-part blog series that explores the following options for protecting your home’s most important equipment:

Whether one of these options, or a combination, makes the most sense for you, Gilbert is here to help you think through the optimal way to protect your home’s most important mechanicals—and your wallet—from the unexpected. First, we’ll review the coverage details of extended manufacturer’s warranties.

Should I purchase extended manufacturer’s warranties for my appliances?

Whenever you purchase a new appliance for your home, there is the inevitable moment when you have to make the decision on purchasing the extended warranty. However, you don’t always have to make this decision in the heat of the moment—manufacturers often allow you to opt-in to an extended warranty at a later date, as long as the original warranty has not expired.

Before you make this commitment, we recommend you take the time to carefully read through the extended warranty terms for specific details related to the product you are purchasing. The following is some general information to help you consider whether to make this purchase:

What does the extended warranty cover and not cover?
An extended warranty typically covers damage to the appliance caused by general wear and tear. If repairing the unit is not possible, the manufacturer should replace the item or refund you the original purchase price. On the other hand, if damage occurs due to user error or because you haven’t followed routine maintenance instructions, coverage may not apply.
How long will the extended warranty last?
Extended warranties can be as short as one year or as long as five years or more. Typically, the annual cost will go down if you purchase a warranty for a longer period of time.
How much does the extended warranty cost?
According to consumerreports.org, extended warranties cost an average of $126 for large appliances and $21 for small appliances. Something to watch out for is whether the extended warranty requires you to hit a deductible before covering any repair costs or if you will be charged an additional fee every time you make a claim.
How are repairs handled with an extended warranty?
Sometimes the process of getting an appliance repaired under an extended warranty is as turnkey as calling a number and putting in the request for a technician to come out to your house. Other times, the manufacturer makes it less convenient by requiring you to bring the product to a designated location.

Once you’ve reviewed the extended warranty terms for your particular appliance, there are a few more things we recommend you check into prior to declining or accepting this option.

  • Check with your credit card company to see if it offers extended coverage on items you buy with its card. Why pay for something you can get for free?
  • Read reviews about the item you are purchasing. If the product has a reputation for breaking easily but you just have to have it anyway, an extended warranty might make sense.
  • Consider the cost of replacement parts when evaluating the value of an extended warranty. The technology in today’s appliances makes repairing just one small part much costlier than in the past.

An extended manufacturer’s warranty has several benefits but also some disadvantages and, of course, will have an impact on your wallet. For this reason, you may want to read Part II of this blog series, in which the Gilbert team reviews another option for protecting your home’s essential equipment: a home warranty.

Or, you may want to skip ahead to Part III, where we discuss the powerful coverage provided by a home systems protection endorsement.

At Gilbert Insurance, helping you select the right coverage for unexpected failures of your home systems, equipment, appliances, service lines, and more is just one way our team hopes to reduce your stress and expenditures as a homeowner.