Household appliances are built into the fabric of today’s busy lifestyles. You probably take for granted that your food is cold and safe to eat. Spilled coffee on the front of your favorite tee-shirt? No problem, just throw it in the washer and dryer. It will be clean and dry in time to wear it out tonight.
The list of conveniences is endless as long as your equipment is working properly, but what happens if one of them breaks down? Panic will likely set in quickly when you worry about what’s wrong, how will you get it fixed, and how much is it going to cost you?
That’s where an appliance warranty could solve all of your problems. You’ve got a few options when it comes to maintaining your home’s appliances. You can take a risk and hope the problem happens during the original manufacturer’s warranty period. You can spend a little extra at the time of purchase to buy an extended warranty and hope that’s the appliance that needs repair. You can protect all of your major appliances and invest in an appliance warranty.
Extended Manufacturer’s Warranty
You’ve probably been asked numerous times if you’d like to purchase the extended warranty when purchasing appliances at a retail store. A one-time cost provides an extension to the original manufacturer’s warranty and typically offers the same coverage. While you may quickly accept the offer in an effort to finish your transaction and feel that you’re “protected” in case of a problem, you likely have no idea what it covers or how to file a claim if needed.
This extended warranty will provide some peace of mind but it only covers that particular appliance. In addition, in order for this coverage to be valid, you may need to complete a product registration, keep your receipt, or notify the repair service within a certain period of time. Often, there are limits as to what will be covered and/or charges for in-home service.
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What is an Appliance Warranty?
An appliance warranty is usually offered by a third-party company to protect your major appliances from costly repairs. The plan usually covers multiple appliances (not just one like the extended warranty program) and requires a monthly or annual fee. Some companies offer an appliance warranty as part of a comprehensive home warranty that also covers household systems like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.
What Does an Appliance Warranty Cover?
Most appliance warranties cover mechanical failures due to manufacturer defects and non-accidental failures. All components and parts needed for a repair are included. Some plans also allow for the replacement of the appliance if it is deemed non-repairable.
What is Not Covered by an Appliance Warranty?
Some plans are broken down into essential laundry and kitchen appliances. Your plan will need to include the appliance that needs repair or you’ll be responsible for the entire bill.
There may be limitations on which parts are covered or a cap on the cost of repairs. For example, refrigerator water leaks may be covered but replacement of the compressor may not be.
Other plans may restrict repairs by the age of the appliance. You should inquire about this prior to committing to a plan.
Some restrictions may be made based on the make or model of the appliance. This may refer to products made outside of the U.S. as replacement parts may not be easily accessible.
How Does an Appliance Warranty Work?
Coverage may overlap with the manufacturer warranty, so the appliance warranty would be in effect once the original warranty expires. Typically, these are the steps for obtaining service:
- Contact the claims center via phone or online to start a claim.
- Speak to an agent to see if your appliance/repair is covered.
- Obtain authorization for the claim.
- Schedule an appointment.
How Much Does an Appliance Warranty Cost?
Plan costs vary by company and coverage so you’ll want to do research to find the warranty that fits your specific needs and budget.
|Home Depot by Allstate||3-Year Warranty||$105.00/month||None|
|Home Depot by Allstate||5-Year Warranty||$160.00/month||None|
|Puls||Kitchen & Laundry Annual Warranty||$34.99/month*||None|
|Puls||Whole Home Annual Warranty||$59.99/month*||None|
*Pay for the entire year and get one month free
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Are There Extra Charges?
Again, every company has a slightly different program but may require fees in addition to the monthly warranty payment, such as:
Service fee/Call charge
Extra charges for weekend or evening calls
What to Consider Before You Buy an Appliance Warranty?
Appliances are becoming more complex and high-tech each year. With the added conveniences comes a higher price tag. In the past, you may have been able to repair your appliances yourself and forego the cost of an appliance warranty. While there are still some DIYers that can fix their own machines, the majority of the population will have to pay for a plan or a big repair bill. Consider these items before buying a plan:
Individual Warranty Plans vs. a Combo Plan?
You can save a considerable amount each month by only paying for individual warranty coverage. Choose the most expensive appliance to repair/replace like a refrigerator and take a risk the other equipment can be repaired yourself or inexpensively.
Age of Appliances
It may make sense to skip the appliance plan if your kitchen and laundry machines are relatively new. They will be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty (often for the first year) and most problems will be resolved free of charge. Older machines definitely have more chance of breakdowns so a warranty plan could provide peace of mind and keep your budget intact. Remember, some companies will use a depreciated value when calculating replacement cost if your machine is old and cannot be fixed.
Capable, Trustworthy Repair Services
Many of the more-familiar warranty companies rely on third-party services to handle the actual repair work. This may lead to unqualified repair technicians or an unsafe environment. Remember, a perfect stranger will be entering your home. Without some reassurance that the technician has been vetted with a thorough background check, you may be putting yourself and your family at risk.
As the saying goes, “time is money” so you’ll want a seamless claim process that provides a fast turnaround time and convenient scheduling. If you have to wait weeks before getting your washer fixed, the time and expense of going to a laundromat can add up. If you have to take time off of work to wait for the technician to arrive, the burden on your budget can be significant.
Choosing the Right Appliance Warranty Plan
Research the various programs that are available. Consider the age of your appliances, the cost of repairs vs. replacement, the need for individual or combination plans, the claim process, cost of the warranty, deductibles, extra service fees, and scheduling options.
What are the Pros and Cons of an Appliance Warranty?
Like every purchase decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before investing in a program. Take a look at some of the most relevant things to consider:
Peace of mind—no matter what happens to your appliance, you’re covered and so is the cost. Enjoy a stress-free environment knowing that your most-valued appliances will be operating for the long-term.
Budget security—you can plan out the monthly (or yearly) costs to keep your household running smoothly. No worries about unexpected expenses to repair or replace a broken appliance.
Trusted technicians—working with a reputable warranty company should provide high-quality, skilled technicians that have been fully vetted for your protection.
Wasted funds—it may be possible to pay for an appliance warranty and never need it. Like insurance, you purchase it with the possibility of needing it but understand it might go unused.
Limited coverage—depending on the type of plan you purchase; you may not be covered for the particular appliance that needs attention. There may also be restrictions based on age, make, model, or exclusions for accidental damage.
Extra fees—some programs require a deductible or service fee on top of the subscription fee.
Appliance Warranty Alternatives
Not everyone benefits from buying an appliance warranty. There are a few alternatives that may make more sense for your specific needs:
Buy high-end appliances—make sure the new appliances you purchase are high quality. While they may cost more upfront, they should be more durable and less likely to break down.
Buy from reputable stores—you may be tempted to purchase your appliances through a small, unknown retailer because of a more attractive cost, but “buyer beware.” If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You might receive defective or discontinued models that cannot be returned or serviced under a warranty.
Work with local service centers—new appliances are pretty reliable and shouldn’t break down often. Working with a small, local appliance repair center may be a great alternative for fixing your older appliances. Minor, inexpensive repairs or regular maintenance plans can keep your equipment running for a long time without the added expense of a warranty plan.
Bottom Line: Is an Appliance Warranty Worth It?
In many cases, appliance warranties are worth the cost. You’ll be covered in case of a breakdown and your budget will be protected. Landlords can benefit from an appliance warranty. They won’t need to search for a technician in the middle of the night or spend extra for an emergency repair.
Get Expert Advice from Puls’ Experts
Puls is your one-stop-shop for appliance warranties. Get more of what you need with our membership plans. Choose from our value-based Appliance Warranty that covers your kitchen appliances for $34.99 per month, or our Puls Whole Home Warranty plan that protects all your major appliances and home systems (including HVAC, plumbing, electrical and more) for $59.99 per month.
All plans include a full repair or replacement in case of breakdown. Submit a claim quickly with our app, online or by phone. Fast claim processing within the same day or next day. All our technicians have complete background checks and skill assessments for your protection.
Save an additional 25% off additional Puls home services with your membership. Choose the annual payment plan and we’ll give you one month free. Don’t waste another moment worrying about unexpected breakdowns, call or click today to sign up for a Puls appliance warranty.