Extended warranty insurance is a policy that you can take out as protection against the failure of particular items, after the manufacturer’s usual guarantee has expired.
It can be bought at the same time as you buy an item, but, in some cases, by shopping around and comparing your options, you may find a more cost-effective and appropriate policy.
What does it cover?
Policy features and benefits vary depending on the provider, but typically an extended warranty insurance policy will cover all or some of the following:
- the costs to repair a broken appliance due to mechanical break down (some providers may charge an excess amount for each call-out)
- help with costs towards a replacement appliance if the original appliance cannot be fixed.
So, if your washing machine stopped working and you have an extended warranty insurance, you should be able to call just one number and an engineer may typically visit your property and try and repair your machine.
This saves you the hassle of trying to ring around and find a washing machine repairs person, and you should make cost savings too as the parts and labour are typically free.
What else do you need to know?
If an appliance cannot be fixed, your policy provider may typically help pay towards its replacement costs. You should note, however, that the older the appliance, the less you may receive back. Check the policy wording as different maximum percentages apply depending on whom you buy your extended warranty insurance from.
Extended warranty insurance or warranty service plan?
Another thing to look out is whether the warranty is an insurance or service plan. If it is an insurance plan and something goes wrong – say the provider fails to come out and repair your appliance – then you are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme – FSCS. The FSCS protects you financially should something go wrong with an insurance product.
If you buy a plan, you typically have no such protection or recourse against the provider.
Where to buy warranty cover
As mentioned above, you may typically be offered some form of extended warranty at the time you buy your product, however, you are free to shop around and choose your own policy.
There are specialist providers of warranty insurance that offer multi-appliance warranty insurance which may be suitable if you wish to insure a number of appliances.
When comparing policies – which you can typically do online – check out not just the costs, but:
- whether it is a plan or insurance
- whether there are any excess amounts to pay when you call someone out, and
- what is the maximum percentage of value will you get back if an item needs replacing.
Extended warranty insurance can be a useful product to have, but do make sure that when you buy it, you research all your options so that you get the most appropriate cover for you.