Find the Best Extended Warranties for Electronics
Compare Reviews for Top Electronics Extended Warranty Companies
|American Home Shield||Read 60,880 Reviews|
Choose from four plans to cover systems, appliances or both. Combo plan starts at $45 per month. Deductibles range from $75 to $125. 60-day workmanship guarantee. Extended warranties for electronics also available.
|Asurion||Read 28,981 Reviews|
Offers tech support and mobile protection plans. Covers some of the most common cell phone claims, including loss, theft and accidental damage. Costs and coverage options vary depending on the cell phone provider.
|Assurant Phone Insurance||Read 8,108 Reviews|
Offers more comprehensive protection than manufacturer’s warranty. Coverage includes water damage, cracked screens, theft, loss and more. Costs and terms depend on your service provider.
|SquareTrade||Read 2,858 Reviews|
Offers device protection plans for as little as $5 a month. Allstate-backed coverage available for smartphones, laptops, tablets, TVs and kitchen appliances. 24/7 customer service and online claims. Try risk-free for 30 days.
|Assurant Service Protection Advantage||Read 415 Reviews|
Service protection plan for appliances and electronics. Covers 100% of functional parts and labor. Transferable coverage. No waiting period on covered products. Service available throughout the United States.
|Consumer Priority Service||Read Author Review|
Founded in 1990, Consumer Priority Service is an international extended warranty service company. Its plans include Extended, In-Home Extended, Date of Purchase, Accidental Damage and OEM Parts and Labor.
|ElectronicWarranty.com||Read Author Review|
ElectronicWarranty.com is a third-party electronics extended warranty provider based in Dallas, Texas. Its standard date of purchase warranties cover parts and labor for mechanical and electrical problems during normal use.
|iConnectProtect||Read Author Review|
iConnectProtect is an electronics extended warranty company that covers all your home’s electronic devices under one subscription plan. It covers mechanical and electrical defects as well as power surge and accidental damage.
|Mack Worldwide Warranty||Read Author Review|
Mack Worldwide Warranty is an extended and date of purchase warranty management company. Its warranties are available at authorized retailers and cover repairs and labor for three, five or seven years.
|ProtectionPlace||Read Author Review|
ProtectionPlace is an online electronics extended warranty retailer. It offers parts and labor and accidental damage protection plans for most home electronics. Plans range from two to five years and from $1 to $10 a month.
Questions to ask before buying an electronics extended warranty
What coverage would you have without it?
Depending on what you’re buying, you may already have sufficient coverage without adding on an extended warranty.
- Standard manufacturer warranty: Almost every electronic device purchase includes a standard warranty that tends to cover the product for 60 days to a year. For instance, a new SLR camera may have a one- or two-year warranty against manufacturer defects. Some standard warranties only cover manufacturer defects while others cover accidental damage as well.
- Registered product coverage: Some manufacturers will extend your standard coverage if you register your product online or via mail.
- Credit card coverage: In some cases, credit card companies will extend warranty coverage on your major purchases. Some cards add a year to the original warranty, which can cover the same time period as an extended warranty.
- Retailer guarantees: Many electronics retailers stand by their products and will replace them if they malfunction due to defects in workmanship or materials. Typically you can just take it back to the store if it doesn’t work within a standard period, usually 60 to 90 days. That’s more than enough time to notice most defects.
What's in the warranty’s fine print?
Federal law requires sellers to show you the actual warranty, and you should take your time and read the fine print.
- What’s the coverage period?: Make sure the coverage period is clearly stated. Note whether coverage begins when you buy the item or after the original manufacturer warranty expires.
- What’s covered?: Some protection plans only cover malfunctions and don’t cover accidental damage. Since a device is more likely to be damaged from you stepping on it or spilling your drink on it than it is to go on the fritz because of a manufacturing defect, a warranty that covers accidental damage is more helpful.
- What will the company do?: If you submit a claim, the company might replace your product or repair it. Find out if you’ll have to pay to ship the product to them (this can be pricey if the item is large or fragile). If they have to replace it, find out if they use new or refurbished products as the replacement; refurbished replacements can sometimes cause more problems than they solve.
- Can you transfer the warranty?: If you give the item as a gift or sell it to someone else, be sure you can put the warranty under their name so that the item will still be covered. Some plans are transferable and allow you to do this but most aren’t, which means you could lose the money that you put into the extended warranty.
Is the coverage period long enough?
Some electronics extended warranties don’t last long enough to be helpful. Get your money’s worth with a warranty that lasts, and watch out for these pitfalls:
- Overlaps with your manufacturer warranty: If your extended warranty begins on your purchase date, it will take effect at the same time as the standard manufacturer warranty. As long as your manufacturer's warranty is in effect, most extended warranty companies require you to file a claim with the manufacturer first if there’s a problem. In other words, you won't get much use out of an overlapping Date of Purchase warranty. You're better off with an extended warranty that begins on the day your manufacturer warranty expires.
- Only lasts a few years: Electronics these days are well-made, but most electronics extended warranties don’t last long. Your electronic device is unlikely to stop working because of manufacturer defects in one or two years, so a helpful extended warranty should last several years (five or seven is ideal).
- Doesn’t cover the life of your device: Think about how soon you’ll replace the device even if nothing is wrong with it; many people get a new smartphone every couple of years, but you’ll probably keep something like a television or high-quality camera much longer. Look for an extended warranty that will last at least as long as you plan on keeping your device.
How much does the plan cost?
Do a little cost-benefit analysis to see if a protection plan is worth the price.
- Cost of repairs: Many service plans cost as much as you would end up spending on a covered repair, or even more. Since most people don’t end up needing repairs and using the warranty they paid for, it’s not likely that you’ll see a return on your investment for smaller items.
- Value of your electronic device: An extended warranty on a relatively inexpensive electronic device is probably not a great use of your money. But it might be worth the cost for an expensive item like a computer.
- Watch out for price gouging: Some electronics extended warranties are just too expensive to be worth the cost; some are a full 25 percent of the item’s value. Shop around for an extended warranty that is reasonably priced compared to the cost of your device.
Are you likely to make a claim on the warranty?
Depending on how likely your specific type of electronic device will be to need repairs, electronics extended warranties are a good bet for some electronics but may be a waste of money for others.
- Televisions: Between 3 and 7 percent of TVs fail in the first four years, so 93 to 97 percent of new TV owners are unlikely to use an extended warranty.
- Cameras: Cameras including point-and-shoot and SLRs have repair rates between 5 and 8 percent, meaning 92 to 95 percent of people will not need to use an extended warranty on their new camera.
- Gaming consoles: The failure rate for gaming consoles depends on the particular brand. For example, the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox have failure rates between 3 and 6 percent.
- Computers: Personal computers including laptops, desktops and notebooks have a pretty high repair rate: 24 percent. An extended warranty for a computer might make sense, especially if you’re rough on your computers.
- Smartphones: People use smartphones more than any other electronic device, so it makes sense that they break most often. Between 30 and 50 percent of smartphones are damaged or broken. However, the cost of a smartphone extended warranty is often around the same cost as replacing the phone, so this one is usually a wash.
Will it give you peace of mind?
Some people feel better with an electronics extended warranty, especially if it means they won’t have to worry what will happen if they damage the product.
- Are you prone to accidents?: If you routinely forget to take your smartphone out of your pocket before jumping in the pool, or if you tend to knock your laptop off your desk, you might feel better knowing you have an extended warranty. Be sure the one you sign up for includes accidental damage protection.
- Do you want ongoing support?: Some companies offer ongoing technical support if you buy an extended warranty, which can be especially helpful for those who are not very tech-savvy and need extra guidance.
Types of electronics extended warranties
Many retailers like Best Buy will offer an electronics protection plan when you buy a product. You can also get service plans from stores like Apple or AT&T.
Third party warranties
Some third party companies offer electronics extended warranties. These are often more affordable than retailer warranties.
Date of Purchase
This type of warranty begins on the day you purchase your device and runs concurrently with any manufacturer warranty. These tend to cover parts and labor for damage from mechanical failure. Since this coverage is often already included in a manufacturer warranty, read closely to see if the date of purchase warranty offers any additional benefits to make it worth the cost.
This type of extended warranty is basically an extension of your product’s manufacturer warranty after the original warranty expires. It guarantees your product against manufacturer or workmanship defects for a specific period of time. Depending on the warranty, the company may replace or repair your device at their discretion.
This type of warranty covers repair services in your home for large appliances or electronics that can’t be shipped to a repair center.
This type of plan covers unintentional damage caused by things like drops or spills. Typically it doesn’t cover damage caused by misuse or neglect, and that can be open to the warranty company’s interpretation. Read these types of warranties carefully; some say that drops above six feet don’t count, or if your product is “fully submerged” in water it won’t be covered.
OEM Parts and Labor
This type of warranty means that you send your device back to the manufacturer for repair, which ensures that you get OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts and labor from the experts. Otherwise, your device might be repaired with parts from a third party.
Consider whether you need an electronics extended warranty
Do you often damage your electronics?
If you often break your electronics, you might want a service plan that covers accidental damages.
Do you make high-dollar purchases?
If you spend a lot of money on high-end electronics, it can give you peace of mind to know that you’re protected if it malfunctions or if you damage it.
Do you buy expensive computers?
If you are purchasing an expensive computer, laptop or tablet, an extended warranty or protection plan can be a good way to protect your investment and provide you with ongoing technical support.
Do you have a business that relies on electronics?
You may want to purchase protection plans for your devices if your business relies on keeping them in working order.
Electronics extended warranty FAQ
- What do extended warranties cover?
- Extended warranties cover a variety of products against failures caused by defects. An extended warranty is like an insurance policy for your purchase — it covers repairs during a set term, though many warranties have limits and stipulations. If the item is not repairable, your warranty company should replace it or offer you reimbursement.
- How long are TV warranties?
- TV manufacturers’ warranties are generally one year long, but larger televisions sometimes qualify for longer warranties or special service.
Extended warranty lengths vary, but the most common length for TVs is three years.
- Are extended warranties on electronics worth it?
- Extended warranties on electronics are good in several circumstances:
- If you might not be able to afford to replace your items in the future, then buying a warranty now is a good idea.
- Likewise, if the item is absolutely necessary for your work or lifestyle, an extended warranty that offers immediate replacement can come in handy.
- Finally, extended warranties are helpful if you anticipate replacing the original item more than once.
- Can I buy extended warranty later?
- Yes, some companies let you buy a warranty after your purchase. Yes, some companies let you buy a warranty after your purchase. You must purchase the warranty within a certain period, usually 30 days, after buying the product. Some home warranty companies offer electronics coverage for existing electronics.
- Is my cell phone covered under homeowners insurance?
- Cell phones are covered from theft or fire under personal property coverage in a homeowners policy, but they are not covered if you lose, break or misplace them. For further protection, you should consider an extended warranty.
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Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
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