Is an appliance extended warranty worth it?

It can help pay for major repairs, but should you get one?

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If you’re like many of us, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth on your home appliances — and you might not have the budget to pay for a big repair or replacement in the event something goes wrong.

Most new appliances come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but it’s possible you’ll want to extend coverage to protect your purchase for longer. This is where an appliance extended warranty comes in handy.


Key insights

An appliance extended warranty provides coverage for the repair and replacement of appliances, but this kind of plan can be pricey — and there’s a chance you won’t need it.

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You can get an appliance extended warranty from the original manufacturer, the vendor or a third party.

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Extended warranty coverage for appliances typically costs $25 to $50 per month.

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Whether appliance coverage is worth it depends on your situation, including the age of your appliances and whether you can afford the cost of repair or replacement out of pocket.

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How do extended warranties work for appliances?

An appliance extended warranty is a service agreement that provides coverage for repair and replacement of individual appliances listed in your contract. You can get this type of warranty from the manufacturer or dealer of your major home appliances before your manufacturer’s warranty expires to make sure there’s no lapse in coverage.

An appliance extended warranty is a service agreement that provides coverage for the repair and replacement of specific appliances listed in your contract.

Brian Jones, the vice president of marketing at appliance company ASKO, described how appliance extended warranties generally work. “Typically customers have the opportunity to purchase an extended warranty at the time of purchasing the appliance or within a specified period of time (i.e., 30 days, 60 days, etc.). This can be through the manufacturer, retailer or a third-party provider. Factors to look for in the terms include the duration of coverage, the scope of coverage and any exclusions.

“When it comes time to use an extended warranty, if you have one,” he explained, “the process is typically fairly straightforward. The policyholder files a claim, which then needs to be verified. The provider will confirm whether the issue qualifies for repair under the warranty, and if so, a technician is sent to diagnose and repair the issue if possible. Ideally there are no out-of-pocket costs at that point, although it is not uncommon for there to be a deductible or service fee, depending on the warranty.”

Appliance extended warranty vs. home warranty

An appliance extended warranty is an alternative to paying for a home warranty plan that covers the appliances you’re concerned about. These extended warranties help pay for the repair and replacement of home appliances, including refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washers and dryers. You can get this coverage from the original appliance manufacturer or vendor, or you can purchase it from a third party.

A home warranty provides bundled coverage for these home appliances as well as various home systems, depending on your plan. It pays for the cost of fixing or replacing a covered household item when it breaks down from wear and tear.

Appliance extended warranty coverage

If you’ve bought an appliance at a brick-and-mortar store, you’ve probably been asked by a salesperson if you want to go ahead and extend your warranty at the time of purchase. Typical appliance extended warranties cover individual major home appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, cooktops, water heaters and clothes washers and dryers.

Appliance extended warranty coverage differs depending on the specific warranty plan; some coverage lasts a short period, while other plans last years, and particular parts coverage and conditions vary. These contracts are often similar to the original manufacturer’s warranty — they just extend the period of time you’re covered.

» MORE: What does a home warranty cover?

Pros and cons of appliance extended warranties

Appliance extended warranties offer a number of benefits — for instance, they can be more affordable than a bundled home warranty plan — but they don’t make sense for everyone.

Pros

  • Cost-efficient when repairs or replacements are needed
  • Guaranteed repairs by a qualified technician
  • No hidden fees or charges and you know expenses when purchasing warranty

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Accidents are not covered
  • May be unnecessary if warranty is never used

Jones walked through the advantages and disadvantages of appliance extended warranties. “There are some advantages to appliance extended warranties, such as the longer protection you get beyond the manufacturer’s warranty, as well as the fact that the costs for any future repairs are typically locked in at today’s prices — rather than paying more in the future due to inflation,” he said.

“Keep in mind, however, the potential disadvantages as well. It is possible that the cost of the extended warranty may end up exceeding the potential repair costs. In particular, higher-end appliances that are built thoughtfully with durability in mind may not end up requiring expensive repairs, but an extended warranty on such a high-end appliance could be costly. When it does come time for a repair through an extended warranty, it’s also possible you may experience issues like slow response times or the use of lower-quality replacement parts, depending on the service provider you’ve chosen.”

One ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Oklahoma, Danielle, was impressed with the benefits of her extended warranty. “We were pleased to receive a next day appointment for our issue,” she said. “Our assigned technician, Ed, arrived and examined the problem, offering a full explanation of what went wrong, as well as the solution and how to possibly prevent it in the future. He was friendly and knowledgeable. Would highly recommend.”

» CALCULATE: Home warranty costs

What does an appliance extended warranty cost?

The cost of an extended warranty depends on the type of appliance, the type of coverage, the warranty provider and your location. As of publishing, a typical appliance extended warranty costs between $25 and $50 per month. More expensive appliances will usually have a higher extended warranty cost than less expensive appliances.

FAQ

What is an extended warranty?

Extended warranties typically function like an original manufacturer’s warranty, but they lengthen your coverage period. With an appliance extended warranty, when an issue occurs, you can file a claim with the warranty provider, and it sends a technician to assess and fix the problem or replace the appliance entirely.

Are refrigerator extended warranties worth it?

An extended warranty for a refrigerator can save you money if something goes wrong with a refrigerator no longer under the manufacturer’s warranty. However, with any extended warranty, there’s always the chance you won’t end up using the coverage.

Can I cancel my extended warranty?

You should be able to cancel, but each warranty plan is different, and each provider has its own rules for cancellation. Make sure you’re familiar with these rules — you don’t want to be stuck in a contract and paying for coverage you don’t want.

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    Bottom line: Are appliance extended warranties worth it?

    An appliance extended warranty can help pay for issues that unexpectedly arise with your major home appliances. Purchasing coverage may be a good choice if you have older appliances or if you know you won’t be able to handle the cost of any major repairs or replacement out of pocket.

    Before purchasing an appliance extended warranty, check for an existing manufacturer's warranty and find out if you already have extended coverage through your credit card. Whether an appliance extended warranty is worth it depends entirely on you and your situation. Make sure you read over any agreement carefully before purchasing extended coverage.

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