There are many situations in which you may want to consider an appliance warranty. You may have a home with older appliances that would be expensive to repair or replace, or you may be buying a home with existing appliances in unknown condition. You may even be buying a brand-new appliance from a major retailer like Best Buy.
Regardless of the situation, it’s important to understand how an appliance warranty works and the options available to you.
Extended Appliance Warranties
Many appliance retailers like Sears and Best Buy offer warranty plans when you buy an appliance. It’s important to understand the difference between this type of appliance insurance and a home warranty plan. In general, warranties offered by retailers and appliance companies are really just warranty plans for repairs outside of your manufacturer warranty. The biggest difference between the two is most companies and retailers require that you purchase the warranty when you buy the appliance. This means this option won’t help you cover your existing appliances or anything that comes with a new home.
Along with retailers, you may be considering appliance insurance through Square Trade, a company that offers protection plans on electronics and appliances. This type of plan covers failures that result from normal use an appliance and cover all parts and labor, but the coverage can be very expensive. Rather than covering all appliances in your home, you must purchase a separate policy for every appliance. For example, a refrigerator that cost $1,000 will require a protection plan that costs $260. Another major downside is you must buy the protection plan within 30 days of buying the appliance.
A home warranty plan is typically a one-year service contract that you sign with a home warranty company. This warranty will cover repair and replacement of covered appliances and systems in your home. Depending on the coverage you choose, your total annual premium may be anywhere from $250 to $450.
If an appliance like a refrigerator or dryer breaks down, you will contact the warranty company, which will then send a licensed repair technician to your home. You will need to pay a service fee or deductible for each claim, but this is typically about $50 — far less than a normal service call. You will not have any additional costs such as labor or parts. If your appliance is beyond repair, the plan will cover the cost of replacement.
Virtually all of the appliances in your home can be covered with a single insurance plan, regardless of appliance age, make, and model. Many systems in your home such as your HVAC system and plumbing system are also covered by most plans.
If you are considering a home warranty plan with appliance insurance, make sure you do your research to choose a solid home warranty provider. Not all companies are equal, so start by looking for a company that has been around for many years, as well as a company that offers affordable service call fees, several appliance insurance coverage options, and warranty plans that cover most appliances.
Exploring Home Warranty Coverage Options
Home Service Warranty (HSC), the leading provider of home protection plans, offers several coverage options to give you the level of protection you want. The standard plan covers the appliances listed above, along with ceiling fans, electrical systems, heating and plumbing systems and toilets. The comprehensive coverage option includes all standard coverage as well as ductwork, gas leaks, doorbells, hot/cold water dispensers, pest control, plumbing stoppages, hot water pumps, sump pumps, water leaks, exhaust and attic fans, whirlpool motor and pump assemblies, and telephone wiring.
You can also choose optional cover add-ons. Each item has an additional cost. If you have more than one washer, dryer, dishwasher, water heater, refrigerator, or freezer in your home, you will need to buy add-on coverage. You can also add-on coverage for spas, roofs, jetted bathtubs, and water softeners.
How HSC Compares
You have many choices when you buy an appliance warranty. Unlike many home warranty companies, HSC guarantees service work for 90 days on parts and 30 days on labor. HSC also offers high limits for covered items, including up to $2,500 for HVAC systems, which is higher than almost any other company. Many companies, such as Choice Home Warranty and Select Home Warranty, limit coverage at just $1,000-$1,500. HSC also has among the lowest service fees in the industry. You can choose a policy that is effective immediately, whereas most companies have policies that only take effect after 30 days.
It’s also important to compare HSC to Square Trade, one of the leading protect plan companies for appliances and electronics. While HSC offers coverage for all appliances and major home systems with a single premium of $350 to $450, Square Trade requires purchasing an individual protection plan for each appliance. These plans may cost anywhere from $150 to $380 each. Unlike Square Trade, appliance warranties from HSC can cover any appliance in your home, regardless of age, model, and make. With Square Trade, you can only buy a warranty on a new appliance purchased within the last 30 days.
Home appliance insurance from HSC does not require a home inspection, nor do your appliances need to be new. Your plan can cover virtually all appliances in the home with a single one-year, renewable service contract and low service call fees of $65, $95, or $125, depending on the payment option you choose. If you cannot afford to buy your appliances twice or replace aging appliances in your home, a home warranty can give you peace of mind and protect your budget.
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