What items should you buy extended warranties on?

What items should you buy extended warranties on?

Peeling back all the possible layers of warranty coverage for homeowners

What items should you buy extended warranties on – key tips to remember:

  • Extended warranties lengthen basic manufacturer warranties
  • Extended warranties can make sense for many big-ticket items
  • Buying extended warranties is worth considering when buying new
  • Older homes with older systems and appliances are unlikely to be eligible
  • A good home warranty can cover all these items simultaneously and indefinitely

What items should you buy extended warranties on? If you’re looking for advice on all things extended warranty-related, search no further because you’re in the right place. Here at your trusty neighborhood Cinch blog, we’ve done the research and have the expertise to help you find the answers to this and other related questions about extended warranties. If you’re unsure about which items you should buy extended warranties for and why, we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll walk you through appliances and systems throughout your home that may benefit from extended warranty plans. We’ll also talk about the advantages of buying a single, comprehensive home warranty and how it can improve upon extended warranties for individual purchases by simultaneously covering all the essential systems and appliances in your home.

Layers of warranty coverage

Sometimes a little extra warranty coverage can go a long way, whether you’re considering big-ticket purchases like new vehicles or simpler, comparatively inexpensive home appliances and tools. Sometimes paying for an extended warranty doesn’t make sense, as you might plan to replace the item before it needs the coverage anyway. It depends on what you hope to gain from each purchase, how long you plan to keep the item, and how much you rely on it. Could you get by for long if it were to fail, or would it be indispensable? A dizzying array of coverage options is out there, and many can add significantly to the purchase price of an already pricey item. As with any consumer purchase, researching and informing yourself before deciding can make all the difference. Finding your way through all the options can feel more than a little overwhelming, however, as warranty coverage can come and go in layers.

Peeling the warranty coverage onion

To get a complete idea of what coverage is available to you, it makes sense to think of warranty coverage like the layers of an onion. Each layer you peel back reveals another layer of protection as you approach the core of the onion. If you’re doubling or tripling your coverage with each successive layer, you’re going to spend more than you should. After all, you’ve already invested a lot of money in the initial purchase price of essential home systems and appliances, especially big-ticket items like we’re discussing today, plus tax and perhaps also delivery, installation and removal fees for whatever system or appliance your service provider hauls away. Whatever your sitwwwion, you will want to make sure any additional layers of coverage you purchase make good financial sense and don’t simply repeat coverage you already have. This is why it’s important to look into the details for each system and appliance throughout your home, informing yourself of how much coverage is left so you know where to turn if you need repairs or replacement — not to mention when you’ll need to add additional coverage to avoid gaps when extended warranties expire.

Knowing your warranty coverage: Labeling the layers

Most consumer products you buy come with a manufacturer warranty. This first layer of the warranty onion varies among products, brands and models but often averages around a year of warranty protection. In general, if the item you purchase fails to function as expected within this first year, the manufacturer is responsible for repairing or replacing it. You might decide to buy what’s known as an “extended warranty” upon your initial purchase or later within a prescribed term of eligibility determined by the manufacturer or extended warranty provider. In that case, you pay upfront for more of basically the same coverage you had during that first year when your product was new. This extended warranty option is the second layer of the warranty onion. Some manufacturers and products even allow additional periods of coverage, so you could conceivably buy extensions to your already extended warranty, potentially adding a third or even fourth layer to your warranty onion, and so on.

Should I buy an HVAC extended warranty?

If you’re currently searching for answers by typing awkward phrases into your search engine like “should I get extended warranty on air conditioner” or “should I buy extended warranty on A/C,” read on here instead. Your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) unit is one of the most expensive investments you’ll ever make in your home. You can expect to rely on it virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, unless you live in an ideal climate that allows you to turn it off and open the windows frequently. While HVAC units are designed to last for many years, most only include a year or two of the basic manufacturer warranty, beginning at the point of purchase. You’ll want to consider factors like comfort, cost, maintenance and repairs for not just for the initial term but also as long as two decades of service, which is what many people hope to get out of their HVAC units. Looking at your options and what you might spend otherwise, an extended warranty could save you money on repairs and replacement over the extra years of coverage you purchase.

Should you buy an extended warranty on appliances in the utility room?

Before you proceed with additional online searches using terms like “should I buy extended warranty on washer and dryer,” or “should I buy an extended warranty on a water heater,” let’s talk about that utility room for a minute or two. Unless you have very basic, older models, today’s washers and dryers are computer-controlled. As a result, repairs are more complex and costly. It’s a good rule of thumb to assume that if you spend at least $1,000 on your washer and dryer set, you will want to invest in some additional coverage, and an extended warranty is one way to do this. The same is true of water heaters, which have only gotten more complicated and more expensive in terms of the electronics that make them tick. Newer, more efficient tankless water heaters are one example of this welcome trend toward lowering energy use that can also result in a more expensive initial outlay.

Should you buy an extended warranty on appliances in your kitchen?

Uh-oh. It looks like your internet search finger is getting twitchy again. We know you’re about to go wild with more awkwardly phrased online searches for terms like “should I buy dishwasher extended warranty,” “should I buy extended warranty on microwave,” “should I buy extended warranty on oven,” and so on. The answer, in the case of dishwashers, microwaves, ovens, stovetops and any other major kitchen-centered appliance is yes. An extended warranty can help lengthen the life of these major products, all of which are considered major investments in your home and worth a little extra backing to help keep them going strong.  This also saves you the worry of paying out of pocket for repairs and replacements. 

So, before you’re tempted to start into yet another round of searches with terms like “should I buy extended warranty for a gas range,” “should I buy extended warranty for an electric range” or anything else kitchen-centric, remember that you could consider the initial purchase price to be an investment (and not just a casual purchase). In that case, additional coverage will make sense for you and your budget, savings and credit rating. The fewer expensive surprises, the better results for you, your savings and your credit, not to mention your peace of mind.

Should I buy an extended warranty on the refrigerator?

Though your refrigerator typically resides in your kitchen, it deserves its own category. Today’s refrigerators exhibit a wide range of styles, with purpose-built designs for seemingly every need. Many are modern marvels of efficiency, though not all are efficient enough to claim the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label signifying high efficiency ratings. It may be hard to believe, but new refrigerators can cost as much as $15,000 for the fanciest models, and most come with only two years of manufacturer warranty coverage. Maintenance, parts replacement and repairs can be very costly, especially on the more expensive models. If you’re concerned about cost, efficiency, durability, and ongoing expenses and how they fit into your budget, it makes sense to consider purchasing an extended warranty for your fridge.

Should I buy an extended warranty for an electrical system?

The answer to this question is virtually identical to another question you’re probably also wondering about: “Should I buy extended warranty for my plumbing?” While some plumbers and electricians may offer warranties (or even extended warranties) for their newly installed systems within brand-new houses, these deals will only be available to the first owners of newly constructed homes. Like any warranty arrangement, you should carefully scrutinize these before signing. It’s always important to do your diligence, talk to experts, and inform yourself with research into your options, reading the fine print before consenting to a contract. The good news is that no matter how old your home is, you’re likely eligible for a home warranty, which will cover your electrical system, plumbing system and much more, including your HVAC system and all of your home’s major appliances.

Deeper into the onion: Layer five, homeowners insurance

Remember the onion we were peeling? The metaphorical onion comprising all the possible layers of warranty coverage that could apply to a system or appliance within your home? Homeowners insurance is yet another layer of that warranty onion we discussed earlier. While it’s technically not a warranty, a homeowners insurance policy is required with most home purchases and offers financial protection for the structure of your home. It also covers your belongings within the home, as long as you have taken care to photograph and document everything you own that holds value. In the event of a disaster, like a fire, flood, earthquake, tornado or something else terrible that results in great loss, your belongings and the home itself are covered. 

Homeowners insurance also covers your liability in case of an accident resulting in someone being injured on your property. Homeowners insurance is essential and routinely required by law, making it a part of home ownership. Though it is often mistakenly confused with home warranties, homeowners insurance is a very different and separate arrangement with your insurer (not a warranty company), and it covers completely different things.

Home warranties: The core of the warranty onion

Welcome, warranty padawan, for you have arrived at layer six — the core of the warranty onion. Each layer of our metaphorical onion has some warranty or warranty-adjacent coverage. Here at the core, we look at an option that provides comprehensive, ongoing coverage for as long as you choose to purchase and renew your contract. A home warranty should not be confused with a manufacturer warranty (typically a year or two of protection offered upon purchase, free of charge), an extended warranty (also offered at time of purchase by a manufacturer or a separate warranty company for an extended period of coverage beyond the initial period), or homeowners insurance (coverage for the home’s structure and belongings it houses). It is an entirely different arrangement for your home’s systems and appliances.

Home warranties: How do they work?

Neither required by law nor offered by your home, auto, health or life insurer, the home warranty is a service contract offered by a home warranty company. It’s typically designed to protect your home’s major systems (heating, cooling, plumbing, electricity) and appliances (washers, dryers, stoves, ovens, dishwashers, water heaters, microwaves, garbage disposals and more). A home warranty covers all these systems and appliances, or both sets of essentials, when any of them require repairs or replacement. This means that anytime you need help with any of these items covered by your home warranty, all you have to do is call your home warranty provider. A qualified, experienced, vetted professional specialist will arrive at your home to fix the problem at a date and time of your choosing. This professional will repair or replace the unit, and the only costs you’ll be responsible for are the home warranty's monthly (or annual) cost, plus a nominal service fee for the visit, typically averaging around $75.

Home warranties: How much will I save?

While a year of complete home warranty coverage might cost you a few hundred dollars — either in a one-time lump-sum payment or divided into monthly installments — this investment can easily pay for itself with one failure of a single system or appliance. One significant repair or replacement of any of your home’s major systems or appliances could easily range into the thousands. Without a home warranty, you’re responsible for the total cost of repairs and replacement, entirely out of pocket. Just imagine if more than one of your home’s key systems and appliances went on the fritz. The costs can easily become staggering, bursting budgets, squandering savings, deep-sixing credit ratings and running up your debt. With a predictable, affordable home warranty, you’ll know exactly what your payment will be every month or year. You’ll also avoid any nasty and costly surprises while covering every single one of your home’s key systems and appliances with a complete plan that offers real peace of mind.


So, what items should you buy extended warranties on? Why not every major system and appliance within your home? Each contributes to the smooth, safe, clean, healthy and comfortable operation of your home, so why not consider each essential? At Cinch, we certainly do. But who wants to investigate and maintain 26 different extended warranties for every separate system and appliance in your home? If you have new or nearly new systems and appliances, check out each one to verify whether it currently has warranty coverage. Make a chart or a spreadsheet so you can be sure to know about the status of each one. Then you can compare the cost of extending coverage with the manufacturer or with an extended-warranty provider for a set amount of time against the cost, convenience and peace of mind you’d gain from covering every major system and appliance within your home simultaneously with one of three simple, reliable, affordable and award-winning protection plans from Cinch Home Services. We think you’ll be glad you did.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.

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