Do I need to buy an extended warranty?

Do I need to buy an extended warranty?

You may be considering: Do I need to buy an extended warranty for your TV, laptop or washing machine. The short answer is you do not HAVE to buy an extended warranty. It is an optional extra which covers you for a few different situations. There are a number of reasons why you might want to buy one.

Primarily it covers you for mechanical breakdown of the product outside the standard manufacturers guarantee period. During the manufacturer’s guarantee period if the product suffers from a fault or failure due to a problem with the way the product was made or the materials it was made from you will be able to get a repair or a replacement. After this manufacturers guarantee runs out you will either have to pay to repair or replace the product if it has a problem or alternatively you can pay for an extended warranty to cover you for mechanical breakdown of the product.

Is it worth paying for?

Peace of mind

Having an extended warranty means during the terms of the period of cover you never have to worry about trying to find someone to repair the product or needed to buy a new product.

The thing that an extended warranty gives you is a piece of mind that you do not need to worry if your product breaks and reassurance you will not need to pay out for a repair or a replacement. A lot of people would not enjoy having to find someone to repair a product they have bought. If your washing machine stops working you will have to do some research online or in the yellow pages to find someone who may be able to help fix it. You may get someone who is good as his job, reliable and does the job for a reasonable cost. However you may not. You may end up with someone who makes a bodge up of the repair, charges you a fortune and might not even fix the problem. Even after the repair you may still have to replace the product. If you are not covered by a warranty you face uncertainty in terms of what might happen and what it might cost.

 

Budgeting

Having an extended warranty means during the terms of the period of cover you never have to worry about budgeting to pay for someone to repair the product or having to purchase a replacement product.

From a budgeting point of view most people will not be saving for a faulty washing machine repair. The White Goods Trade Association published their opinions on how long products like washing machines will last. They talk about the lifetime use in terms of mean time to failure in hours (MTF). They say the cheapest products they say should last 600 hours. Which works out to me 11.5 hours a weeks use for 1 year, 5.7 hours a week use over two years, 3.8 hours use over three years or 2.3 hours per week over 5 years. This is the number of hours per week that the product could be use before it needs replacing not that it will last this long without needing a repair. They say that high quality machines will have a MTF of over 10,000 hours but they will cost as much as ten times the cost. They say most manufacturers do not publish this figure because it not in their interest to make these kind of claims unless they are one of the high-end manufacturers. On this basis you need to take into consideration when you need to replace the machine and how many times you might need to repair the product over that time period.

You could easily spend a hundred or two pounds on a repair of your product every couple of years and then have to replace it at some point. All of these costs are things you might not be able to afford when they come up. If you need to replace the machine you may end up making a snap decision without giving yourself adequate time to do the research. In which case you may end up with a product which you do not like and have to put up with for the next few years.

If you do not have the money to repair or replace the faulty product you may have to put the cost on a credit card, finance or get a short-term loan. All of these ways of financing a product will add a considerable expense if you need to borrow you money.

Convenience

Having an extended warranty means during the terms of the period of cover you never have to worry about trying to find someone to repair the product or needed to buy a new product. 

Most people would probably rather just have one phone number they can call and it will result in a trustworthy engineer turning up at the door. If the worst happens and the product needs replacing not having to worry about buying a new product, would probably be considered more convenient that having to go shopping for a new machine when they are right in the middle of something and are really busy at work or with the kids etc.

Reliability

Having an extended warranty means during the terms of the period of cover you never have to worry about trying to find someone to repair the product or needed to buy a new product.

If the product you are covering is something you use everyday and rely upon such as a TV, Laptop or washing machine, how would you feel if you couldn’t use that product? If it breaks and need a repair or if it needs replacing you may have to go with out for a few weeks.

Other benefits

The majority of extended warranties cover you for accidental damage in addition to mechanical break down. This means if you accidentally cause some damage to the product you are covering which stops you being able to use the product you will be able to claim to get the product repaired or replaced.

Some product insurance policies can also cover mechanical breakdown so are worth considering in comparison to a normal extended warranty. Most of these policies cover you against theft of the product and some against if you lose the product (which may be an optional extra).

Summary

You need to take into consideration these factors and consider if the cost is worth it to you. Make sure you shop around to get the best deal as the price of the cover has a big impact on the value that you get from the cover. Think about how much you rely on the product and how much it would affect you if you had to go without the product for a while. Think about how much you would like to spend your evenings and weekends researching and buying a new washing machine or if you have better things to do with your time?

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