The Appliance Insurance Guide
What Is Appliance Insurance?
Also known as an extended warranty, domestic and general appliance insurance provides breakdown cover for your household appliances. This includes:
- Callout costs
- Labour charges
- Replacement parts and fitting
- Possible replacement of your entire irreparable appliance
The point is to provide you with emergency care so you can promptly get everything back to normal. It is beneficial because it will reduce or possibly even completely eliminate the need for you to pay a large amount of money to replace or fix your item. It fundamentally bridges the gap between your manufacturer’s guarantee and your home insurance.
There is a difference between a guarantee and a warranty:
- Guarantee – a free promise made by the manufacturer/retailer to fix or replace an item
- Warranty – a similar contract but paid for by an outside insurance company.
Which Policy Is Best for Me?
The standard aftercare is repair or replacement upon breakdown, which is usually due to electrical or mechanical failure. Most don’t cover loss, theft or accidental/cosmetic damage, but policies are available which do consider the latter concern.
Consider the amount you want to pay, as well as looking at absolutely everything the policy covers and how long for. There are low-cost insurance options available which may require you to pay excess if you claim or make up the cost of any maximum cover amounts, or there are more expensive options which will entirely cover repairs and replacement costs.
Also think about your individual appliance. There are premium insurance policies specifically for high-end and high value goods, which are often more complex than cheaper models. If your appliance is over five years old, you may see a limited insurance choice available to you. There’s also dedicated kitchen appliance, small appliance and gadget protection. The best value pick for you fully depends upon your needs and what you want from your policy, so you really have to shop around and compare what is out there.
Why Do I Need It?
While most new appliances come with a manufacturer’s guarantee, this usually only lasts for around a year. The majority of breakdowns occur beyond this time frame as a result of daily wear and tear, so purchasing an extended warranty which covers you beyond this is recommended.
The alternative is to either entirely replace the appliance yourself or pay the manufacturer to try and fix it – both very costly options. We all want our electrical devices to last as long as they possibly can, so look at insurance as prolonging the life of your appliance. You don’t want to have to get rid of your appliance if it is only 18 months old but you can’t afford the repairs.
Which Appliances Can I Protect?
Appliance cover can be purchased which covers both white and brown goods.
- White goods are your standard kitchen appliances which keep your home in working order, such as fridges, freezers, ovens and washing machines.
- Brown goods can typically be defined as any ‘extra’, less essential small or media appliances you may own, such as TV’s, music systems, gaming machines or computers.
We also compare insurance for your boiler, which is arguably even more important than any of the above.
Watch out for any age caps – most companies won’t cover items that are over eight years old, as this is deemed the general standard life limit for modern day appliances anyway.
Which Types of Policy Cover Are Available?
There are two broad categories: single- and multi-appliance.
- Single-appliance insurance will cover one individual item in your home directly and is usually more tailored to protect that particular product, such as offering specific parts replacement.
- Multi-appliance insurance covers numerous pieces of equipment under one policy, for a fixed price. There may be a limit on either the number of appliances which can be included or the sum cost of what can be covered.
You can also group your items in terms of their function and insure them accordingly. There is insurance available specifically for white goods, small appliances or gadgets and media items. They all have specific pros and cons, so you really need to do your research before you take any leaps.
How Much Does Appliance Insurance Cost?
This depends on several factors:
- What are you insuring?
- Which provider are you going to choose?
- How many products are you insuring?
- How old are your appliances?
- How are you paying for the insurance?
There are many companies responsible for appliance insurance. Individual firms usually offer various policies too (generally falling under the Bronze/Silver/Gold or Standard/Premium/Deluxe subcategories). These differ depending on the maximum value of your appliances, how many items the policy covers, the claims limit, excess charges and what exact aftercare they offer.
Pay-monthly extended warranties can often end up costing you a lot over an extensive period of time, especially if they automatically renew. The monthly cost can be anywhere between the price of a cup of coffee to over £20, but the price is usually correspondent to what they offer regarding aftercare (always read the small print).
Some providers may also charge interest on monthly payments. This is because most of these contracts are easier to get out of should you wish.
Paying a set amount of money upfront for a specific time frame of cover can often work out cheaper. For example, the same cover may cost £30 for 3 years but £3 per month.
Multi-appliance policies are usually significantly better value, too. These insure several appliances for a set amount per month or year, so you don’t have to keep on track of multiple direct debits, pieces of paperwork and renewal dates.