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Is an Appliance Extended Warranty Worth It?

The This Old House Reviews team has reviewed some of the most popular home and appliance warranty policies to help you choose the option that’s best for you. We’ll take a look at some of the differences between home warranties, extended appliance warranties, and how they protect your home.

Kitchen Stove, Appliances Andrea Rugg

An appliance extended warranty can help protect you in the event that an important appliance or system breaks down unexpectedly. This type of warranty extends protection on your manufacturer’s warranty, offering you more coverage for the expensive new appliance you just bought. It helps pay for repairs at a lower price than you’d pay per incident without the warranty. Keep reading to learn more about appliance extended warranties and how they stack up against home appliance insurance.

Appliance Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty

There are two types of warranties that cover home appliances after the original manufacturer’s warranty expires: extended warranties and home warranties.

  • Extended warranties offer home appliance insurance for specific appliances within the home and are purchased before the expiry of the original warranty. The terms and conditions for these warranties typically resemble those in the original manufacturer’s warranty, though they may be purchased from other providers, such as the dealer where you purchased the appliance or from a third party.
  • A home warranty is a separate policy that offers bundled coverage for major home systems and appliances. For example, a home warranty policy will typically include coverage for your dishwasher, refrigerator, heating system, and other items. Compared to an appliance extended warranty, a home appliance warranty is more comprehensive and covers expensive repair and replacement costs.

Pros and Cons of an Appliance Warranties

In general, the benefits of a home warranty are their convenience (multiple items covered under one contract) and their comprehensive coverage for the many appliances within your home. One downside of home appliance warranties is the cost, though this can vary considerably based on the coverage you choose, the square footage of your home, and where you live. There are some home warranties that cost as low as $36 a month.

Extended warranties are cheaper, but they don’t provide coverage to home systems. Because these warranties apply to individual appliances, homeowners pay for exactly the coverage they want on the appliances they want covered. These warranties are typically offered through the manufacturer or dealer, meaning the technician who comes to your service call will be intimately familiar with the appliance being serviced.

Both extended warranties and home warranties come with their pros and cons, and homeowners should carefully evaluate their needs before choosing one or the other. With so much variability among warranty providers, reading the terms and conditions within the policy is critical to ensuring homeowners get the level of coverage they’re looking for.

What Do Extended Warranties Cover?

In general, extended warranties cover damage caused by general wear and tear to mechanical and electric components of your home. They don’t cover non-mechanical items such as windows, doors, or the house’s structural components. An appliance extended warranty only applies to specific devices, which means a separate policy must be purchased for each appliance you want covered.

In comparison, home warranties cover many types of appliances within your home system with just one policy. While one appliance extended warranty will cover just one appliance, a home warranty covers items like your air conditioner, water heater, electrical and plumbing systems, dishwasher, built-in microwave, and even your pool, well pump, or septic system.

Some home warranties are structured so you can build your own home warranty plan and customize the coverage you want. The warranty provider will work with you to determine which appliances within your home are covered, and you can then decide what items to include in your plan.

How Much Do Appliance Warranties Cost?

Warranty prices will vary depending on several factors, including the type of appliances being covered, the type of coverage you want, your warranty provider, and where you live. In general, a home warranty can range anywhere between $300–600 a year, or $25–$50 a month.

An extended warranty is usually less expensive because they cover only one single appliance. They can cost around $20 for smaller appliances and upward of $120 for larger appliances.

How Do You Buy an Appliance Extended Warranty?

You may be able to purchase an appliance extended warranty from the original appliance manufacturer, the dealer where you purchased the appliance, or a third-party provider. Generally speaking, appliance extended warranties can be purchased from retailers and manufacturers, whereas a home appliance warranty always comes from a third-party home warranty company.

When buying a home warranty, homeowners should read the warranty’s terms and conditions very carefully to ensure they understand the levels of coverage provided, which appliances are covered items, and what types of repair and replacement service are available.

Best Home Warranty Companies for Appliances

While appliance warranties may be useful in select circumstances, we recommend choosing a home warranty policy for more comprehensive coverage. Here are our picks for the best home warranties in the industry.

1. American Home Shield

Our top recommended home warranty provider is American Home Shield. It provides three comprehensive coverage plans, including ShieldPlatinum, ShieldGold, and ShieldSilver, personalized service fees, and generous coverage caps on major appliances and systems. It’s also a veteran in the home warranty industry and has years of experience tending to customer claims.

Get a free quote from AHS by calling 844-529-9298 or by filling out the simple online form with your zip code.

2. Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is another reliable home warranty company that offers two service plans—Basic and Total—at an average price between $36–$44. CHW doesn’t restrict coverage based on the age of your home or the age of systems and appliances, as long as the items have been properly maintained, and also has a 90-day repair guarantee.

Get a free quote from CHW by calling 929-400-6165 or by filling out an online form.

3. Select Home Warranty

Select Home Warranty is ideal for those looking for affordable coverage. It has three plans that cost between $36–$38 a month and service fees that cost between $60–$75. Unlike most home warranty companies, Select offers free roof leak coverage and optional septic system coverage to customers. It also provides discounts for customers who enroll in multi-year plans.

Get a free quote from Select by calling 888-370-3956 or by filling out an online form.

Frequently Asked Questions about Appliance Extended Warranties

How can I file a claim?

If an appliance needs to be serviced under an extended warranty or home appliance insurance, the first thing to do is submit a claim to the warranty provider, either online or by phone. Your claim should be accepted within 24–48 hours and a warranty provider will arrange for a contractor to come to your house to inspect the appliance and administer repairs.

When the technician arrives, you’ll be responsible for paying a set service call fee set by your warranty company. If a replacement part is needed, or if the whole appliance needs to be replaced, you may have several service calls before the issue is resolved.

Are extended appliance warranties worth it?

While extended home appliance coverage might be useful for homeowners who want protection for one-off appliances, we recommend home warranty coverage for homeowners who want more comprehensive coverage.

Can you buy an extended warranty after purchasing the appliance?

Most manufacturers offer warranties between one to three years after you purchase an appliance. After this date, you typically cannot buy an extended appliance warranty. However, you may still protect your appliances with a home warranty package that includes your appliances of choice.

Do I need an extended warranty for my washer and dryer?

Your washer and dryer will likely break down at some point due to normal wear and tear. While you can purchase an extended warranty for your washer and dryer set, we recommend purchasing a home warranty to cover these two appliances in addition to other important items in your home.

How long does an appliance warranty last?

Extended warranties and home appliance warranties typically come with one-year contracts and are renewable on an annual basis.

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