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Is an Appliance Extended Warranty Worth It?

Author Icon Written by Dana Getz + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by Michael Mansueto Updated 03/21/2024

Having a major appliance break down causes unwanted headaches and high repair fees. A warranty makes the repair process easier and less expensive. While most original manufacturers warranties expire after one year, an appliance extended warranty protects it longer.

However, while appliance extended warranties offer protection from manufacturer defects, they typically fall short on protection from other types of damage. To help you decide if this added coverage is worth it for you, we’ve compared appliance extended warranties to our picks for the best home warranties. We recommend Liberty Home Guard as our top pick due to its emphasis on customer service and flexible coverage offerings.

Did You Know?

In the last 30 days, more than 2,500 people bought home warranties from the above providers.

What Is an Appliance Extended Warranty?

An appliance extended warranty lengthens the coverage provided by an appliance’s original manufacturer. Most companies include a manufacturer’s warranty when you purchase a major home appliance. This coverage comes standard with the original purchase price and covers your appliance for any manufacturer defects or failures. Basic warranty coverage includes repair and replacement costs and usually lasts anywhere from 30 days to one year. Many companies offer in-home service repairs to simplify the process.

Appliance extended warranties offer the same coverage terms as the original warranty but at an additional cost. They are sometimes called appliance protection plans, service plans, or home appliance insurance. According to Consumer Reports, customers paid a typical price of $126 for an extended warranty on a large appliance and $21 for a small appliance.

You can buy extended warranties for various home appliances, such as washing machines, refrigerators, stoves, cooktops, ice makers, HVAC systems, and water heaters. However, an appliance extended warranty only applies to an individual device, meaning you must purchase a separate policy for each appliance you want covered.

Additionally, you must purchase an extended warranty before the manufacturer’s warranty period ends. You can typically obtain one from the original appliance manufacturer, the appliance retailer, or a third-party provider. Some retailers, such as Home Depot and Costco, offer customers exclusive extended warranties.

What Does an Appliance Extended Warranty Cover?

If your appliance malfunctions within the warranty period, an appliance extended warranty will typically cover any repair, replacement, and labor costs. It also covers damage due to unapproved or improper maintenance. If the appliance can’t be fixed, you may receive a refurbished appliance or a reimbursement. Since appliance extended warranty policies can vary, we recommend thoroughly reviewing yours for coverage and replacement details.

However, these warranties limit protections to manufacturer defects that occur during the coverage period. Essentially, coverage only applies if the product malfunctions because it was faulty to begin with. Additionally, coverage may only include mechanical parts, and many extended warranties exclude the following situations:

  • Breakdowns or failures due to accidental damage
  • Cosmetic damage
  • Damage caused by natural disasters
  • Damage caused by power surges or outages
  • Preexisting conditions or issues that occurred before the coverage period
  • Replacement of cosmetic components, such as knobs or glass

Pros and Cons of Appliance Extended Warranties

Extended warranties on home appliances do come with a number of benefits, chiefly convenience and affordability.

On the other hand, these warranties offer fairly narrow coverage.

Pros & Cons

If the appliance malfunctions due to a manufacturing defect, you can have it repaired or replaced quickly and easily.
The manufacturer will send a repair technician who is experienced with the specific make and model of the appliance.
The price of the extended warranty is low compared to the price of the appliance itself.
Each extended warranty only covers one appliance during the first few years of its life span, when it is usually least likely to break.
Only breakdowns due to manufacturing defects are covered.
You can only buy an extended warranty when you purchase the product or shortly after, before the original warranty expires.

Appliance Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty

Appliance extended warranties aren’t your only option to protect your important home devices. Both appliance extended warranties and home warranties offer protection for your major home appliances. They use licensed service technicians and reduce your repair or replacement costs for covered damage. However, these service plans differ in coverage, cost, and availability.

A home warranty is a broader service contract that offers bundled coverage for major home systems and appliances. For example, a single home warranty policy typically covers your dishwasher, oven, HVAC system, and other items. Some home warranty providers allow you to customize your own plan and desired coverage. They are more comprehensive than extended appliance warranties and cover multiple home appliances, regardless of the original retailer or manufacturer.

Additionally, you can purchase home warranty coverage at any time. Typically, the age of your home and your appliances doesn’t matter. You can also renew the policy each year. In fact, we found that 44% of the policyholders we surveyed wanted to renew. Although home warranty costs vary based on plans and location, you can find plans as low as $40 per month. Home warranties don’t cover manufacturing defects, but they do cover the type of routine wear-and-tear damage that all appliances suffer over time.

Overall, home warranties offer broader coverage than appliance extended warranties, though they do so at a higher price.

Home and appliance extended warranties have advantages and disadvantages, so thoroughly assess your needs before choosing a coverage option. The Federal Trade Commission recommends carefully reading warranty policies to understand all coverage limitations and exclusions. We’ve surveyed over 2,000 homeowners about their experiences with warranties, and we found that understanding coverage details before you buy is the key to satisfaction with a home warranty policy.

Best Home Warranty Providers

While appliance warranties may be useful in select circumstances, we recommend choosing a home warranty policy for more comprehensive coverage and peace of mind. We’ve reviewed the options and determined the following providers offer the best home warranty coverage.

Liberty Home Guard

Liberty Home Guard (LHG) offers flexible coverage and a lengthy workmanship guarantee. LHG covers up to $2,000 in repairs per appliance under two of its three plans: Appliance Guard and Total Home Guard. LHG extends a 60-day workmanship guarantee, double the 30-day industry standard. You can also add coverage for 38 unique add-ons, such as wine coolers and water softeners. LHG emphasizes customer service and holds an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Get a free quote from Liberty Home Guard by calling 866-452-9107 or filling out the Liberty Home Guard quote form

*BBB ratings are accurate as of January 2024.

American Home Shield

American Home Shield offers three comprehensive coverage plans, two of which cover appliances. ShieldGold and ShieldPlatinum plans include appliance coverage caps of $2,000 and $4,000, respectively. The company covers appliances and systems damaged by rust and corrosion, which most providers exclude. American Home Shield also covers items impacted by improper installation or modification and even unknown preexisting conditions. 

Get a free quote from American Home Shield by calling 844-529-9298 or filling out AHS’s online form with your ZIP code.

Select Home Warranty

Select Home Warranty provides affordable coverage for under $50 per month. Its Bronze Care and Platinum Care plans cover appliances up to $500 per item. Unlike most home warranty companies, Select offers customers free limited roof-leak coverage and optional septic system coverage. The company offers 30-day workmanship guarantees and customer discounts for those enrolled in multiyear plans. We recommend Select for homeowners seeking basic coverage on a tight budget. 

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

First American Home Warranty

First American Home Warranty offers comprehensive appliance coverage in each plan. Covered kitchen appliances receive a generous $3,500 coverage cap with the Starter and Essential plans and a $7,000 limit with the Premium Plan. Its Essential and Premium plans also include coverage for your appliance’s knobs, dials, and hinges. Thus, First American is an excellent option for homes with high-end appliances

Get a free quote by filling out First American Home Warranty’s quote form or calling 800-891-9778.

FAQ About Appliance Extended Warranties

How can I file an extended warranty claim?

If an appliance needs servicing under an extended warranty, submit a claim to the warranty provider online or by phone. Your claim should be accepted within 24–48 hours, provider dependent. Your provider will schedule a contractor for an in-home visit to repair or replace your appliance.

Are extended appliance warranties worth it?

While extended home appliance coverage is useful for homeowners who want protection for individual appliances, we recommend a home warranty for homeowners who want more comprehensive coverage.

Can you buy an extended warranty after purchasing the appliance?

Yes, you can typically buy an extended warranty after purchasing the appliance. Most manufacturers offer warranties between one to three years after your purchase date. After this date, however, you cannot extend your coverage.

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

Extended warranty coverage offers financial protection against manufacturer defects. But even without defects, your washer and dryer will likely break down at some point due to normal wear and tear. We recommend purchasing a home warranty to cover these two appliances and other important items in your home.

How long does an appliance warranty last?

Appliance warranty length will depend on the policy and manufacturer. A manufacturer’s appliance warranty typically lasts one year, but extended warranties can add two to four more years of coverage. Home warranties come with one-year contracts and are renewable on an annual basis.

Our Rating Methodology

We back up our home warranty ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each provider. We conduct research by speaking with company representatives, requesting quotes, analyzing sample contracts from each company, and conducting focus groups and consumer surveys. We then score each provider against our review standards for coverage, value, trustworthiness and transparency, availability, and customer service to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale. 

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.