It’s happened to all of us—you’ve invested in an important purchase, like a new phone or sofa or exercise bike, and then life happens.
You drop your phone and it cracks the whole screen. You’re enjoying a glass of wine and then spill it on your brand new couch. You’re loving your new exercise bike but then the screen just won’t turn on anymore.
While manufacturer warranties will cover defects shortly after purchase, things seem to break down just after those limited warranties expire. And they don’t cover any of those accidents anyway.
Enter extended warranties. Not only do extended warranties offer peace of mind, they offer real value when it comes time to fix or replace your product if an issue comes up. All without breaking the bank.
As more and more people find the need to protect the products they love, extended warranties have become more of a need than a luxury. But purchasing protection on all of your frequently used products can add up. So when should you really consider purchasing an extended warranty?
How to determine you need an extended warranty:
When repairs or replacements would cause financial strain
If repairing or replacing the product causes financial pressure, an extended warranty is key. This is often the case with expensive purchases. While most goods come with limited manufacturer warranties, they tend to be short-lived and exclude anything other than manufacturing defects. An extended warranty plan could provide significant savings.
When a product will get a lot of use
If your new purchase is going to get a lot of use - from a desk chair you use every day to a camera you bring with you when traveling - then there’s greater risk of damage or other issues. This is a scenario where product coverage can be quite handy.
When you have a lot of messy users
If you’ve got messy, active roommates like kids and pets, then you might be worried about a variety of product accidents. From your new puppy peeing on your rug, to your toddler mixing your phone into the pancake batter, to your teenager frantically stuffing their laptop into their backpack, you simply don’t have control over the many everyday accidents. Extended warranties can cover you.
When you’re unsure of likely issues
If you’re unsure of the quality of your new purchase, you may not know how likely it is to break. An extended warranty plan can help you make the purchases you want while feeling secure that the product will last, even if the product needs to be replaced after an issue.
When you don’t want to worry about repairs
On top of all of the above, convenience may play a role in whether or not you buy an extended warranty. If you want to avoid replacing your latest purchase because you bought it with the intention it would last, an extended warranty could make sense. When you buy a protection plan, you know exactly how many years you’re sure to get use out of your new product. If an issue comes up, the extended warranty company will take care of any necessary repairs or replacements.
Whether you’re concerned about costs, likely accidents, or simply want peace of mind, extended warranties can provide the coverage you need for your favorite purchases.
This article was originally published August 2018 and updated June 2021.