What to Know About Extended Warranties Before You Shop

Nobody wants to lose their investment in appliances or electronics because of unexpected malfunctions or damages. Meanwhile, a high-quality extended warranty can give consumers a chance to plan and budget for protection that they may need weeks, months, or even years after they make a major purchase.
Even though most retailers offer extended warranties at the time of purchase, good shoppers can find alternative protection that offers a better value. The types of incidents providers cover, how long they last, and even the effort it takes to file and settle claims can vary considerably.
That's why consumers shouldn't make impulsive decisions about which warranty to buy. Learn more about how warranties work, what to look for in a protection plan, and where to buy the best coverage.

Manufacturer Warranties Vs Extended Warranties

Electronics, appliances, and many other products generally come with a manufacturer's warranty. Sometimes, people also refer to these as a factory or limited warranties.
This list highlights the reasons that some companies may call them limited warranties:
  • This initial warranty may focus mostly on defects that arise from the manufacturing or distribution process to ensure customers feel satisfied with their initial purchase.
  • Without the purchase of an extended warranty, the manufacturer's warranty will only cover the product for a limited time.
In contrast, an extended warranty will extend the product's protection, and some also provide coverage for issues caused by accidents. Sometimes, manufacturers or retailers sell their own extended warranties; however, extended warranties are also available from third parties.

How Do Extended Warranties Work?

According to Investopedia, extended warranties work similarly to insurance contracts. The fine print spells out what they cover, how long they last, and how a customer can make claims to get their products repaired or replaced. As with insurers, warranty providers hope to make a profit on the deal, so they use past claims data to make predictions about typical kinds and amounts of claims.
Beyond the basics that apply to all protection plans, details can vary, depending upon the type of product and even the protection plan. For instance:
  • Digital Trends found that typical extended warranties on cell phones extend coverage between two to three years. With Upsie, you can protect your smartphone for up to five years.
  • Most warranty companies for phones also have a limit of between two to three claims for the life of a contract. Upsie lets you make two claims each year.
  • Companies may limit certain types of damage differently than others. For example, some cell phone protection plans only cover mechanical damage for one year, even with a two-year plan. In contrast, with Upsie you even get accident protection to cover your phone against drops and spills.
Other details that vary can include the way customers can get service and the kinds of damages they will cover. For example, a warranty could provide local or even in-home service but another one might require mailing malfunctioning products to a service center in another city.

How to Compare Extended Warranties

How do you know that your extended warranty will actually step up and cover problems when they occur? The FTC has published some advice on its official website:
  • Read the fine print first: Anybody who plans to buy new appliances or electronics should look for warranty details in advance, so they don't feel rushed when they read the brochure at the sales counter. Major manufacturers and even retailers publish the details online.
  • Consider third-party warranties: Don't forget to look into Upsie warranties. Customers can browse Upsie warranty details online for electronics, large appliances, fitness equipment, smart home systems, and many other kinds of products. Upsie's entire business model focuses on warranties, so it's not just a side business for them. Upsie is designed to save consumers money by cutting out the middleman and passing those savings on to the customer.
  • Learn about other people's experiences: Some warranties look great in print. However, customers may feel disappointed when they need to make a claim with either the quality of service or even the helpfulness of customer service reps. Comparison shopping and review sites can provide some good information.
  • Save receipts: Consumers should keep receipts for major purchases both to make claims for warranties and home insurance. Digital images of receipts should work fine too, but it's prudent to save these on cloud storage to keep from losing them in the case the device gets damaged.

Where to Find the Best Extended Warranties for Appliances and Electronics

Upsie provides an affordable, transparent, and no-hassle alternative to the warranties retailers offer at the time of purchase. As an example, for major appliances like washing machines and refrigerators, the purchaser can wait up to eleven months to buy and activate their two-year to five-year protection plan. Upsie will send certified repair techs to the home to perform repairs for all claims.
For another example, compare Upsie vs. Best Buy warranties for mobile phones. Best Buy restricts repairs to their own Geek Squad repair centers. In contrast, Upsie uses a large network of certified repair shops, so customers can make choices about where they get their phones serviced. They can even request to go to Apple’s Genius Bar. Customers can purchase an Upsie smartphone subscription warranty for new and old smartphones in good working condition.
For all products covered by Upsie, customers can rely upon friendly and helpful guidance from the 24/7 claims service center. Helpful reps will help determine the best solution, which might include local or mail-in repairs (or even product replacements). Find out more about how Upsie works to learn why Upsie provides a better value.

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Updated 4/11/22

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