Updated Jan 10, 2023
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Home is where the heart is, but it’s also where we keep some of our most important assets. Appliances like ovens, hot water heaters, washers and dryers, and HVAC systems keep us fed, clean, and comfortable in our homes. However, as anyone who has owned a home or any of these devices can attest, appliances are likely to break down unexpectedly due to normal wear and tear — sometimes when you can least afford it.
Because of these inevitable mechanical failures, many people have turned to an appliance extended warranty for peace of mind and the chance to save a little money on the repair bill. But are they worth it? Today, we’ll dig deeper into how appliance extended warranties work and recommend the best home warranty companies for appliance protection.
An appliance extended warranty is an additional coverage option to protect your home’s major appliances after their original manufacturer’s warranty expires. Home appliances naturally break down over time like any other item you own, especially if they get daily use.
For example, your water heater unexpectedly stops circulating hot water after your first year of ownership. In lieu of the water heater’s now expired original warranty, your appliance extended warranty steps in, so you won’t have to pay that $540+ repair bill out of pocket.
Think of an extended appliance warranty as insurance to cover your device after the factory terms have expired. To ensure there’s no lapse in coverage, you’ll need to secure the extended warranty either before the end of the factory warranty or immediately after. An appliance extended warranty is typically a one-year term with the option of renewing annually should you choose to do so.
Some homeowners mistakenly confuse an appliance extended warranty with other extended home protection plans like a whole-house home warranty. The difference is that an appliance extended warranty only covers one appliance at a time, while a home warranty offers comprehensive blanket coverage for multiple appliances and built-in systems around the home.
Remember that appliance extended warranties are often limited, meaning they only last for one to 10 years. Home warranties, on the other hand, are renewed year after year. Some home warranty providers offer bonus incentives to policyholders who commit to multi-year coverage plans.
Appliance extended warranties are a better fit for homeowners looking for standalone coverage on just one or two appliances. We wouldn’t recommend purchasing a handful of individual extended warranties for each laundry and kitchen appliance in your home, as it can get expensive quickly. You’ll save significantly more money in instances like that by opting for a home warranty. Our table below breaks down the best home warranty providers to compare which plan is best for you.
Appliance extended warranties are generally offered per-item basis and are designed to cover repairing or replacing an appliance’s mechanical components. More cosmetic features like knobs, handles, shelving, etc., are often excluded from extended warranty coverage.
A home warranty may be a better alternative if you’re looking for bundled coverage for multiple appliances throughout your home. Covering more than one appliance with individual extended warranties can also add up quickly.
Here are a few common household appliances that are typically eligible for an extended warranty:
The more expensive the appliance is, the higher the extended warranty value. For example, repairing a failed clothes dryer can cost up to $400, depending on the defunct part. A new dryer altogether could be anywhere from $700 to $1,400. With an extended warranty on your clothes dryer, costing an average of $150 at the time of purchase, you’ll save hundreds should something stop working properly. Other big-ticket items like hot water heaters, refrigerators, and dishwashers are worth backing with an extended warranty.
Extended appliance warranties range from $20 to $500 per year, depending on the type of appliance bought, the manufacturer, the store it was purchased from, and more. Typically, the buyer can save more annually if they initially purchase a longer extended warranty. For example, a 5-year extended warranty will cost less per year than a one-year one.
An extended appliance warranty typically costs less than a home warranty because it only covers one appliance. A home warranty protects nearly all of the home’s major appliances with one single contract.
The cost of an appliance-only home warranty can be all over the map based on your provider, level of protection, and where you live. If you’re just interested in an appliance plan, budgeting around $50 per month is a place to start. Still, your monthly premium won’t be the only charge if you have an appliance breakdown.
Much like any other form of insurance, you’ll pay a premium to obtain the coverage and then a deductible when the coverage is used — and the same goes for an appliance-only home warranty. Your premium of $30 to $50 each month secures your coverage, but a deductible of anywhere from $60 to $150 will need to be paid for each service visit requested.
Although an extended warranty can be useful if you purchase a faulty appliance, home warranties can be much more effective in protecting all the home’s appliances. Home warranties can offer coverage on more than 20+ home appliances with a comprehensive service contract.
We found that Choice Home Warranty offers the best appliance extended warranty based on our in-depth research. Choice Home Warranty’s appliance insurance plans cover all components of washers, dryers, microwaves, ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators for as low as $51 per month.
Choice Home Warranty also has high coverage limits on appliances of up to $3,000 per appliance per year. The company offers 14 years of service experience and has served more than 2 million customers nationwide.
Get a quote: Get a free quote from Choice Home Warranty online or call 929-400-6164.
Learn more: Read our Choice Home Warranty Review
Select Home Warranty (SHW) is another great option for appliance coverage, and it was named our most cost-effective option on the market. SHW plans come in under $46 per month ($5 under the national average), with an industry-low service fee of $60 per service call.
SHW offers a Bronze Care plan for only $42 per month that covers eight of the home’s essential appliances, including a microwave, garbage disposal, dishwasher, oven, refrigerator, washer, and dryer. The Platinum Care plan covers both systems and appliances.
Get a quote: Get a free online quote from Select Home Warranty or call 888-370-3953.
Learn more: Select Home Warranty review
American Home Shield (AHS) is our third-best option for appliance protection, offering more customizability than other home warranty providers. AHS allows its policyholders to select their service fee of $75, $100, or $125, which can increase or decrease the monthly payment. AHS also offers three plan options, all of which cover appliances and a healthy list of eight add-on options.
AHS offers “Shield Assurances,” which protects older items, unknown pre-existing conditions, and improper installation of appliances. Moreover, there is a $6,000 annual limit on each appliance, which is more than enough to cover any repairs or replacements that may be needed.
Get a quote: Get a free quote from American Home Shield or call 888-365-2839.
Learn more: American Home Shield review
The cost of a Home Depot home protection plan depends on the item being covered, its original purchase price, and the length of the warranty. Across all appliances eligible for extended coverage through Home Depot, warranty plans ranged in price from $50 to $595 per year.
Extended product warranties are a worthwhile investment if you’re only looking to cover one or two appliances around your home. If you’re looking to protect your major appliances, or have older built-in systems that are susceptible to failure, we suggest enrolling in a home warranty instead.
Though it depends on the type of appliance and the terms and conditions of each manufacturer, appliance extended warranties last anywhere from one to 10 years. Appliance-only home warranties, however, are renewable at the start of each calendar year.
An extended warranty on your refrigerator can save you hundreds of dollars in the event of an unexpected breakdown. The average cost of a standard refrigerator repair is $250. Given that most appliance extended warranties for refrigerators sit around 15% of the original purchase price. So for a basic Frigidaire refrigerator model costing $675, an extended warranty would be priced at around $100. Relative to the average repair cost, you’ll be saving $150 in the long run.
Some manufacturers may allow the purchase of an extended warranty within 90 days of the initial purchase date. Beyond that, extended appliance warranties cannot be purchased after the fact. No providers will allow the purchase of an extended after the original manufacturer’s warranty has expired.
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