Are Extended Warranties For Electronics Worth It?

Are Extended Warranties For Electronics Worth It?

Written by Matthew Taylor
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated August 19, 2021

These days, when you buy certain products like electronics, vehicles, or appliances, you may have an option to buy an extended warranty to protect them. Depending on the product and where you buy it, the cost can vary significantly. While some people believe that an extended warranty is worth the extra cost, others think the value isn’t worth the price you pay.

Extended Warranty vs. Manufacturer’s Warranty

Before deciding if you need an extended warranty, you may want to check if your product has a manufacturer warranty. Sometimes these warranties may offer you the coverage you need without having to add an extended warranty. 

Manufacturer’s Warranty

A manufacturer’s warranty comes from the manufacturer and guarantees a product’s replacement or repairs under reasonable circumstances, such as a manufacturer’s defect or regular wear and tear. This kind of warranty is usually included in a product’s purchase price.

Extended Warranty

An extended warranty, meanwhile, is a warranty on top of a manufacturer’s warranty. Rather than being included in the purchase price of a product, they often cost extra. They serve as a cushion to add extra time under which a product is protected by warranty once the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

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What Items Does Extended Warranty Cover? 

An extended warranty covers several categories of products. These products are often a little pricier, meaning that it might make sense to protect your product rather than shelling out a lot of money to replace the product should something go wrong. Products that might be protected under extended warranty include:

Appliances

Extended warranties are typically offered on major household appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, washers and dryers. These warranties usually cover defects, parts and labour for a specific period of time. However, improper installation, misuse and attempts to fix the problems yourself can null your warranty.  

Electronic Devices

These days you can purchase an extended warranty on most electronics including computers, laptops, gaming systems, smartphones, televisions and sound systems. An extended warranty will typically cover defects, parts, accidental damages, wear and tear and labour. However, there may be certain conditions on the types of damages covered such as water damage. 

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Vehicles

Extended warranties on cars are really more of an insurance product than a warranty. It covers your car against certain damages for a specific period of time. Some extended warranty contracts may include deductibles and certain limitations on what can be repaired or replaced. If you have a foreign car, be sure to confirm whether it covers vehicles that have been imported from outside of Canada. Lastly, watch out for certain conditions that may void your warranty. For example, some warranties may be void if you do not regularly service or meet the minimum requirements of a responsible vehicle owner.

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Is The Value Of An Extended Warranty For Electronics Worth The Price?

An extended warranty for electronics might seem worth it, but the value it offers usually doesn’t justify the cost. Here are some reasons why an extended warranty for electronics may not be worth it: 

  • The manufacturer’s warranty is usually enough – A manufacturer’s warranty, if offered, usually covers most problems.
  • It doesn’t cost that much to repair them –  Depending on the product you purchase, repairs may not be very expensive. You may be better off saving the money you would spend on the extended warranty and put it towards any necessary repairs that come up.
  • Some credit cards include extended warranties – Some credit cards include an extended warranty. This can be cheaper than purchasing the extended warranty separately. 
  • Most products don’t break during the covered period –  Most products also don’t break during the warranty period, so purchasing an extended warranty wouldn’t do anything to help. 
  • Costs more upfront – Extended warranties don’t come cheap and are often paid upfront. Instead, it may be worth saving the money you’d pay on the extended warranty and use that to cover any repairs if they come up.

Should You Get Extended Warranty For Electronics?

Generally, you shouldn’t get an extended warranty for cheap electronics that you could replace for a minimal cost. However, if you plan on purchasing an expensive item that you plan on using for a while, it may not be a bad idea to get an extended warranty. 

Computer

When it comes to computers, they are usually very reliable. They shouldn’t break for no reason. If you have any concerns about a computer breaking down, you should spend a little extra money buying a more reliable computer rather than spending it on an extended warranty.

If there are any manufacturing defects on computer parts, these are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Unless you are concerned about dropping your computer parts or having any accidents, you can safely skip purchasing an extended warranty. 

Game Consoles

Generally, most consoles come with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. This usually covers any hardware damage or defects. However, as any gamer would know, the infamous “red ring of death” usually pops up after the warranty ends. If you plan on using your console for more than a year, it may be worth getting the extended warranty, especially if you want to cover accidental damages. 

Laptops

Laptops could benefit from an extended warranty if they are constantly being put in potentially risky situations, such as being moved frequently or being used near water. An extended warranty should cover these accidental damages.

All in all, an extended warranty might be something to consider, but a better option might be to spend the extra money on more reliable electronics.

What To Consider When Purchasing Extended Warranty

Before you purchase an extended warranty, there are a few things you should consider. 

  • What Are The Typical Repair Costs? – You should also think about how much it would typically cost to repair or replace a product, and whether it would be cheaper to do that rather than to purchase an extended warranty. 
  • Does Your Credit Card Have Extended Warranty? – Some credit card companies also offer extended warranties on products you purchase with your credit card, so look into their warranties as well. You might not be getting any extra protection from an extended warranty you purchase if you’re already covered by one offered by your credit card company.
  • What Are The Conditions Of The Warranty?  – You should ask questions like how long the warranty lasts and the conditions under which a warranty would apply. 

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Bottom Line

Purchasing an extended warranty for electronics, which offers coverage above and beyond what a manufacturer’s warranty does, usually isn’t worth it. It is often cheaper to repair or replace a product, so you should save the money you would spend on an extended warranty and put it towards repairs or replacement if you have any problems. Most electronics don’t break down during the coverage period, so you can rest assured knowing that you shouldn’t have any problems with yours. If you are especially concerned, you can either spend money on an extended warranty, or it might make more sense to spend a bit of extra money on more reliable electronics.

Matthew joined the Loans Canada writing team in 2021 while was finishing up a Bachelor's degree at the University of Saskatchewan. It was there that he discovered his love of writing. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Canadian Student Review and NewEngineer.com. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys reading, geocaching, and spending time with his family and pets.

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