Pondering the Protection Plan

Things to consider before buying an extended warranty

You’ve likely been asked to purchase an extended warranty or protection plan before. What did you do? It can be a tough situation. You’re standing there, often at the checkout, having just spent a good chunk of change on something and being told, essentially, that if you really care about the product, you’ll spend even more. But it’s not that simple. Here are some things to keep in mind the next time you’re asked to buy an extended warranty or protection plan.

Check the Coverage

In many cases, an extended warranty covers the same time frame that a manufacturer’s warranty already does. As US News reports, make sure you study the details of the manufacturer’s warranty. If it covers a year, there’s no need to buy a separate warranty from a retailer that also covers a year.

Research, then Buy

Before buying a big ticket item, do research on how long that item is likely to last. (Refrigerators may have very different lifespans than dishwashers, for example.) This way you’ll know going in if an extended warranty would likely expire before you even need it.

Tech can be Tricky

If you’re buying something that regularly is updated with new tech, like a HDTV, a protection plan or warranty might not be worth it. The reason? When the TV goes haywire, you might prefer to get a new TV with all the new tech rather than repair your old one.

The Affordability of a Replacement

One good rule of thumb when considering an extended warranty is that if you can afford to buy the product again, you likely don’t need a warranty. In other words, if the product breaks, can you buy it again without enduring financial stress or debt? If so, bypass the protection plan.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea

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