More Bang For Your Buck: Extended Warranties

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This is a hot time of year if you're looking for discounted home appliances. If you buy one, inevitably you'll be asked if you want to purchase an extended warranty.

Most products you buy come with a one-year manufacturer's warranty, but if anything goes wrong, after one year, you're on your own... which can tempt you to buy an extended warranty.

Emmett and Laura Beasley own Mr. Appliance of Richmond. They see first hand what breaks most often. For dishwashers, the pump will, quite often, need repair or replacement. How much?

"Typically, the range is about $150 to $225," said Emmett Beasley.

For clothes dryers, "it's a fairly inexpensive fix. A lot of the times, it's the heating element itself."

In the washing machine, it's the pump that will most likely fail. It costs about $250 to fix. It's Emmett's professional opinion that you don't need an extended warranty on clothes washers, dryers or dishwashers.

Those pesky icemakers - they are the most common culprit for refrigerator trouble.

"Within 3-4 years, 36% of side-by-side refrigerators with icemakers had at least one incident where they had to be repaired," said Emmett Beasley.

Repairs of this nature cost hundreds - but so do warranties. Because of the common rate of repair, refrigerators are a good candidate for an extended warranty. The more your appliance costs, the more you may want to consider more coverage.

"If you have a more exotic or high end that case, you want at look at extending protection as long as possible,"

Make sure the extended warranty costs no more than 20% of the original purchase price.

If you get an extended warranty, make sure you know when it goes into effect. Many start the day of purchase, and you could lose a year of coverage because it overlaps the manufacturer's warranty. If you buy using a credit card, check your terms of agreement. Some credit cards offer extended warranties as well.

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