Updated On

May 11, 2023

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    Is an Appliance Extended Warranty Worth It?

    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.

    What Is an Appliance Extended Warranty?

    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.

    Many homeowners get confused about the difference between an appliance extended warranty, a manufacturer’s warranty and a home warranty. Below is a quick comparison of the three different types of coverage.

    CoverageManufacturer’s WarrantyAppliance Extended WarrantyHome Warranty
    CostFree with purchase of an appliance or system$20–$120 per year$300–$600 per year
    ProsCovers damages caused by design flaws or defectsProvides homeowners with additional coverage for a specific appliance after the manufacturer’s warranty expiresProtects a range of essential home systems and appliances and can be renewed year after year
    ConsExpires after a certain period, typically within one year of purchaseDoesn’t cover additional systems and appliances in your homeMore expensive than an appliance extended warranty

    Home Warranty vs. Extended Warranty Coverage

    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.

    Why We Recommend Home Warranties

    While an appliance extended warranty can be helpful if you just bought a new appliance, we recommended choosing a home warranty policy for complete system and appliance protection. A comprehensive plan from a top home warranty provider protects a variety of important systems and appliances, including your air conditioning, dishwasher and refrigerator, regardless of their age.

    The Best Home Warranty Companies for Appliance Coverage

    A comprehensive home warranty gives you peace of mind that your home’s essential appliances and systems are protected if they break due to normal wear and tear. For quality coverage, we recommend American Home Shield and Select Home Warranty.

    American Home Shield offers three comprehensive coverage plans, allows customers to select between three service call fees and has more than 50 years of experience in the industry. Select Home Warranty offers three affordable plans and is a great pick for those on a budget.

    Choice Home Warranty

    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

    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

    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

    Home Warranty Resources

    What Do Extended Appliance Warranties Cover?

    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:

    • Clothes washers and dryers
    • Dishwashers
    • Built-in microwave ovens
    • Refrigerators
    • Built-in wall ovens
    • Cooktops/ranges/stove tops
    • Built-in trash compactors

    What Items Should You Get an Extended Warranty On?

    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.

    How Much Does an Extended Appliance Warranty Cost?

    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.

    How Does a Home Warranty Work?

    If a covered home appliance or system breaks due to normal wear and tear, you can file a claim by calling your provider or filling out a claims form on the company’s website. Once the claim is processed, an authorized service technician will be sent to your home to evaluate your issue. At this time, a repair or replacement will be scheduled and you’ll owe the contractor your set service fee.

    Typically, home warranty providers don’t place a limit on the number of claims you can file; however, many companies cap the amount of money available to you for covering a damaged system or appliance. For example, a provider may cap yearly air conditioning coverage at $2,000. If you have any air conditioning repairs that exceed this amount, you will be responsible for the payment.

    What To Consider Before Buying an Extended Warranty

    Before purchasing an extended warranty, consider the following factors:

    • Understand your existing manufacturer’s warranty—Most new appliances and systems include a manufacturer’s warranty. Check to see how long this included coverage lasts to determine if you should purchase additional protection.
    • Read a sample contract—Always read a contract’s terms and conditions before committing to an appliance extended warranty. All reputable providers will share a sample contract, which will list the coverage you’ll receive and the terms of your warranty.
    • Consider the cost of repairs—For smaller appliances, such as a microwave, it may cost more to pay for coverage than for out-of-pocket repairs or replacements.

    Compare the Best Home Appliance Warranty Companies

    FAQs About Appliance Extended Warranties

    Are extended appliance warranties worth it?

    While an extended appliance warranty might be useful for homeowners who just need coverage for a single appliance, such as a refrigerator or dishwasher, we recommend home warranty coverage for those who want protection for all of their home’s appliances and systems.

    How long does an appliance warranty last?

    Appliance extended warranties typically last for one year and are renewable each year.

    How do I find the best home warranty?

    To find the best home warranty, it’s important to do your research and receive quotes from multiple providers. This will help you compare costs and coverage details in your area. In addition to receiving multiple quotes, look into potential providers’ service contracts, which detail important information such as coverage caps, service fees and contractor requirements.

    Should I get a warranty on my refrigerator?

    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.

    Can you buy an extended warranty after purchasing a product?

    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.

    Home Warranty Rating Methodology

    To help you find the best home warranty, our reviews team researched numerous home warranty companies, analyzing their coverage plans, pricing and customer service, among other factors:

    • Coverage: Home warranty companies that provide extensive coverage and protect important systems and appliances, including your air conditioning, refrigerator and heating, scored higher than companies with minimal coverage.
    • Plan variety: A provider with more coverage plans allows for more flexibility among customers. In general, most home warranty companies provide an appliances-only plan, systems-only plan and combination plan.
    • Pricing: We scored providers based on their monthly plan prices and service call fees compared to the industry average pricing. Companies with more affordable coverage received more points than companies with more expensive plans.
    • State availability: Where you live will determine what companies are available in your area. Home warranty companies that covered more states received more points than companies with a limited state availability.
    • Trustworthiness: There are some home warranty companies that are scams and don’t follow through on their service agreements. We rated companies based on their years of experience, ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and customer reviews.

    To keep our data current, our team regularly updates the data points for each company to ensure their coverage offerings, pricing and availability are accurate.

    Editorial Contributors
    Annie Gallay

    Annie Gallay

    Annie is an expert in the field of home warranty coverage, and part of an external review team that is independent from Today’s Homeowner. She rates and reviews products and services to help our readers save time, find value and make better decisions.

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    Roxanne Downer


    Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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