Any member of your family is going to be thrilled to find one of the latest and greatest innovations in electronics in their hands as a gift from you. From TVs to computers to tablets to smartphones and so many more, electronic devices are constantly being improved upon, and these products open up a world of potential opportunities. Unfortunately, with all the cogs and computer chips found within modern electronics, these devices always have the potential to malfunction. Mistakes and accidents can also cause expensive devices to break and may leave the recipient of your thoughtful gift mourning the loss of its functionality as a broken computer turns into nothing more than an expensive doorstop.
In order to protect your investment whenever you buy new electronics, purchasing an extended warranty should be a must-do on your list of tasks. Not only can these useful plans potentially save you and your family money in the long run, but they will give you peace of mind in the short term by guaranteeing that the gadgets you buy this holiday season are protected. Here is a look at several reasons why an extended warranty is so important.
Manufacturer Warranties Only Cover Certain Issues
It’s easy to write off an extended warranty because you are convinced that most problems with your device will be handled by the manufacturer’s warranty. Unfortunately, if you actually do some research into the terms and conditions laid out by electronics manufacturers, you’ll find that there are several holes in the coverage. Time limits for manufacturer warranties tend to be consumers’ worst nightmares. If your product has a 90-day warranty, it seems to be Murphy’s Law that the gadget will start to malfunction on the 91st day after your purchase. Once you’re out of the warranty period laid out by the manufacturer, however, you’re completely out of luck, and nothing will be done to help you if your device has issues outside the window.
Even if your electronics start to act up when they’re still under the original manufacturer warranty, only certain types of issues are actually covered. Usually, these warranties are designed to help protect against defective pieces only. Using a smartphone as a common example, you should be able to get a free repair or replacement from the manufacturer if the hard drive simply stops working. If you drop the phone on the ground and it breaks, however, or if you drop it in the toilet and its circuitry gets fried, then you’ll almost always be responsible for the associated costs.
Extending the Length of Coverage with an Extended Warranty
Since the lengths of manufacturer warranties vary so wildly, you may find that your coverage ends as soon as a month after purchase, or you may be protected for a year or more. It’s important to understand the limitations of your manufacturer warranty before choosing the best extended warranty for your particular device. One of the major benefits of these types of plans is that they might extend your coverage from a number of months to a number of years. For some of your big-ticket electronics like TVs and computers, you probably won’t want to buy replacements more often than once every three years (at least), and you will likely be able to find an extended warranty that covers these devices for the bulk of that lifespan.
Protection from More Types of Damage
Manufacturer warranties are very cut and dry, but extended warranties tend to be much more customizable. If you are mostly worried about regular wear and tear damaging your electronics, then you can certainly find lower tier coverage that will simply protect against similar issues as the manufacturer warranty for a longer time span.
If your main concern is human error, however, then you can opt for coverage that will insure your devices against common accidents. Since extended warranties are essentially similar to insurance plans, you will usually have to pay more up front if you want coverage against accidents, but you will likely still pay much less than you would if you actually had to replace these devices out of pocket.
What Extended Warranties Don’t Cover
You are never going to find an extended warranty that will cover a product that has been intentionally misused, abused, or neglected. If you decide that you want a new computer because yours is acting too slow, you can’t just hit it with a hammer and then file a claim with your extended warranty provider. By thinking about extended warranties as a type of insurance, you’ll be better able to understand how the process of filing a claim works. No matter what type of issue you are having with your device, you’ll be required to provide evidence of the damage to the company that handles your warranty.
Another important consideration is the fact that your extended warranty won’t cover loss. You need to make sure to keep tabs on your possessions at all times because you are simply going to be out of luck if you accidentally lose your phone on the bus.
Buying an Extended Warranty ASAP
As you put a heap of money toward purchasing electronics, you might be turned off by the prospect of laying out even more cash to purchase an extended warranty. Unfortunately, you need to act fast if you want to ensure that you are covered against any potential issues. Some providers will only give you a few days after the purchase of your electronics to buy an extended warranty before your window of opportunity closes.
Even if you choose a provider that allows you to add coverage on electronics that aren’t brand new, you need to have the plan in place and paid for before your device starts to malfunction if you want to actually be insured. Just like you can’t get car insurance after an accident, you can’t add coverage to your phone after you drop it.
Electronics are excellent gifts, but you should also see them as an investment. Protect ALL of the devices you give your loved ones with extended warranty coverage, and you’ll find that they are able to appreciate their presents for years to come.