Choosing your Extended Warranty Insurance
Nobody likes the Spanish inquisition, but sometimes 20 questions are a good thing. To make sure you’re not comparing apples with oranges, these are some of the important questions you should be asking if you’re comparing the market.
We’ve built our Insurance policy around these most important elements – and tried to address as many of the common gripes about Extended Warranties as we could find. We’re confident we’ll fair very well against most other policies out there, considering the levels and benefits we’ve built in. So here are our answers, nice and transparent for you - go compare and let us know what you think.
Is it a service agreement – or a proper Insurance?
Companies may offer service agreements rather than an Insurance product. Check to see if the company are FCA registered and check this on the FCA website. KAPUT's cover offers the peace of mind of a full Extended Warranty Insurance Policy.
A Service Plan doesn’t offer you any protection should the worst happen to the company providing the service to you. So if the company you arranged the Service Plan with went KAPUT, you could be left with no cover for the period you’ve paid for.
With our insurance policy you are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the circumstances of the claim, but most insurance contracts are covered for 90% of the claim, with NO upper limit. You can get more information about this protection from the FSCS at www.fscs.org.uk
Do they charge an excess on the policy if you need to make a claim?
There is no excess to pay with KAPUT. Just call us and let us get on with helping you get your appliance back up and running. If you are shopping around, have a look at the small print on each policy and see if you will need to pay an excess in the event of a claim.
Some policies charge £30 or £50 per claim. Some even charge £100 if you want to make a claim in the first 3 months. This can dramatically increase the annual cost you are calculating and comparing with other policies e.g. making 4 claims in a year with a £50 excess would add another £200 to the annual cost of your policy.
We specifically set out to design our policy with NO EXCESS whatsoever to pay. To treat our customers fairly we wanted the price you pay to be fixed per appliance and with no excess, so you know in advance exactly how much you’ll pay across the year.
We’ve maintained competitive prices, but getting rid of excess payments was a must for us, so when you ring to make a claim – we can just get on with helping you. No need for you to fork out more unexpected money.
Is there a maximum claim value across the policy as a whole?
Most policies will have a maximum claim limit per appliance. Fair enough. However when you have multiple appliances on your policy, some companies apply an additional limit across the policy as a whole e.g. maximum of £300 across 5 appliances in total. So if you unfortunately have to claim on a few expensive items, there may not be enough claim value left for you to have sufficient cover on your remaining appliances.
We don’t have a maximum claim value across the policy. We’ve designed our policy so that appliances are covered independently of each other. We have a maximum claim limit of £2,500 per Home appliance (e.g. fridge, freezer, oven etc.) and £1,000 per Visual/Audio appliance (e.g. TV, Stereo, Blu-Ray etc.)
So with KAPUT you could have 10 appliances at £2,500 each – so a total cover possible of £25,000. We’ll take the Pepsi challenge with another policy on the market that can offer this level of cover.
Do they cover the products and appliances that I want?
Some policies are limited in their product range and may not offer you the combinations you need across white and brown goods.
We designed our policy from the outset to cover as many products we could think of in your kitchen, lounge, utility room and under-stairs cupboard. We added some smaller appliances and some more obscure miscellaneous items that warranted having protection and provide peace of mind that they were covered.
Do the service engineers cover where I live?
One of the most important parts of Insurance like this is knowing that a qualified engineer in a van turns up to fix your appliance when you need it. At the end of the day - that’s the peace of mind you’re paying for. If the service network used doesn’t reach your house – then that provider won’t be of much use to you.
Our service network covers the whole of the UK. That’s all of mainland England, Wales and Scotland. We also cover all of the surrounding islands and the whole of Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. So if you live in the UK – our engineers will get to you.
Is it easy to contact the company for questions, adjustments and to make a claim?
It’s important that you are able to make contact with your service provider so they are there when you need them the most. We built the KAPUT model around 100% focus on customer service, and challenged ourselves to be available to our customers all of the time across as many channels as possible in this modern day.
So our customer service telephone will be answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even at midnight on Christmas day – we’ll answer the phone and you can speak to a real person. Online we’re on email, we have live chat and contact forms on the website, we’re on Twitter and Facebook – and we even open good old fashioned post at our Suffolk headquarters.
How much will they pay to replace my appliance?
Most policies will have a “betterment” calculation which calculates the level of value the policy provides, depending on the age of the machine. Fair enough as appliances get older, their equivalent replacements generally get cheaper. However do check what this calculation is in the small print. For instance a policy with a leading provider of Gas in the UK only pays out a maximum of 30% of the value of the appliance if it’s over 3 years old.
We’re proud of our calculation which we designed with our underwriter to be as fair as possible to our customers. Quite simply, 0-4 years we consider 100% of the original purchase price. 4-5 years is 90%, 5-6 years is 80%, 6-7 years is 60% and even 7-8 years old we’ve maintained at 50%.
When you’re getting quotes, make sure you know the final price – not the quoted price at the beginning of the process.
Many companies use a “price-calculator” behind the scenes to alter the price to cover your appliance depending on the type of product, make, model, age and value of the appliance. This can suddenly jump the price up at the final quote stage, compared with what is quoted in the beginning.
Our absolute aim when designing this policy was to be as clear, transparent, fair and simple with our prices. We have a fixed cost per appliance, irrespective of the type, make, model, age of value of the product. The more you add, the cheaper the cost per appliance becomes. Simple.
Do they cover items bought second hand?
A lot of policies we found only cover appliances bought by you, from new, from a UK only VAT registered company, which you have the original proof of purchase for. So they wouldn’t be able to provide cover for anything bought 2nd hand.
When we designed our cover, we wanted to make sure we provided cover for people like us – we often buy things on eBay, GumTree, FaceBook or from friends and family. Although the price may be right, you never really know what you’re buying. This is when we believed the peace of mind of Insurance on, e.g. a second hand fridge, would be very important.
Similarly, inherited appliances when you move in to a new home may benefit from cover, while you settle in to your new surroundings. If they go KAPUT, you know you have a simple process to follow to get back up and running. No dramas and no unexpected bills to foot.
Do they cover items still under the manufacturer’s warranty?
A lot of policies will not cover items that are still under the manufacturer’s warranty. They will usually state this up front so you know your appliance can not be covered. We will cover appliances still under warranty. As extra peace of mind there are situations where our policy will cover issues not covered under the existing warranty.
Do they require proof of purchase for every item?
A lot of policies stipulate that you must have original proof of purchase for the item bought from new in the UK from a VAT registered company.
We asked ourselves, “do we really still have the receipt for that washing machine we bought 6 years ago?” Probably not. So we’ve designed our policy with no specific requirements for proof of purchase. Keeping things nice and simple, this lets us cover items bought second hand from the likes of eBay, GumTree, Facebook or friends and family. And makes it simpler for you in the event of a claim
Do they offer flexible payment options?
With KAPUT you can buy online or over the phone securely. We accept all major credit and debit cards for single annual payments. To make things easier for our customers, we also offer a monthly payment option to spread the annual cost into budget-friendly monthly payments.
Is their online website payment option secure?
Without baffling you with science, our website is hosted on dedicated servers, the site has an EV-SSL licence with 2048 bit digital signatures, 256 bit encryption with the Comodo site seal. All our partners in the chain are PCI-DSS level 1 accredited. This basically means it’s the highest level of secure server, we display the padlock icon across the whole site and the URL address bar on your browser even turns green to highlight we have an Extended Validation licence. All signs you should look for in a site so you can be safe in the knowledge your payments are secure.
Are you already paying for an extended warranty on appliances in your house?
You may be paying already for a warranty on a Satellite receiver box, or an electrical item where you bought extended warranty in-store. With our multi appliance discount, the more you cover the cheaper the cost per appliance becomes.
If you decide to cover some appliances with us, it may work out cheaper to add them as additional items to our policy than on your existing cover. For example if you already have 2 items selected at £11.80 a month, you can cover an additional item for only an extra £1.79 per month. All our prices include Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) at 9.5%.
Who actually comes and fixes my appliances when they break?
Other companies have various arrangements with engineer networks, or may carry out the repairs and replacements themselves.
The majority of our repairs will be carried out by our Engineer Network 0800 Repair. All the Engineers are employed, fully trained, CRB/DBS checked and work to ISO9001 standard. In more rural areas and Islands e.g. Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man – we use a network of 150 authorised service partners who have been approved and work to strict service level agreements. For Satellite receiver boxes we use a specialist to arrange our repairs, called Castelan.
Will they keep me in the loop during the claim process?
We certainly do. We've embraced technology and good old common sense to book specific timed appointments, we stick to them, or we'll let you know if there's any change in the plan:
- Freephone UK Contact Centre – Live Chat Support online
- Match Engineer skills, training and parts to your unique issue
- Specific appointment times booked – so you can plan your day
- Text message confirmation of time and date
- Online portal to track your claim – check at any time with Live Chat support
- ID and picture of Engineer sent in advance
- Call ahead on the day from the Engineer to confirm arrival time
How many call outs do they cover per appliance if you need to make a claim?
Many policies have a limit on the number of times you can call out an engineer to fix a particular appliance, or have a maximum limit on call-outs across the policy as a whole.
To treat our customers fairly, we designed our package with our underwriter and service network to provide no limit on the number of call outs per appliance. This is subject to the maximum claim limit per appliance of the original purchase price, but that’s still up to a potential £2,500 for home appliances, and £1,000 for audio and visual equipment.
Do they provide an online login area where you can get to all your documents and make changes 24 hours a day?
We invested in our “MY ACCOUNT” login area on our website for every new customer to give you complete control and access to your account and details. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to update details, change your address, to add or even remove appliances. All your policy documents are available wherever you are via your secure login.
Is this the right Extended Warranty Insurance for me?
That is purely your decision – but if you have any further questions you need us to answer on our policy so you can make an informed decision, please don’t hesitate to contact us on any of the channels provided and we’ll be happy to help. Call, email, contact form, Live Chat, Twitter, Facebook or good old fashioned post – we’re here to help.
In a press release we issued earlier this year KAPUT warned that as many as 70% of consumers failed to appreciate the way in which warranty insurance works and that the age group most likely to have this gap in their knowledge are 45 to 54 year olds.