Warranty insurance - a quick guide
When you buy a new appliance or piece of equipment for your home, it may come with a manufacturer’s warranty – but this is limited in time and covers only defects in manufacture or parts.
If you are buying second hand, of course, there is no warranty at all.
What is warranty insurance?
Warranty insurance plugs those gaps – and does a lot more.
For one thing, it is an insurance policy and not a service agreement. That means that the insurer is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and that you have the full protection of the FCA’s Compensation Scheme in the unlikely event of something serious going wrong.
What does warranty insurance cover?
The precise extent of your warranty cover may vary from one policy to another, but the following are just some of the features typically included:
- cover in the event of any breakdown or failure of the appliance;
- the despatch to your home of a qualified engineer to repair the broken appliance – thus saving you any hassle or expense in the packing and return of the item in question;
- typically, you pay no call out charge for this service and neither may there be any excess to pay on such an insurance claim;
- the repair of the appliance in your own home or removed for repair by qualified agents;
- if it is not possible to repair the appliance, some warranty insurance policies such as those offered by ourselves at KAPUT, for instance – replace any item which cannot be repair (up to set limits); and
- with our appliance insurance both new and used appliances up to 8 years old – of any UK-bought make or model – may generally be covered by this form of insurance.
Warranty insurance may also be tailored to meet the needs of a typical household with more than just one or two appliances – some for example, let you choose as many as ten different items, all for inclusion within the same policy and saving you money, therefore, on the insurance of each one separately.
What appliances may be included?
Typically, warranty insurance packages may include a whole range of domestic appliances and equipment.
This might range from the larger appliances such as your cooker, fridge, freezer or washing machine, to much smaller items such as vacuum cleaners and microwaves, and electrical equipment such as televisions and sound systems.
Are there any restrictions?
Once again, this is likely to depend on the particular warranty insurance policy you choose. Key aspects to consider might include:
- the age of the appliances covered – whether you bought the item or items new or second hand, a policy might extend cover to appliances up to, say, eight years old;
- there may be an upper limit on the amount you may claim on any one item during the year, but this is unlikely to affect any others in a bundle of appliance which are covered under the same policy;
- there may be a “cooling off” period – of 14 days or so – during which you may decide to cancel the payment and receive a full refund; and
- it may be possible for you to cancel the policy at any time.
In a word, therefore, you may find that there are very few restrictions on your warranty insurance package.
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.