When you originally bought the item you may well have been offered appliance breakdown insurance but because of the extra cost, turned it down.
If you did, you're not alone; many of the appliance warranties that are offered at the point of sale are eye-wateringly expensive.
The good news is that even if you have had your appliance a while, it's not too late to find a more competitive quote for an extended appliance warranty elsewhere.
Check the standard warranty
When you buy an appliance, the first thing you should check is the length of the standard warranty.
Most appliances are covered for at least a year so there is little point paying for something that you get for free.
However towards the end of this period it's worth thinking about whether taking out kitchen appliance insurance is worth the money, bearing in mind how much the item would cost to repair or replace.
For more expensive items such as washing machines, insurance can be worthwhile. The call-out cost for an engineer if you don't have washing machine insurance can be in the region of £80... Before you add the cost of any parts and labour. Ouch!
Shop around for domestic appliance insurance... but be careful!
If you decide to go ahead and purchase appliances insurance, make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to compare costs. Quotes can vary significantly between different providers so you could save yourself a fair bit of money by shopping around.
However, price doesn't always tell the whole story, you need to check what each policy actually covers. A policy that is cheap as chips but excludes a long list of faults is probably not worth splashing out on.
Common exclusions include appliances over a certain age, cosmetic faults and the cost of the actual parts. Companies sometimes limit the number of call-outs homeowners can make under a policy; not great if you have an appliance that keeps breaking down!
Are your household appliances already covered?
Before you start your home insurance appliance comparison, double-check whether you have cover in place already. If you purchased the item with your credit card, you could have extra home appliance insurance cover without knowing it.
Some lenders throw in an extra 12 months of cover as a freebie when you buy electrical items on your credit card, so if you paid on plastic double-check with your card issuer.
Some home insurance policies also provide cover for accidental damage to electrical equipment but don't normally cover breakdowns. A comparison of home insurance policies can be found here.
Renters won't normally need to worry about appliances that were supplied when the property was leased as these are the landlord's responsibility. Any additional appliance you purchased yourself will need to be insured separately.
Getting the best deal on domestic appliance insurance
If you aren't already covered and want to find the best home appliance insurance cover, the cheapest way could be to consider bundling your appliances together onto one policy. Many providers offer electrical appliance insurance plans, which usually have a maximum number of items which can be covered.
Combined insurance for household appliances means there is only one policy fee and admin cost, which allows appliances to be added for no more than a few pounds each per month. As you buy each item and want cover to start, simply notify your insurer and they will update the policy and work out the new premium.
The other advantage to a bundled policy is if something does go wrong, you don't have the hassle of trying to remember who insures what appliance; everything can be sorted out with just one telephone call.
Being without your washing machine, fridge freezer or even your dishwasher is unthinkable for most of us. Domestic appliance insurance can provide peace of mind and if you do your homework, it doesn't have to cost you the Earth.