Extended warranties are optional insurance policies you can pay to cover goods you’ve bought once the manufacturer’s warranty ends. They’re typically sold on electrical goods and can give you peace of mind that you’ll get repairs and refunds when things break down.
You should contact your insurer as soon as you find a problem with your appliance. Some warranties specify a timeframe, like 24 hours or 10 days after you find the fault.
Call the claims number which will be listed in your policy documents. Most claims helplines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you can’t find your policy documents, you can get the claims number by looking on the provider’s website.
Complete a claims form, including full details of the breakdown or fault. You may be able to do this online, or a claims adviser will email or post you a form.
Send supporting documents to your insurer. This may include receipts or proof of purchase, and photographs of the damage.
Your insurer will assess your claim and arrange for repairs to be carried out or a replacement to be sent if your claim is accepted.
Check with your insurer how long the claims process takes. Some insurers can get a repairer to you within a few hours, but fixing your appliance can take weeks.
It depends on your policy, but most extended warranties will pay out for:
Repairs, labour and call-out charges
You typically can’t claim for damage caused by your appliance breaking down. For example, if your washing machine breaks and floods your kitchen, the cost of repairing the water damage is not included.
Check your documents for a full list of what you can claim for.
You should also check the claims limit of your policy, which is the most your insurer will pay for an appliance. For example, you may only be able to claim up to £500 for repairs.
When choosing a policy, you should check the limits carefully to make sure they’re high enough for the item you’re trying to protect.
You usually have to wait 14 days after taking out cover to claim on a warranty.
This restriction also applies if you add a new appliance midway through your policy.
For example, if you add a new fridge to an existing warranty, you cannot claim until after 14 days.
Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you should be entitled to an automatic refund if something breaks or is fault within 30 days. This means you shouldn’t need to rely on your extended warranty during this period.
Yes, you have to pay an excess every time you claim on your warranty.
Some extended warranties allow you to choose a higher voluntary excess, which could save you money on the overall cost of your cover. But avoid picking an excess that you could not afford to pay if you needed to claim.
Most appliance warranty claims are settled one of two ways:
Repair: If your appliance can be repaired, you will need to pay your policy excess to your insurer. They will then pay the cost of repairs directly to the engineer, subject to the claims limit
Replacement: If it is not economic to repair your appliance, your insurer may pay you the full cost of replacing it with a similar model. This may only be on appliances under a certain age, eg less than 3 years old
You should check with your insurer for full details about their claims process. They can tell you how your claims will be paid and how to pay your excess.
If your insurer refuses to pay your claim, you should:
Check your policy documents, to see if the damage should be covered
Contact your insurer, and ask for a written explanation
Complain in writing
Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service if your complaint is not settled within 8 weeks