More often than not, when you search for reviews on extended warranties in Canada, the results are quite bleak. Unfortunately, these stories are more often true than not. There are certain factors to consider that can help prevent a bad experience and prolong the life of your appliances.

In this article, we will (hopefully) get you the information you need to make an educated decision on whether you need an extended warranty on your appliances.

The first item to always consider:

Is there service available in my area?

This is something we get asked quite often, and I commend everyone who does. It does not matter how much warranty you have, or how much you paid for your appliance, every warranty policy from manufacturers will have limitations on how far they will send a technician and still cover 100% of the costs. In Canada, this is important. Most major cities for most major appliance brands are covered, but for those who like small towns or rural living, your area may not have a certified technician close by and may be on the hook to cover some of the technician’s travel time if service is needed. This could also result in delayed service as a larger chunk of the servicers day is used up traveling out for repair, so youll most likely get booked far enough ahead of their schedule when they have large time slot available, instead of slotting you in the next available time. Extended warranties will be even more strict when it comes to long-distance service calls.

This may deter you from purchasing certain brands, but it never hurts to check availability before you purchase.

Is the price worth the warranty?

Generally speaking, the cost of an extended warranty would be similarly priced to a single service call on the appliance in Canada. This can vary slightly depending on the parts that may need to be replaced. So say you purchased an extended warranty on an appliance with a manufactures warranty of one year, so you now have a total of a 5-year warranty. If that appliance requires a service call between years 2 and 5, then the warranty most likely pays for itself as it would have been a similar cost to pay for the call out of pocket if you require more than one service call, the warranty was worth it. It goes without saying that if the appliance breaks after year 5 you are on the hook for the cost of the repair and the extended warranty was not worth it.

 What appliances don’t need an extended warranty?

When we say “don’t need”, this is merely a suggestion based on expectations on the appliances. We are not saying that this is a 100% safe list to follow, these units just have a low failure rate in the first 5 years, and tend to be more reliable and cheaper to repair.

Microwaves, OTR’s, and Range Hoods

Microwaves and OTR’s have proven to be quite reliable and cheap to repair or replace, chances are if you need a repair in the first 5 years you got a lemon or there was an external factor that caused the unit to malfunction, in which case the warranty coverage may be questioned.

Range hoods are designed to do one thing, move air. There are not many parts in a range hood and they have a very good track record for being reliable. Usually, if there is an issue with the unit it presents itself in the first year, which is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

Dishwashers

Most dishwashers are very reliable and are not very costly to repair. Even if you are purchasing a very inexpensive dishwasher, chances are it’s both cost-effective and less of a hassle to replace the dishwasher after 5 years.

Gas Cooktops and All Gas Ranges

Gas appliances are all around reliable, and again, fairly inexpensive to repair if something does go wrong.

On some of the appliances mentioned above, depending on the appliance itself, of course, there is always the option to repair yourself if you are relatively handy. You would just need to order the parts and in many of the brands, your average handyman can handle most repairs. This can save you the bulk of the repair bill as labour tends to be more expensive than the parts themselves.

What should you consider purchasing an extended warranty on?

Washers

Washers can be expensive to repair. So it comes down to the cost of the washer. More expensive units, it can definitely be worth it if you only have a one or two-year standard warranty.

Refrigerators

Even the most reliable refrigerators with ice and water dispensers will need service probably within the first 5 years. Refrigerators are needing to conform to tougher and tougher energy standards and reliability has unfortunately suffered for it.

Electric and Induction Cooktops and Ranges

Unlike the gas counterparts to these units, there are more to go wrong and are usually expensive to repair. Especially when you are dealing with a glass top unit. Glass is never covered under any warranty, so it’s better to let a service technician handle removing the top for repairs.

Final Recommendations

If you are purchasing an extended warranty, check to see if the manufacturer or supplier (In Canada you often see a single supplier representing many brands) offers their own extended warranty. This is always best over a third party warranty. The second best option is if the dealer has their own service department and handle their own extended warranty program. Otherwise, the retailer will simply give you an 800 number to call when it comes to service.

You usually do not have to purchase your extended warranty at the same time you purchase your appliances. In most cases, you have 12 months from day of purchase to decide if you want an extended warranty or not.

If you really want peace of mind for all of your appliances, it is less expensive per appliance when you purchase it on everything. Usually, the price per appliance drops significantly one you are warranting more than 3 appliances.

Always ask the sales rep what they recommend, rarely will they not recommend it at all, but they should at least be honest with the risks per appliance. If they simply suggest to push it on everything, then maybe shop elsewhere.