Often, you’ll be offered home appliance insurance by the company that you buy white goods from. Usually, this is an optional extra, provided for a set monthly fee. You can also find providers that insure appliances that they haven’t sold themselves. You might also be able to get insurance straight from the appliance manufacturer.
White goods and home appliances don’t come cheap. Having your white goods insured means that you won’t lose out if they break or are damaged accidentally. Home appliance insurance can protect your savings and your frozen food.
White goods and appliance insurance offers some financial protection, saving you from raiding your savings for costly repairs or replacements. Is white goods insurance worthwhile?
Read on to learn more in our guide to home appliance insurance.
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Usually, home appliance insurance will cover you for accidental damage. If you do something to damage your appliance, or if it breaks on its own, the insurance will cover the cost of repairs including replacement parts. If repairs cost too much, the provider will supply you with a brand new like-for-like appliance.
In theory, home appliance insurance takes away all potential headaches. When you call to claim on your insurance, an appointment will be booked for a visit from a trusted engineer.
Usually, insurance covers one appliance or a few of your choice. This will depend on the specific policy you’ve chosen. Your insurance might be for your fridge, freezer, dishwasher, washing machine or tumble dryer, for example.
Check the small print of your insurance documents, ideally before you sign up but always within 14 days so you can cancel without penalties. Look out for hidden charges and other potential costs. Many insurers charge a small excess for callouts, so you might have to pay around £50 even though you’re covered by insurance.
The excess is designed to deter you from calling for repairs or replacements too often but does mean that you’ll still need some savings in place if your home appliance breaks down.
Whether or not your insurance is worthwhile will depend on several different factors. New appliances hopefully won’t break down, so you could pay for insurance for several years before you notice problems with yours. Most appliances already come with some level of warranty, and you’ll likely be protected under the Consumer Rights Act if the appliance has a fault that’s not your fault. This limits the number of times when insurance will actually be useful.
Many people buy relatively cheap white goods and appliances. An average washing machine costs around £300, though new appliances are available for as little as £150. Home appliance insurance won’t cost much each month, but even paying £4.99 per month you’ll have paid almost £60 a year. A £60 annual insurance cost, plus a £50 callout excess charge, may barely be cheaper than saving the money to pay for a replacement appliance.
If you’ve invested in top of the range appliances, you might be more willing to pay for white goods insurance. The cost of replacing or repairing these appliances could make insurance more beneficial. However, you’re also likely to see a higher monthly cost to reflect that – your total insurance cost will reflect the money you’d need to claim if your appliances broke down.
Cover for multiple appliances may offer more protection but will come at a higher monthly cost. You’ll need to decide whether you can afford to replace your appliances without it, or whether you can get by with some of your appliances if they only partially break.
If you have white goods insurance, you may be at the mercy of your insurance provider’s engineers. Your choice of a repairman, or repairwoman, is limited. You might also find that you’re left waiting several days before someone can find the time to visit you.
Choosing your own engineer to carry out repairs will give you a lot more flexibility, but is only an option with money up-front to pay for whatever needs doing. So if you’re a busy household that needs a washing machine at all times to keep on top of school uniform, do you want to risk waiting for a repair?
If you’re not someone with lots of money in a piggy bank, home appliance insurance may help you. Indeed, research has shown that 1 in 10 British people have no savings in case of emergencies, while a third have less than £600 – that’s one car problem and one white good failure from wiping out your money.
It’s peace of mind, so you won’t need to scrap your fridge freezer or washing machine. We rely on white goods every day, particularly in larger families, so it helps to know that you’ll never be without yours for too long.
When you buy white goods, the manufacturer might offer their white goods insurance policy. Even more likely, you’ll be pushed towards insurance by the company you buy your white goods from, although this is often them selling on behalf of a third-party for a cut. Though it’s often easiest to sign up straight away, you don’t have to settle for any specific provider.
Feel free to shop around for the right home appliance insurance. You can compare prices and check policy small print to find the right insurance for your needs. Domestic appliance insurance helps with unexpected costs, though you’ll need to check whether you’re covering one item or every appliance in the house. Also, check the maximum payout in total and for each appliance, as there’s no point buying cover that won’t stretch to the value of your high-tech washer-dryer.
Cheaper insurance might look better on the surface, but there’s usually a reason for the savings. Check to see if your claims will be limited or call out charges are higher.
Yes. The mainstream white goods insurance market is regulated by the FCA, which gives you a further option if you have complaints that have not been addressed by your insurer. In recent times we have seen regulators clamping down on mis-sold policies with compensation often provided.
You will find that a traditional insurance policy will cover repairs, parts and labour costs. When you bear in mind the cost of calling out, for example, an engineer to look at your freezer, this type of cover can be extremely useful.
Insurance companies today try, where possible, to send out an engineer within 24 hours of your call. The engineers tend to carry parts with them for traditional repairs which can often be done there and then. However, if they require additional parts, then they may need to call back at a later date.
You will find that many insurance companies will offer you a discount the more white good insurance policies you hold with them. The more policies you direct their way, the greater your ability to negotiate a discount. However, if they do not offer the best policy for your situation or a particular product, be careful about bulking them together just for the sake of it.
Some insurance policies will have a maximum limit which could be in the hundreds of pounds or thousands of pounds. The lower the maximum limits, the lower your premiums but you also need to ensure that you have sufficient cover so that you are not paying any excess.
Insurance companies these days are very amenable when it comes to personalising different areas of your insurance. For example, you may want fridge/freezer insurance which also offers cover in the event that you were to lose hundreds of pounds worth of food if the machine malfunctioned.
While your home insurance will probably cover damage to, for example, your washing machine as a consequence of fire/flood, it will not cover the cost of repairs. Each insurance policy is different, so it is important to check out the detail before you sign on the dotted line. However, in general, home insurance will not cover specific repairs on white goods.
Many people will wait until their warranty has expired before they take out white goods insurance on particular items. There may be a case for considering white goods insurance in tandem with a warranty because some warranties are very limited in what they actually cover. Again, the devil is in the detail, and it is probably worthwhile taking advice on which policies are best for you.
Maybe not maintenance as such, but your insurance company will expect you to use the machine within the product guidelines. If you are constantly misusing the machinery or failing to clean it, then the insurance company could, in theory, refuse to carry out any repairs.
Assuming that a warranty for a brand new appliance will protect you through the early months, you may simply want to set money aside instead of buying white goods insurance. This can work out cheaper than paying for insurance, which you might be doing for several years before you need to make a claim.
Before you buy any home appliance, check the length of the warranty it comes with. Some manufacturers offer long warranties, whilst others provide the minimum protection and encourage you to take out insurance.
It’s true of most insurance that you could save the money separately and use it just when it’s needed, though you have to be careful when taking this approach in case you need it sooner than expected. When you take out insurance, you’re protected straight away with the high-value cover that you need. Though it may work out cheaper to skip the insurance, it could take longer to build up your savings, so they’re ready when you need them.
Insurance might be best if you’re the type that’s tempted to dip into your savings. If you pay into insurance, the money’s locked away and is used for one specific purpose. You might save with the best of intentions, but if something comes up, that’s a higher priority you might have no savings left when your fridge breaks.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Home Appliance Insurance brokers. They have already helped thousands of people get the best Home Appliance Insurance deals and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
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