How a Home Warranty Handles Appliances Broken Beyond Repair

By: Stephanie Larkin

One of the chief reasons that many home owners purchase a home warranty is for appliance warranties. Appliances can be very costly to replace and for many, having a major appliance break down beyond repair is a cost they cannot afford to incur themselves. It is in these cases that you can turn to your home warranty program to handle any appliances you have that are broken beyond repair.

Before we get too far, however, it is important to note that not all home warranties are created equal. How your home warranty handles an appliance that needs to be replaced is dependent upon the type of home warranty you have. This is one of the main questions you should ask before you purchase a home warranty - how they handle irreparable appliances.

In most cases, however, appliances that are broken beyond repair are covered under a home warranty. Usually, you will be offered a replacement appliance that is comparable to the one you have, except new. Most home warranties will replace the appliance that is broken beyond repair with a new one that is equal to the model that you have and will not force you with a model that is inferior to the one you had originally.

It is always best to check with your home warranty insurance company before signing on the dotted line to ensure that your appliances will be replaced if they should be irreparable. It is also wise to discuss with your home warranty agent the type of replacement that will be offered, ensuring that you will receive a model equal or better than the one that you currently own.

Chances are, when your appliance breaks down, your home warranty company will send a professional out to look at the appliance and determine whether or not it is repairable or if it needs to be replaced. This is similar to an insurance adjuster who comes to view the damage done to your property. If the professional determines that your appliance is irreparable, they will let the home warranty company know.

What is considered irreparable? Obviously, any major damage done that renders the appliance completely useless is irreparable. Otherwise, repairs that cost more than a new machine, usually anything more than 80 per cent of the total cost to replace the appliance is considered to be irreparable. Your home warranty company will make the ultimate judgment as to whether or not the appliance can be repaired or not and they will look at the majority of the repairs that have been done. If your appliance is being repaired often, the home warranty company may replace it because of how much it is costing them in repairs. Quite often, replacing the appliance is cheaper than repairing it. If that's the case, ensure that your appliance is replaced with a model of equal value and that the new appliance you receive is not inferior to the one you owned previously.

As an example, if you own a refrigerator that has a water and ice tap built in, your new fridge will also have a water and ice tap. On the other hand, if your ruined appliance didn't have water and ice built into it, then your new one will not as well.

In some cases, however, if you want to upgrade the model of appliance, you can do so by paying the difference in cost between the model the home warranty company will replace your old appliance with and the cost of the model that you desire to own. You will need to check with your home warranty company though to ensure that they will allow this. Some home warranty companies are fine with the upgrade, as long as you are paying for it, while others will not allow this type of upgrade without an amendment to your home warranty - fixing a more expensive model of appliance can be more costly than a lesser model. In this case, you may be asked to alter your home warranty plan which may make it more costly for you, or to sign away the right to have the new, updated and higher model appliance repaired fully. You may have to incur some of the cost of repairs yourself in some cases. Once again, it cannot be stated enough that you should check with YOUR home warranty company to see what their policies are on replacing home appliances that are broken beyond repair. The differences between home warranty companies can be extensive from one company to the next and from state to state.

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