Remember the last time you bought a new laptop, TV, speaker system, or smart device? You may have wondered, what do I do if this breaks? So many of these devices are integral to our lives, helping us stay connected to friends and family. So when these devices stop working the way they should, it can be frustrating—and costly.
According to an Asurion survey, the average U.S. household invests $5,000 in home technology—and replacing these devices isn't cheap. There is, however, a potential solution: a protection plan. Here's what you need to know to see if one is right for you.
What is an electronics protection plan?
When you invest in a new device, you'll probably be offered an extended warranty or multidevice protection plan. Extended warranties are service agreements that cover the cost of repairing or replacing your devices. They typically provide coverage after the manufacturer's warranty expires, which is usually just a few months or years, depending on the device. Extended warranties usually protect a single device.
Multidevice protection plans, also known as service contracts, are agreements that provide for the repair or replacement of multiple devices and device types. These protection plans are usually sold by third parties and can cover additional perils like accidental damage from handling. They may provide services even during the original manufacturer's warranty term.
Why some people don't think they need protection plans
Sometimes people pass on extended warranties and protection plans because they don't want to pay extra money upfront or figure their devices won't break. Other times, they don't read the exclusions policy or they make assumptions about what's covered. Let's take a look at what's really going on here.
What to consider before purchasing a protection plan
Extended warranties and protection plans come with varying terms and conditions. Some are valid for a year while others last three to five years or renew until canceled. Some offer full refunds, others cover just the repair costs, and still others may ask you to pay service and shipping fees or deductibles. It's a good idea to consider the cost of your purchase compared to the cost and term of the plan, as well as the extent of the coverage.
You may purchase an extended warranty or protection plan right when you buy a device or appliance, so know that there could be overlap between what the item's original warranty covers (especially in the first year) and what the added protection plan covers. Read the fine print to make sure the repair or replacement process isn't a hassle, and keep in mind that an extended warranty usually won't kick in until after the original warranty ends.
Types of technology that are covered
Electronics protection plans cover all sorts of home tech, from TVs and laptops to tablets and gaming systems. Everyday appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and stoves are usually covered under separate plans. Some protection plans for electronics even bundle together the tech in your home and allow you to cover multiple products, including past purchases.
Benefits of electronics protection plans
Are electronics protection plans worth it? That depends on the devices you own, how much you're willing to spend on replacements, and how long you want to keep your home tech.
If you're lucky, your devices will last for years without breaking down. But eventually, tech breaks—and it can be a hassle. Extended warranties and protection plans will protect you from having to pay for repairs or spend money on new devices. If your laptop breaks or your gaming system malfunctions during the coverage term, the extended warranty or protection plan provider will repair your device, replace it, or reimburse you for the value of the device or the price of a new device, depending on the terms of your coverage.
If you have a lot of big-ticket items that you want to keep for years, a protection plan that bundles those items together can help you save. The math is pretty simple: Without a coverage plan, the average cost of replacing a TV and a laptop is $800 and $1,000, respectively. Let's say you pay $24.99 a month to protect nearly all the tech in your home. Assuming those items each stop working once over the next five years, you'll save money—and that doesn't account for other eligible devices that might break down.
To find out what it would cost to replace your devices, check out our home tech calculator.
Peace of mind
When an expensive device breaks, it can be frustrating. But when you have an extended warranty or protection plan, you can get your device repaired or replaced, hassle-free.
If the extended warranty or protection plan covers your problem, the provider will pay for the repair while you usually pay a small deductible or service fee. If your device is beyond repair, the extended warranty or protection plan will ensure you quickly get a refund for the current value or a replacement device, depending on the terms of your coverage.
If you're considering buying a new device you can't imagine living without—or that you couldn't afford to fix if it broke—it may make sense to pay for an extended warranty or protection plan.
With good extended warranties and protection plans, you get what you pay for. There are no undisclosed fees; there is just one up-front charge or an annual or monthly charge that secures your coverage for the term, depending on the terms of the agreement. The plans may also require a service fee for approved claims, but those should be clearly detailed in the plan details.
Another benefit of a protection plan: confidence in the person repairing your device. Whether your extended warranty or coverage plan is with a manufacturer or a third party, you'll know that a qualified professional will do the repair. Just remember that your plan may require you to seek help within a certain time frame or use an authorized service provider.
Learn more about Asurion Home+
Asurion Home+ provides technical support and protection for all of your eligible home tech. From TV breakdowns to spills on laptops, you can rest easy knowing we cover old, new, and even future purchases, regardless of size, brand, or style. Learn more about how you can get peace of mind electronics protection for less than $1 per day at asurion.com/homeplus.