Is Getting a Warranty on Electronics Worth It?

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You are about to finalize a large purchase when the inevitable question comes. Would you like to purchase a warranty with that? Don’t automatically say no if you haven’t really weighed out what you would get (or miss out on). To help you decide, we break down some pros and cons of buying a warranty. To make things easier, we broke it down into three common types of electronics.

Laptop Computers

A 2019 article published by Consumer Reports highlights the results of a study with nearly 37,000 consumers who purchased a new non-Chromebook laptop between 2013 and 2018. While the study doesn’t indicate how many laptop computer buyers paid for an extended warranty, it does state that only 15 percent of those who did needed to use the warranty. The figure dropped to seven percent of warranty buyers who later had to use it for Apple products.

Many survey participants stated that the price of a laptop extended warranty at popular retailers like Best Buy was generally within the same range as the cost of a repair. A warranty can make sense for people who may experience issues more often, such as those with young kids or pets at home who tend to get into things. For people who typically don’t require laptop repair, Consumer Reports recommends putting the money they would have spent on a warranty into a savings account instead.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phone carriers operate a bit differently in that they typically offer monthly insurance on a new phone rather than an extended warranty. Many mobile phone insurance plans offer next-day repair or replacement for these reasons:

  • Liquid spill makes the phone unusable
  • Lost or stolen phones
  • Mechanical defects once the initial manufacturer warranty expires
  • Physical damage such as a broken screen from dropping the phone

You should expect to pay a deductible first if you need to make a cell phone insurance claim. The coverage you pay for each month kicks in after that, and the replacement phone is typically not new but refurbished. Consumer advocate Clark Howard compared coverage cost with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon and found that premiums ranged from $7 to $17 in January 2020. If you don’t want to add to your monthly cell phone bill, consider investing in a protective case. Another thing to look into is whether your credit card issuer offers a free cell phone insurance plan since several do.

Television Sets

A TV warranty typically covers such things as power surge protection, simple repairs, preventive maintenance, and TV set replacement in case your set becomes unrepairable. You may be able to get in-home service to avoid having to transport the TV for repair yourself. Most electronic products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty already. So, you may want to wait until the first warranty expires before purchasing an extension.

The typical TV today is full of features and can cost up to a few thousand dollars. When deciding if you want to go for the extended warranty, compare its annual cost to what you would need to spend to repair or replace your TV. Another consideration is that the extended warranty offered you varies based on how much you initially spent on the TV.

Whether you ultimately decide to purchase an extended warranty depends on your own comfort level. Be sure to consider how comfortable you are with risk, cost, and type of item purchased. We hope these tips help you spend or save wisely as a gig worker.


About the Author: Lisa Kroulik has worked as a freelance content marketing writer for 10 years. She loves the work and the lifestyle it affords. Learn more about Lisa’s work and availability through Writer Access.

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