Are extended warranties worth it?

Are extended warranties worth the money?

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -Has a salesperson ever asked you about purchasing warranties on things like electronics, a car, or even an appliance? Warranties are what they try and sell you in case the product you buy suddenly stops working. Do you know when to buy and when to pass?

Consumer Reports says most of the time extended warranties are really not worth it.

“Often times a lot of products are made very well today and they out live typically the warranty,” Tobie Stanger, Consumer Reports Senior Editor said.

Stanger recently wrote an article about this saying there are a couple of reasons to save your money and just say no.

"Extended warranties often have a lot of fine print. For example, there may be certain parts on your refrigerator that are not covered like the gadgets around the door that keep the cold in. Or maybe the water or the ice dispenser that might not be covered,” Stanger said Consumer Reports does have a suggestion on what you should do instead. If paying a warranty might cost you another $300, take that money and set it aside in a savings account so that it’s there if you need a repair.

Consumer Reports is still looking at cell phone extended warranties, but warns most warranties do not cover cracked screens. To replace a cracked screen, which can be very expensive, is usually covered by phone insurance. About the only extended warranty Stanger does recommend, is Apple Care for computers and laptops.

“We have found that Apple Care because they have very good customer service that might be a worthwhile warranty to get,” Stanger said.

Here’s another tip that could save you money. Instead of buying a warranty a lot of credit cards now have a warranty program or replacement program just because you used the card to buy the item. Check with your credit card company to see if have this.

If you decide to purchase an extended warranty, read the fine print. The Federal Trade Commission says the warranty may not be as comprehensive as you think. According to Consumer Reports, coverage may not include accidental damage or companies might deny a claim if you haven’t followed their routine maintenance instructions.

You can find more from the FTC here.

Consumer Reports offers more tips on extended warranties here.

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