When it comes to domestic nightmares there are few things worse than realising your washing machine is leaking water, or that your fridge isn’t actually keeping anything cool any more.
Our lives are so intertwined with everyday domestic appliances, that when things go wrong, it can be difficult to manage.
Domestic appliance cover insurance aims to offer you peace of mind that you can get your appliances fixed or replaced quickly, but is it suitable for you?
We take a closer look at home appliance cover insurance, including what’s covered and how it differs from contents insurance and warranties.
Many homeowners and tenants realise the importance of contents insurance, which gives you peace of mind in the event of damage or theft.
The appliances in your home will typically fall under your contents insurance in the event of damage or theft, but what happens if they break down? If you are worried about covering your kitchen appliances or washing machine insurance if these devices stop working, consider appliance insurance.
While most new appliances will come with a manufacturer’s warranty guaranteeing repairs and servicing for the first year, the most common problems occur outside the warranty period, as a result of wear-and-tear. Think about it - the older an appliance becomes, the more likely something will stop working properly!
In this instance, you will either need to replace the appliance or pay the manufacturer to repair your product – two expensive options that could leave you significantly out-of-pocket.
Home appliance insurance aims to plug the gap between household insurance and appliance warranties. For a fixed fee per month, you can insure your domestic appliances the same way you cover the contents of your home in the event of theft or damage. If you're investing in an expensive new kitchen appliance, this could be a smart way to protect your valuable new asset.
Similar to an extended warranty, appliance insurance can be extended to cover a range of different appliances.
Home appliance insurance can ensure you don’t have to go without your washing machine, dishwasher or fridge/freezer for long periods of time while they’re being fixed, or until you buy a new one.
It can also help to avoid unexpected costs, as your appliances will be repaired or replaced as part of the cover — you won't need to find the cash for a new appliance if yours suddenly stops working.
A good home appliance insurance policy will have a quick call-out number, so you can quickly have any problems dealt with by trained engineers.
However, while an appliance insurance policy is likely to be cheaper than replacing a recently purchased appliance, the value of your appliances should play a huge role in whether you opt for appliance insurance. If your appliances are already fairly dated, then specialist cover may not cover them.
If you've already taken out a manufacturer's warranty with your appliance, you won't need an additional appliance insurance policy. You may wish to consider taking out an appliance cover policy after the manufacturer's warranty expires.
While the concept of appliance insurance is great in principle, like everything the devil is very often found in the detail, and it pays to read the small print.
Firstly, check how many domestic appliances are covered under the policy. Many of the top providers offer cover for an unlimited amount of appliances.
Next, check whether your specific appliance or appliances will be covered. Some policies will only cover items up to a certain age, and different policies will have different limits for the value of a single item — so it's worth checking this if you have high-end appliances.
You should also check if there's a limit on how much you can claim. More comprehensive cover will offer unlimited claims values, while some cheaper policies might limit the amount you can claim.
Finally, check that your appliance insurance policy offers all the cover you need, which might include mechanical breakdown, accidental damage, and parts, labour and call out charges depending on your needs and how comprehensive you wish the cover to be. If your washing machine breaks down, you don't want to be stuck on the fine print of your insurance policy while your dirty washing piles up.