No matter the high standards for quality control, no product still ends up being perfect. Because of this, manufacturers often sell their goods with a warranty. But what happens if the product gets damaged after the warranty has expired? This is where the extended warranty comes in.

What does it mean to have an extended warranty?

To let you understand the meaning of extended warranty, you have to know what a warranty is. It is basically a company’s guarantee to back up its main promise. What is its main promise?

Consumer laws suggest that manufacturers should create goods that are not only useful but are capable of working for their intended period of time. For example, cars typically have a good lifespan of five years. (If they last beyond that – and that’s not impossible considering the advancement in the auto industry – then well and good!).

However, because it’s also impossible these cars won’t have issues within that time frame, the company offers a warranty that is usually good for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Warranties help attract consumers, knowing they can count on the manufacturer to resolve product problems later. They also improve the image of the business since warranties enhance their customer service.

The problem is warranties don’t last forever. In fact, most of them can be useful for a few months to a year (sometimes two years). Moreover, their coverage can be limited such as replacement for parts only.

To compensate for such limitations, companies may also offer extended warranties. As their name suggests, these last longer, usually 3 to 5 years, and the coverage can vary, depending on your needs. They also kick in once the basic warranty has expired.

Things to Know about Extended Warranties

While the intention of extended warranties is noble, it’s not for free and is completely optional. Therefore, if you want to get it, then it should be because you’ve thought it over. So you can make the right decision about extended warranties, remember the following:

1. You have other options.

Just because your purchased product stops working after the warranty has expired doesn’t have to mean you cannot run after the manufacturers anymore. Consumer laws are there to protect you and your hard-earned money even if it’s been years since you purchased the product. Know these stipulations, though, before you make any purchase.

2. Extended warranties are not cheap.

Depending on the coverage and the product covered, extended warranties can be worth a few to hundreds of dollars. The cost doesn’t mean you should avoid it completely, but rather, know when to make it worth it. For example, they may be beneficial if service repair for an electrical equipment takes longer than replacement. Nevertheless, read the fine print on charges and inclusions.

There’s a reason why extended warranties are optional. Often, the other options you have such as consumer laws will suffice. However, if you feel you need them, don’t forget to know everything about them to ensure they’re worth every penny you spend.

What does it mean to have an extended warranty? Let our experts from tell you the ins and outs, the pros and cons, and the A to Z of extended warranty.