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A smart guide to protecting your home appliances

We rely on lots of appliances every day, from our fridge freezers and ovens to our TVs and laptops. But what would you do if one of those appliances suddenly stopped working? If you spotted a suspicious puddle lurking under your dishwasher, or realised the milk in your fridge was lukewarm?

Here are the different ways you can protect your household appliances and what your rights as a consumer are.

Manufacturer's guarantee

The majority of household appliances are backed by a manufacturer's guarantee. If your washing machine broke down within its first year, for example, then the manufacturer will get it repaired or replaced free of charge.

But, those appliances are unlikely to be covered by the manufacturer's guarantee after the first year, and that's where a warranty can offer added protection.

Extended warranty

A broken down appliance that isn't covered by the manufacturer's guarantee could end up costing you hundreds of pounds to repair or replace. And it's always the way that they break down at the most inconvenient of times — just before Christmas, for example.

An extended warranty is essentially a type of insurance that covers you beyond the manufacturer's guarantee. So if your dishwasher goes bust after the first year due to a mechanical or electrical failure, the warranty will cover repair or replacement costs.

Retailers may attempt to sell you an extended warranty when you buy appliances through them, but you might be able to find cheaper deals elsewhere. It's possible to insure two or more appliances on a single policy, but expect your premium to increase.

Extended warranties do have their limitations, they don't usually cover accidental damage, and there may be restrictions on the value and age of appliances.

Know your rights

If you think that you've been sold a faulty product, it's important to know your entitlements. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, goods are deemed faulty if they don't meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Satisfactory quality — The quality of goods should meet the standard that a reasonable person would consider satisfactory, taking into account any description of the goods; the price or other consideration for the goods; and all other relevant circumstances.
  • Fit for purpose — The goods must be fit to serve a particular purpose made clear to you at the time of purchase.
  • As described — The goods must match any description given to you, or any samples shown to you.

The Which? website shares a useful guide on consumer rights in relation to returning faulty goods to a retailer. Here's a brief summary:

  • You have a 30-day right to reject goods that aren't deemed satisfactory. If the product develops a fault within this period, you're entitled to a free refund.
  • The 30-day right doesn't apply to digital goods — such as music, games or apps — but you can request the retailer to repair or replace the product.
  • After the 30-day period, you must give the retailer one opportunity to repair or replace the faulty product. If this proves unsuccessful, you can claim a refund or price reduction for the product.
  • If the fault is discovered within the first six months, the assumption is that the fault was present at the time of purchase, unless the retailer is able to prove otherwise. If a repair or replacement attempt fails, you're entitled to reject the goods and receive a full refund or price reduction, if you want to keep the product.
  • After six months, it's your responsibility to prove the product was faulty at the time of purchase.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, digital content must conform to the same standards as physical goods. If you deem digital goods to be faulty, you have a right to request the retailer to repair or replace them. If this is unsuccessful, you're able to ask for a price reduction up to 100% of the total cost of the goods.

You have six years to take a faulty goods claim to the small claims court.

Contents insurance with Hastings Direct

Another way to protect your appliances within your home is to take out quality contents insurance, either in addition to your buildings insurance or as a combined policy. Contents insurance covers loss and damage caused by a range of factors, from theft and fire to smoke and natural disasters.

With contents insurance with Hastings Direct, even the food inside your freezer is covered! What's more, you can extend your standard policy to include accidental damage to your possessions, which is something most warranties don't provide cover for.

Get a home insurance quote online today or give us a call on 0800 422 0930.

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