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.
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.
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.
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:
The Which? website shares a useful guide on consumer rights in relation to returning faulty goods to a retailer. Here's a brief summary:
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.
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.
Our straightforward home insurance is Defaqto 5 Star rated, so you can be sure you're getting a great product. Plus you can choose from a great range of optional extras.