Extended Warranties - UK - May 2011
For the purpose of this report, domestic electrical goods include a range of household appliances and audio-visual equipment. It also includes other widely-held technology such as PC equipment and mobile phones.
Most electrical goods are sold with a manufacturer’s guarantee that covers any product breakdown during the first 12 months, although some manufacturers may offer cover for an extended period.
Extended warranties generally provide cover after a manufacturer guarantee has expired, and will sometimes cover a wider range of risks than most manufacturer’s guarantees, such as providing cover for accidental damage. However, extended warranty products do vary considerably in terms of coverage and features.
There are two main types of extended warranty product.
- Insurance-backed cover – underwritten by an insurance company and regulated by the FSA.
- Service-backed plans – cover that is backed by the supplier of the extended warranty. With this type of product, payments are placed into a pool that is used to meet claims. Usually, this pool is protected in the event of insolvency, although this is not required by law.
Extended warranties are sometimes referred to as customer support agreements, customer service agreements, breakdown cover and replacement cover.
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