Consumers often wonder what the difference is between a manufacturer’s warranty and an extended warranty, as the two can differ significantly. Those same consumers may be in the midst of deciding whether to jump the gun and purchase an extended protection plan. They may also be wondering what the best smartphone insurance plans are and how they compare.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Manufacturer’s warranties and extended warranties differ in the overall lifespans of the plans, with extended warranties typically lasting much longer.
  • These plans also differ when it comes to coverage, as extended warranties tend to cover damage pertaining to everyday use, and manufacturer’s warranties do not.
  • Insurance goes beyond either aforementioned option, offering coverage for loss, theft, and water damage.

Manufacturer’s Warranty Vs Extended Warranty

Generally speaking, an extended warranty is simply an extension of the types of coverage offered by the original manufacturer’s warranty. This distinction applies to smartphones, tablets, items of furniture, appliances, and just about any other costly item available for purchase.

Insider Tip

Generally speaking, an extended warranty is simply an extension of the types of coverage offered by the original manufacturer’s warranty.

Differences Between Coverage

The two types of plans can be similar, though there are some stark differences that consumers should know about. If you need it, we also have a detailed guide that explains what a manufacturer’s warranty is.

Initial Cost

The issue of cost should be a primary consideration if you are thinking of purchasing an extended protection plan. Typically, a manufacturer’s warranty ships with the item at the initial point of purchase for no added cost. An extended warranty, however, will have to be purchased by the consumer. The price of these extended protection plans can vary depending on the amount of coverage offered and the overall lifespan of the plan. Be sure to do your research before shelling out for an extended plan. In case of loss, damage or theft, you’ll be glad to know that the MetroPCS insurance will send and activate your replacement phone.

Plan Lifespan

An extended warranty may be a good purchase if the manufacturer’s warranty does not offer coverage for a lengthy period of time. The length of manufacturer’s warranties can vary, though 90 days is standard for some consumer-grade gadgets. The manufacturer’s warranty could also offer different coverage lifespans for different components of the item you purchased. For instance, some plans may offer 90 days for sensitive electronic materials while offering a year or even more for some of the heartier components.

Extended warranties, on the other hand, typically offer a blanket amount of time, with costs varying depending on how long of a plan you purchase. These extended warranties can last for as long as five or ten years, depending on the plan and type of product purchased.

Insider Tip

Typically, a manufacturer’s warranty ships with the item at the initial point of purchase for no added cost.

Incidents Covered

Manufacturers’ warranties and extended warranties can offer similar benefits, with each typically covering damage during shipment and damage related to manufacturing errors. They are not always created equal, however, so be sure to read all of the documentation regarding both your manufacturer’s warranty and the extended protection plan you are thinking of buying. Look for an extended plan that offers coverage beyond what is given with a manufacturer’s warranty, putting the plan more in line with actual insurance. Most extended coverage plans will issue benefits due to damage pertaining to normal everyday use.

Buy-in Limitations

When shopping for an extended warranty, be sure to become familiar with how long you are allowed to buy into the plan. If you are thinking of buying an extended plan from the actual manufacturer, they will note how long you have before you will no longer be able to purchase an extended warranty. This time limitation can range from anywhere from 90 days to a full year, or even more in certain instances. Third-party warranty issuers also typically include a time limit when it comes to the extended coverage types they offer. Be sure to read the fine print, as some extended warranties can only be purchased at the same time you buy the product itself.

Extended Warranties Vs Insurance

There are some key differences between extended warranties and actual insurance, including the coverage they both provide. Though plans and types vary, insurance plans tend to offer coverage in more scenarios than what can be found with an extended warranty. For instance, many smartphone insurance plans will cover theft and loss, while most extended protection plans will not offer coverage in those cases. In general, extended warranties just offer coverage for everyday damage. Be sure to read all of the documentation thoroughly before making a purchase.

F.A.Q.S

What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

As the name suggests, a manufacturer’s warranty is a type of protection plan that is offered by the manufacturer. These plans typically cover damage that occurred during the initial shipment and damage due to manufacturing error.


What is an extended protection plan?

An extended protection plan is a warranty that lasts beyond the lifespan of the manufacturer’s warranty, though it can also offer other types of coverage.


When does extended coverage make sense?

If you are purchasing a high-value item that you intend to be using for many years, an extended coverage plan may be a wise move.



STAT: In retail consumer electronics, extended warranties cost 20% to 30% of the price, and give sales associates up to 15% commission at some retailers. (source)

Warning

Look for an extended plan that offers coverage beyond what is given with a manufacturer’s warranty, putting the plan more in line with actual insurance.

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *