Is a TV Extended Warranty Worth It?

Updated: Feb 14, 2024 4:41 PM

Opinions on extended warranties vary wildly from “waste of money” all the way to “absolutely essential.” For the majority of consumers, extended warranties are not worth the extra money as the chances of the TV malfunctioning are not high enough to justify the price.

However, if you like to have peace of mind, you may want to consider the extended warranty.

Knowing what extended warranties mean from TV to TV and manufacturer to manufacturer will help you decide whether it’s an option you should consider when purchasing your top-rated TV or whether you can skip it and save yourself what can be a considerable extra cost. Remember to also check what is covered with your television warranty information.

What is an Extended Warranty for a TV

An extended warranty on a product generally covers accidental damage and other things not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Many extended warranties on TVs include service plans to cover repairs and sometimes replacements and are usually sold by the vendor where you purchase your TV.

STAT: Extended warranties on electronics is a $40 billion industry (source)

Given that the cost of an extended warranty can be considerable, understanding exactly what is provided with one and measuring that against the cost of your TV and any factors in its use that could cause premature wear or damage are essential when making the decision to invest in it.

If your TV warranty has expired, a lot of issues that can pop up with your TV may not be major. But some can be very daunting to do yourself. For instance, if you need to fix a broken tv screen, you may not be comfortable doing that by yourself. In that case, an extended warranty may sound worth it, but you have to weigh the pros and cons and price.

TV with a damaged screen

If you don’t want to pay the extra for the warranty and prefer DIY solutions, you can learn about television troubleshooting and repairs.

Is An Extended Warranty Worth The Money?

According to many sources and studies, the answer is generally: not really- at least for most people.

most extended warranties for TV is like throwing money down the drain

Consumer Reports found in one study that it’s essentially money wasted, and there’s one major reason why- most repairs, when repairs are possible, are not expensive enough to justify the cost of most plans. Consumer Reports found the median price of an electronics service plan to be $136 but that the average repair was less than $20 more than that.

Extended warranties on TVs are often offered by the vendor you’re purchasing from and on average, are about 10% of the cost of the TV for one year. A 5 year warranty may seem like a better investment, but studies have found that most kinds of minor issues that require repairs happen in the first year.

STAT: Most major damage on TVs occurs within the first year of ownership (source)

Lastly, though there are some extended warranties that cover the replacement of your TV, it’s uncommon, whereas damage bad enough to require replacing the entire TV is quite common- especially since repairs on major damage are often more expensive than the original cost of the TV.

Given all these factors, an extended warranty may only really make sense for a high-end, high price point model, more so still if it’s going to be used in a home where damage is more likely (lots of foot traffic, kids, pets, or other activity, or households in more extreme weather areas.)

STAT: The typical cost of an extended warranty on a TV is about 10% of the price of the TV (source)

Additionally, you should learn to troubleshoot the problem you are having. For instance, if your TV is making a popping noise, it can be anything from just the internal components warming and cooling, which is completely normal, or bad capacitors, which will need repair.

Alternatives

Though extended warranties are more often than not worth the extra expense for most consumers, there is an alternative that may actually not cost you anything. Many credit cards include coverage of electronics repairs as part of your purchases at no additional cost. Though they may not be comprehensive insurance plans, they’re often good enough to eliminate the need for an extended warranty at no additional cost past the TV purchase price.

Latest Reviews

Trusted By

Jed Smith Avatar

Learn More About TVs



TV Reviews