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Are Amazon extended warranties worth it, or a scam?

While warranties can last a few years, recalls can occur anytime down the line. Some defects are harmless and only affect functionality, but others can be dangerous. Tap or click here for three recalled products putting your safety at risk.

When you buy a TV, blender or smartphone on Amazon, you’ll see a message asking you to purchase an extended warranty. Sure, you can, but should you?

Do you know what’s in those warranties? While each is a little bit different, they follow a similar pattern. If you buy anything on Amazon and you’ve spent money on an extended warranty before, you can’t afford to miss this information.

Asurion warranties don’t cover much

Asurion protection plans cover items for normal wear and tear, defects in workmanship and materials, and mechanical and electrical breakdowns. If you break it yourself, you’re out of luck. This is pretty standard.

The biggest issue with these inexpensive warranties is that they don’t cover much. Dig through the details and you’ll find that they’re simply extended durations of manufacturer defect warranties.

That doesn’t mean Asurion is bad or that the warranties are worthless. If you have a device that you plan to use for five years or more, it’s nice to know any defects that pop up will be covered.

The reality

Here’s what you need to know: Most manufacturer defects become apparent shortly after using a device. If it’s something detrimental that could break your purchase, it’ll happen early on. The standard one-year warranty on most products should cover this.

Asurion warranties come in handy if the manufacturer issues a warning due to wiring or power issues for electronics since that comes down to a safety issue. These cases are few and far between, though.

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Are Asurion warranties the only ones I can get on Amazon?

Thankfully, other warranty companies on Amazon offer more than just a simple manufacturer warranty extension. Companies such as SquareTrade offer long warranties with extended protection.

Instead of only protecting you against manufacturer errors, these plans cover spills, drops, accidents and more. The biggest telltale of a bad warranty is a dirt-cheap price.

Asurion warranties typically run a few dollars and are rarely more than $10. SquareTrade warranties are sometimes triple the cost, which in contrast can look like a bad purchase — but they cover much more than standard warranties.

The tried-and-true rule applies here: You get what you pay for.

Avoiding extended warranties is one mistake you can make when buying electronics on Amazon. Tap or click here for five more buying tips.

What about all those warranty reviews on Amazon?

Warranties are their own products on Amazon, much like an add-on item. When you buy a warranty, it shows up on your purchase history and you can leave a review.

Take a peek at the other reviews for that same warranty. You may find a mixture of high ratings and some horror stories about not receiving coverage. Some of these warranties are confusing and rely on users mishandling the product to nullify the warranty.

You must remember that companies don’t want to replace the product, which costs them money. They’ll try everything to avoid fulfilling the warranty before they cover problems.

So what should you do?

As we said above, most problems will pop up relatively soon. The standard one-year warranty will cover those issues.

Don’t pay for a warranty that doesn’t add any additional coverage. If it doesn’t lower your associated risk with the product, it’s not worth your money.

The bottom line is to consider the product’s value vs. the warranty cost. Would you pay $20 to insure something worth $50? When an item costs you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, that’s when you should consider extending the warranty.

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