I received the following question today asking advice about taking out a 5 year extended warranty or not. This particular decision is harder than normal because the washing machine in question has a reputation for outstanding build quality and reliability and already has a 5 year warranty –
Having purchased a Miele Premier 520 washing machine from John Lewis recently with a 5 year guarantee, we’ve now received the warranty certificate. (This was after taking advice from your excellent site).
My question is, we’ve been offered a further 5 years guarantee which will make a total of 10 years for £199.00. Is this in your opinion good value for money? Or, is the machine that good that it wouldn’t need more money spent on it? The price we paid was £529. With the extra it does bump it up to £759. ”
It’s a bit paradoxical isn’t it? You’ve bought one of the most reliable washing machines available and they are trying to sell you an extra warranty. It’s a tough one because you worry that if you choose not to and it does break down you might kick yourself.
Although the Miele is very reliable, you do have to bear in mind that if faults do occur they can be very expensive to fix because obviously they need expensive, quality parts. The odds are quite high that you won’t need the cover though.
Another thing to bear in mind is that extended warranties don’t cover wear and tear, so if a part breaks down because it’s worn out it isn’t covered. In the first 5 years parts should be OK (apart from on cheap washing machines) but the period between 5 and 10 years is when parts can definitely start to fail because of wear. However, this is far more relevant on more ordinary washing machines and you should expect the Miele to stand up to a lot of wear because it’s designed to last at least 20 years.
Unfortunately in this case it isn’t good value for money because other Miele models such as the one I use (Miele W 3740) have a lot of extra features and already come with a 10 year warranty (NOTE: These extended warranties are used promotionally by Miele and subject to change). The price of the W 3740 is no more expensive than the combined Premier 520 and extra warranty. So if you took out the warranty you’d end up paying the same as a W 3740 but with no Honeycomb drum and other worthwhile features.
Good rule of thumb
Therefore, an important rule of thumb would be that if you are interested in a longer than normal guarantee you should really buy a washing machine that has it included in the price.
If the reason you didn’t go for a model costing over £700 with the 10 year warranty included is because you didn’t really want to spend that much or just couldn’t afford it then unless you’ve had a change of heart I’d bear that in mind.
At the end of the day there’s a lot of money to be made insuring reliable products, and of course any product can break down so it boils down to individual fears, and how much comfort and security an individual receives by insuring products against breakdown. When it comes to cold hard logical facts it’s pointless insuring the vast majority of appliances in my opinion. Ironically it’s the least well off people that potentially benefit most by such insurances simply because they can least afford a big unexpected repair bill so they at least get some psychological relief from genuine fears by being insured.
It’s sad that many of these people spend their lives trapped in a circle of spending money they can ill afford because of the fear of a big unexpected repair bill, which then leaves them much worse off financially over the big picture of large periods of time because it will almost certainly be cheaper to pay for repairs in the long run than to insure everything. If you are rich enough to be able to handle the odd big bill though (or wise enough to have savings put aside) then you don’t have a fear of them, so you don’t need to insure against breakdowns and can just pay out for the odd repair every so often instead of paying out increasing premiums every year for ever.
The Miele extra warranty is different to third party warranties because it’s run by Miele themselves. This cuts out the middleman and of course it’s geared up specifically for Miele washing machines. I understand you could take it out later, maybe even much later. If you like the idea of being covered from 5 – 10 years it could be something worth considering in the future after recovering from the shock to your wallet.
- 5 Tips for buying appliances (Check out Tip 4 about appliances with longer guarantees)
- What you need to know about appliance extended warranties
- Miele washing machine build quality review