The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from PR Newswire

Maintenance and Extended Warranties Prolong Appliance Life

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Maintenance and Extended Warranties Prolong Appliance Life08:30 EST Wednesday, December 21, 2011Assurant Solutions Protects Against Costly RepairsATLANTA, Dec. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- When families and friends gather during the holidays, major appliances play a key role in the festivities. Colorful or shiny machines help make food preparation faster and cleanup a breeze, and they ensure that guests have clean sheets and towels. That is, when they're working properly.To make sure modern conveniences remain in good condition, consumers need to regularly maintain their appliances. Tasks such as cleaning refrigerator coils, checking washing machine hoses or emptying the ice machine bucket monthly to prevent frosting can increase efficiency and reduce costly problems in the future. With proper care and maintenance, most major appliances should last a decade or more, according to the National Association of Home Builders. A refrigerator, for instance, should last about 13 years; a gas range 15, and a dishwasher, 9. The washer and dryer should hold up for 10 and 13 years, respectively. Electric water heaters may burn well beyond 11 years, while the electric furnace may fire up beyond 15. James Vaughn adheres to routine maintenance of his major appliances. The Gilbert, Ariz. man regularly cleans his dryer vents, runs a fresh load in his washer and vacuums behind his refrigerator. Still, he protects his appliances with an extended warranty that covers the functional parts and labor costs of restoring major appliances to normal operating condition following mechanical or electrical failures. The extra layer of protection helps him save money and avoid the rising costs of service calls and repairs, as illustrated below: ProductReplacement PartsEstimated Repair Cost*Estimated Plan Cost**YOU SAVEDryerMotor$282$75$207RangeElectric Control Board$365$89$276RefrigeratorCompressor$625$106$519Front Load WasherBearing and Shaft$650$102$548* For one repair. Includes parts and labor costs based on 2011 rates.** For non-deductible, one-year plan. Plan prices based on 5 year old products. Plan prices may vary. "It's not a matter of if things will go wrong, but when," said Vaughn, referring to the wear and tear of functional parts that maintenance can delay but not prevent. "Something will break, and when it does, you're not in a position to call a repairman and find out that the repair will cost you more than replacing the unit."Vaughn recently avoided a repair bill when his front-loading washing machine malfunctioned a year after purchase. He called his warranty provider, Assurant Solutions, and a service technician came out promptly to replace the water pump. Vaughn estimates the repair took less than 20 minutes but saved him much more. "I didn't want to go to bed wondering whether the washing machine or dishwasher is going to work the next day," said Vaughn, whose five children and two grandchildren give the appliances plenty of use. "Having that plan gives me one less thing to worry about," he said. Assurant Solutions, a global provider of extended service contracts, issues customized policies for consumer electronics, appliances, jewelry and other products well beyond the manufacturer's warranty. The policies provide millions of customers such as Vaughn with the assurance of knowing their products can be repaired or replaced."Our customers understand that functional parts will occasionally malfunction," said Joe Erderman, president of extended protection solutions at Assurant Solutions. "We make sure they spend less time worrying about their appliances and more time enjoying their families."About Assurant SolutionsAssurant Solutions businesses develop, underwrite, market and administer specialty insurance, extended service contracts and other risk management solutions through collaborative relationships with leading financial institutions, retailers, automobile dealers, funeral homes, manufacturers, wireless carriers and other entities. With operations in 25 locations, including executive offices in Atlanta, Ga., Assurant Solutions serves clients and their customers in 12 countries throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. www.assurantsolutions.com.Assurant Solutions is also part of Assurant, a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and worldwide markets. Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has approximately $27 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue. Assurant has approximately 14,000 employees worldwide and is headquartered in New York's financial district. www.assurant.com. SOURCE Assurant SolutionsFor further information: CONTACT: Patrice Eastham, Vice President, Business Communications, Assurant Solutions C +1-404-373-8232