Understanding Just How Does a Warranty Work?

So, How Does Warranty Work?

Well, in the quick and short. If you buy the right warranty, you get new stuff if anything breaks! Now, understanding the do’s and don’ts of the limitations here, that is where we want to focus our attention.

There are many things that a lot of people don’t understand about their warranty. I’d like to clear up a few things about that in this article here today on How Does Warranty Work.

First Off, Know What You are Buying a Warranty For

Not all warranties are the same. Understanding if you really even need the warranty is one of the biggest things. This might surprise you, but there are a large portion of major companies that make a huge percentage of their revenue by selling warranties! Buying a warranty on something that will be cheaper in the long run to replace is basically a waste of money.

When you really think about it, companies aren’t going to sell extended warranty programs if they are losing money on them. Most extended warranty programs, just go unclaimed and expire. Manufactures have to have a standard for their products. So, if a company can make a product and have enough problems and failures that justify a consumer to purchase the extended warranty. There is a problem!

Most companies have a standard factory warranty on their products. So if their is a manufacturer defect, they will cover your loss. A large portion of warranties, for the cost, are not worth it. When you could buy the item again and have a brand new one, over an older “just fixed” item. Make sure the price justifies the purchase of the warranty.


Second Off, Know Who is Warrantying The Product!

This is a topic that a lot of people forget to cover when it comes to the products that they buy. When you purchase something, think about who is around that can fix it! Do they know what they are doing? Are they qualified to fix it the correct way?

A quick example. I live in the Florida Keys, a 100 mile stretch of islands. After Hurricane IRMA in 2017, there were a lot of dealerships that shut down. Now there are only a limited number of good technicians and operating dealerships at this time. Now, since Suzuki’s are the “new, hot thing” right now. They are for many reasons. They are a good product, with a couple of issues like all of them, but all in all, a good engine. So there are a ton of people that are re-powering their boats with them. Which is great!

There is one problem though. There are only a couple of Suzuki dealerships in the keys that are qualified to do the warranty work. All those engines that have been sold, great thing, but when you need to get something worked on for warranty. Where are you going to go?

You have to travel a long distance just to get it covered! So, when you are buying a product and considering the warranty. Make sure you don’t overlook the location, competency and friendliness of the establishment that you will have to work with, if you ever need to.

A Little More on the Competency Thing.

Competency is overlooked a lot of times when it comes to getting something fixed via warranty. The truth about dealerships and warranty claims are the dealerships are usually on the losing end of the stick. So, it isn’t uncommon for a company to not be so concerned with the warranty work. Seeing how they only really come out making around 30-40% back from the manufacturer, of what it really cost to do the job. However, warranty work is just part of owning a dealership.

Dealerships are also in a state of rotating technicians. Really good technicians are hard to come by. The good ones are in such high demand, they usually go out on their own. Or, they are overworked and can only handle so many work orders at a time. They also are often put on the highest paying job, that requires the highest skill set to complete. So, when it comes to completing a warranty claim, the best technicians are usually not the ones handling the work!

When you find an establishment that stays in business and weathers the economic turns, has great customer service, and has great technicians, don’t overlook it. It is something that will save you a lot of headaches! The good dealerships have it in great with the manufacturers and if you buy something from a great company, then they can sometimes get things covered, even if it isn’t under the cover-able warranty claim!

Understand What is Cover-able

Some people don’t understand the concept of coverage and what that entails. You see, if you and your neighbor try to fix something that was caused by a manufacturer defect. Then during the process of trying to repair it, while taking it apart it gets destroyed. Well, sorry about the luck. But you can’t just bring a destroyed product to a dealership and expect it to be warrant-able!

You would be surprised to see how many times cases like this happen. In reality, it happens all the time. For example, Joe and Bob run their boat fuel tank empty. They fill it up, get a bad batch of gas, and then run the debris from the bottom of the tank into the engine. Along with the water sediment from the bad gas they just got, now the thing doesn’t run at all.

Never fear! Joe and Bob, have screwdrivers! As the story progresses, they pull the engine apart, get to the fuel supply module, open that bad boy up. And wouldn’t you know it, that thing is way to complicated to put back together, along with the fact that they are so far in over their heads now. It’s not good! So, hey, they remember they have warranty. So they haul their boat into the dealership with a box of parts that have been sitting in the rain. Expecting it to be a free in and out deal!

Sorry to say, but that isn’t a manufacturer defect! To be quite honest with you, most manufacturers aren’t in the business of screwing their clients! They understand that things happen, and are even willing to cover the damages done by the debris and bad gas. The companies aren’t in the business of repairing something that has been destroyed though. They want to have happy clients that enjoy using their products worry free. That is how they stay in business, by pleasing their clientele.

If Joe and Bob would have just went to the dealership in the beginning. They would have been taken care of, (In most cases). But to save a couple bucks and also due to impatience, it cost them. Now they are angry and disgruntled. Which it shouldn’t be that way. All it takes is a little understanding of how your warranty works.

Lastly, Understand What Warranty You are Buying

There are many different types of warranty that companies provide. They aren’t ignorant of the economics and industry standards. They aren’t in the business of losing money either. Most companies provide different levels of warranty. When you purchase your warranty. Make sure you understand what level you are buying, and what exactly is covered under that warranty.

When you buy an extended warranty, the factory will commonly cover all reasonable failures, without question. When it comes to the extended warranty though. That is where the “fine print” comes out! When talking about how does warranty work, that extended warranty always comes with fine print! That is where the up sell comes in.

Not all up sells are worth the money. Remember to pay attention to what is being warrantied, what is the value of it, what kind of possible failures can happen, and is it worth the money! There is always going to be a value point in the up sell, but understanding if it is worth it is the key. I’ll use Mercury Marine’s Product Protection Gold vs. Platinum Extended Service as an example.

Looking at all the checks and the different sections. The green is your standard factory warranty. The yellow is the gold and the gray is the platinum. Platinum warranty coverage is a straight up extension of the factory warranty! Meaning that basically whatever happens to your engine, your covered! This is a huge deal, looking at the actual break down is such a huge difference, that it’s obvious why someone would want to have platinum coverage opposed to the gold.

This same model goes for anything that comes with a warranty. It is extremely important that when you are purchasing an extended warranty for a product, that you understand exactly what is going to be covered and what is not going to be covered.

Don’t Get Caught Out in the Storm!

For a lot of people, warranty and insurance coverage means that you receive a huge pile of paper with type font so small that you can’t read it with the naked eye. You then have to decipher the unknown language that is hidden inside of that stack. So the natural tendency is, sign and fly! Sign that stack and get on with the day. This may be fine for your terms and services for Facebook, but when it comes to say your homeowners insurance, or your engine warranty. Take the time to ask those couple extra questions about what is covered.

You don’t have to spend hours reading the stack, just ask exact, hypothetical, and situational questions to the person selling you. If they don’t know, or sound like they don’t know. Move one to someone that does. Have that guarantee that you know what is covered.

After Hurricane IRMA there were a lot of people that found out the hard way that the coverage they thought they purchased, did not cover half of the things that they “assumed” were covered. The extra hour that it might take to ask those questions will keep you out of the storm and give you that peace of mind that should come with the purchase of an extended warranty or some good insurance.

So, let me know what you think! Have you been caught out in the storm? Tell me about your warranty/insurance horror stories. Or if there is something else you are unsure of, ask it! We’ll be glad to do whatever we can to help you out! Also you can check us out on YouTube! Click here to visit our channel where we cover a wide variety of Marine Industry and boating videos!

Aaron Hilligoss

Aaron has been working in the Marine Industry for over a decade and holds certifications for Yamaha and Mercury Marine. It is not uncommon for him to own and be working on at least three different boats at any given point in time!

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