Warranties & service contracts

When you buy a car, appliance or other product, the retailer may offer to sell you an extended warranty, service contract, or maintenance agreement. Before you say, "Yes," here are some tips to consider:

Review the contract

  • Read the contract to make sure you're getting what you think you are buying.
  • Are you duplicating coverage you get for free with a product's regular warranty?
  • When does the coverage take effect? How long does it last?
  • What is covered? What's excluded? For example, even "bumper-to-bumper" auto coverage almost always includes limitations and exclusions.
  • If you buy the contract, be sure to get - and keep - your receipt and a copy of the contract.

Service contract prices are negotiable

  • Don't be afraid to ask for a better price.
  • The majority of the sales price is the seller's profit. 

Do you have buyer's remorse?

  • Under state law you have at least 10 days to reconsider your service contract purchase.
  • If you want your money back during this period, you're entitled to a full refund.
  • After 30 days, your refund for cancelling is much smaller and is prorated against the time remaining.

Check out the company

Make sure it's registered to do business in Washington state.


Updated 03/27/2014

See also

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