Many will be hitting Black Friday sales today and at the top of the list is electronics. Then at the checkout, they will be asked if they want to buy the extended protection plan. Creighton University Professor of Statistics and Analytics William Duckworth has done the homework for you and reviewed the plans of twelve major providers. He says don’t be pressured into making a quick decision. Ask the clerk how long you have to make a decision as many stores will give you several weeks to decide.
Duckworth says you can also shop for a plan through an independent provider but make sure you look for a company that has only positive reviews.
Next, Duckworth says read the fine print carefully. Some plans only cover against malfunctions and defects and not accidents. He says some plans have exclusions that include dropping them in water, falling out of a window or run over by a car. Most independent plan providers do not have those exclusions.
Duckworth says you also need to read the fine print to see if there is a deductible. Using a smart phone as an example, Duckworth says the protection plan can cost as much as $10 a month and then when you need to use it you find out there is a $200 deductible. If the plan doesn’t list a deductible and doesn’t specifically say “no deductible,” then don’t assume there isn’t one hiding somewhere.
Finally, Duckworth says you need to look at the overall value of the device and if you believe it needs a protection plan.