Should You Buy an Extended Warranty on Hearing Aids?
Hearing aid repairs can be costly.
Even worse, is if you lose your hearing aids and have to buy a whole new set.
You may be wondering how to protect yourself from these fees, and in this post I'll show you how.
But first, make sure you understand how hearing aid warranties work.
The video below is a good primer.
First, figure out how much an extended warranty costs
Depending on the brand of hearing aid you have, you can buy an extended warranty to cover you against repairs, or loss and damage.
If you don't know the difference, watch the video above.
Next, figure out what an out-of-warranty repair would cost
An out-of-warranty repair means a repair that would be needed once your hearing aid warranty would expire.
Many (but not all) hearing aid providers charge a flat fee for any repairs outside of the warranty period.
I know this seems weird, but they do it, because your hearing aid manufacturer charges the retailer a flat fee as well.
Ask your hearing provider what this fee will be, and if possible, get it written on your purchase agreement.
Finally, assess the difference in those fees, and your risk tolerance
Let's use some hypothetical numbers, but numbers that are actually somewhat "average" in the industry.
Let's assume that your local hearing provider charges $150 for a 1 year extended repair warranty (per hearing aid).
That number is probably close to what most retailers would charge.
Now let's also assume that the same hearing aid provider charges $350 for out-of-warranty repairs.
The fee is also pretty close to what most retailers would charge.
Using the figures above, your worse case scenario if you don't buy an extended warranty is a $350 fee to get a repair.
On the flip side, if you pay $150 for that extended warranty and nothing happens to your hearing aid within that period, that money is wasted.
A prudent approach
Neither of the above situations are ideal, but you can take a calculated risk and probably come out on top in the long run if you do it right.
Our advice is to not buy an extended warranty—just take the warranty that comes with the purchase.
Then, during your warranty period, keep track of how many (if any) repairs were needed during that period.
If your hearing aids were getting fixed every year, that pattern is probably going to continue once your warranty expires, and in that case, using the figures above, it definitely makes sense to buy an extended warranty.
On the other hand, if your hearing aids required relatively little maintenance or repair work, you're probably better off taking the risk of not buying an extended warranty.
Sure, you may get hit with that $350 fee, but you'll also (most likely), get a warranty included with the work that was performed.
What about loss and damage warranties?
What we just covered above should help you determine whether you want to buy an extended repair warranty, but what about warranty covering the hearing aid against loss, theft, or damage beyond repair?
We'll give the same advice again.
Initially, don't buy it.
Just take whatever warranty comes with the hearing aids, and see what happens during your warranty period.
What if you lose or damage your hearing aids and they can't be repaired?
First, understand that almost all hearing aids come with "catastrophic" coverage.
You don't have to ask for this, it's something hearing aid manufacturers just include when you buy their hearing aids.
This "catastrophic" coverage is referred to as "loss and damage" coverage.
This coverage kicks in if the aid is lost, stolen, or damaged beyond repair.
If you file a claim, you'll have a fee, ranging from $350-$500, that you'll have to pay to the local provider to get you a replacement device.
So again, because this coverage comes with the hearing aid, we'd recommend not buying extended loss and damage coverage.
You already filed a loss and damage claim
If you've already been through the above, then you should probably purchase coverage to protect you against it happening again.
Because if it does happen again, and you don't have coverage, you'll have to buy a whole new hearing aid.
But you shouldn't just accept the first quote you get.
There's a few ways to find the best rate for this coverage:
- Get a quote from your local provider. This is going to be the most convenient option. When you get a price, make sure it includes the reprogramming/refitting of the replacement hearing aid(s).
- Get a quote from an internet hearing aid insurance provider. Google "hearing aid warranty" or "hearing aid insurance" and you'll see a few options out there. Again, when you look at the price they quote, add that to whatever fees you'll have to pay your local provider for the reprogramming/refitting of the hearing aid(s), as that is your true cost.
- Consider adding a "rider" to your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Just as you would add jewelry or other expensive household items, many insurance policies will allow you to add hearing aids as well. This is often very affordable and will cost much less than the above 2 options, but again, you'll likely incur additional fees from your provider for the reprogramming/refitting of the hearing aid(s).
We don't recommend buying an extended repair warranty.
We recommend waiting and seeing if your hearing aids have any issues during the normal warranty period.
If they did, it probably makes sense to buy an extended warranty, as long as the cost to buy it is lower than what your out-of-warranty repair costs would be.
And we also don't recommend buying an extended loss and damage warranty.
We recommend waiting and first using the coverage that comes with the hearing aids, by default.
Once you've used up that coverage (if you even do), then shop for coverage from the sources mentioned above.