We all are fascinated about the concept of extended warranty with the purchase of a product be it an electronic item or a car. And we have to admit that we are often tempted by the offer. But how many of us actually stop to consider an extended warranty and differentiate it from other product that helps mitigate risk at a cost, like an insurance cover. When you buy a new car you receive a warranty from the manufacturer that the car is made available to you in a perfect condition. What we forget is that an unconditional warranty is embodied in the Sale of Goods Act, 1930. Which means this warranty should be applicable through a time period generally accepted as the lifetime of the car.
If it’s breached then we have the right to have the manufacturer either replace or repair a particular part or the product itself. Besides, let’s not forget that the customer can always approach the consumer court for relief in all such circumstances. However, the extended warranty often sold, generally claims to cover limited items like defects in the product, malfunction, accidental damage or in some cases it could be an all risk cover but always for a limited period of time. However, the question here is whether extended warranties adhere to the rules set by the Sale of Goods Act? The question is intriguing because the two concepts (warranty and car insurance) seem very similar but are distinct at the same time from each other.
The article will gives you insights on what is warranty and insurance? A warranty, is essentially an assurance to another person with certain conditions which if not fulfilled couldn’t claim for damages. A car insurance contract on the other hand is simply a contract where for a specified consideration, one party undertakes to compensate the other for loss relating to particular subject such as third party damages, damage to own car, accidental coverage due to natural calamities, stealing, burglary etc.
While having a closer look at the insurance policy and warranty, we can see that insurance effectively provides cover for practically every eventuality, whereas the warranty and an extended warranty, with all their limitations and exclusions, may not.
A car insurance contract is a contingent contract. A contingent contract is a contract in which promise is conditional and the contract shall be perform only on the happening or not happening of some future uncertain events. Essentially, the car insurance provider promises to save the subscriber from loss caused due to risks listed in the insurance policy.
However, the challenge is that though extended warranties seem like distinct concepts, they exhibit all the characteristics of an insurance contract and those who offer them argue to treat them as warranties portraying an edge over insurance.
This means that despite the insurance sector being highly regulated, extended warranties escape the applicability of stringent insurance regulations entirely and are fed into the minds of people for purchase.
So, next time when you have to choose between warranty and insurance, stop thinking that warranty offers more than what car insurance provides. Infact, risk covering car insurances would be more economical and useful to customers than an extended warranty. Insurance is a regulated product and easier to claim; and the high cost of extended warranties is disproportionate to the risk it covers.