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How to insure appliances?

Mathilda Brown
May 15, 2019

My Frigidaire fridge stopped working. We called our homeowners insurance but they do not cover appliances. Does anyone know of a good appliance insurance company?

Not sure what happened 2 days ago the freezer side had ice all over it and then today the fridge stopped cooling. MODEL # ffss2314qs1

Comments (43)

  • dadoes

    Sounds like a defrost problem. Excess frost accumulation will obstruct airflow from the freezer-side cooling coil into the refrigerator section. Find a local appliance servicer to fix it. No insurance needed.

  • queenvictorian

    You have warranties for appliances, not insurance. I presume the fridge is out of warranty?

    Like dadoes said, call a local repairman and get it fixed. If you can't fix it yourself, you're going to have to shell out to have it repaired. It's the nature of owning older large appliances.

  • mmilos

    You can try Home Warranty Shield for your appliances in the future. Check the coverage limits though.

  • Mathilda Brown

    The appliances were already in the house when I purchased it last year. I was told the appliances were new.

  • queenvictorian

    I guess you could find the fridge's serial number and call Frigidaire and see if you can figure out the warranty status.

  • dadoes

    What's the serial number? Serial numbers are coded for the date (usually month & year or week & year) of factory production. Model numbers are coded for year of market introduction.

  • Mathilda Brown

    I just finished talking to Frigidaire and the fridge was bought in 2014. No warranty and a repair shop charges $100 just for the visit.. I imagine service will be another $100+ This sucks!

  • tqtqtbw

    Call Frididaire first. They can tell you when it was manufactured and if it is under warranty, the warranty should cover the any replacement parts. They can give you the name and numnber of a repair person in your area who works on their products. You can look on-line and see if that particular model has a known defect and using that information to get the manufacturer to pay for the repair.

    I previously owned a GE side-by-side that had a know issue where the freezer section would freeze up because of some control in the door.The manufacturer replace the door, no charge to me.

  • dadoes

    Frigidaire's interest in servicers is primarily for warranty situations. There'll be capable servicers not listed with Frigidaire that can handle repairs regardless but wouldn't be "in network" for warranty reimbursement. There's no concern who does the repair if it's not in warranty, other than that they're capable.

  • tqtqtbw

    ^^^ Agreed. The waranty repair man GE sent is now my go-to repair person for all my large appliances. As a new homeowner, it is totally worth building a list of people you can call for things around the house.

  • toxcrusadr

    I think insurance for stuff like home repairs, appliances and car repairs is kind of a racket and is probably only a financial advantage to you (over time) if you have severely limited income, no savings and can't afford ANY large bills. Think about it: insurance companies collect money from a bunch of people, they pay out part of it for claims, and they use some to pay for overhead and to pay their stockholders or investors dividends. Whereas if you just save up a little money (for example, the amount you'd spend on premiums every month) you get to keep it all and use it when you need it. Car and homeowner's insurance are different because replacement cost is very large and the risk warrants the cost of insurance.

  • mainenell
    The appliance manufacturers’ warranty is usually only 1 year and only for the original purchaser. So you probably have no warranty available.

    Call an appliance repair company. I would take the time to have a discussion with the repair person before having him out to get an idea of what the problem might be and potential cost. If he thinks it’s a $300 repair do you want to spend that or would rather get a new fridge? Keep in mind that repairman will have a fee just to come look at the appliance regardless of what the outcome is. Here that is $75-100.

    You can also frequently find out what the problem may be by using google. If they say it is a clogged line that is not too expensive to repair. If it is a control board problem that is a totally different price point.

    Frigidaire is not as reliable as some other brands.
  • jrb451

    Some homes are sold with a Home Warranty that covers appliance, HVAC repairs for the first year or so of new ownership. I'm assuming yours wasn't or it's past the use by date.

  • kevinande

    Check your closing documents. You may have a home warranty that is typically good for one year after closing. You can renew the coverage if you wish. You can even purchase one now on you own. Just to be clear though, this will not cover your current issue, unless you have a warranty currently in place.

  • ifoco

    When we bought this house which is about 16 yrs old We had a Home Warranty policy paid by the seller. He did not anti up top dollar so not everything was covered. The washer and dryer were a POS and, not covered. I kicked them to the curb bought new washer dyer.

    Dishwasher was a major problem. I called Asko they said it most likely needed a new board.

    Called Home Warranty they sent tech after I paid $60 co pay. A lot of discussion with the home office and they finally said if it's washing it's fine. Well it's not really fine but that was the story. I wasted $60.

    The ice maker stopped shooting ice. Makes it but refuses to release it. Call to Home Warranty. Pay $60 tech comes out says he needs approval for part. Then he comes back and fixes it. He's a very young guy (kid from my perspective) and I'm glad there are young people in this field because we really need them. It now shoots ice out but not great but it wasn't great before.

    Then the big one. One morning I get up not quite alert but see water all over the kitchen floor and think OMG a broken pipe. Look under sink all dry check around nothing then open the fridge/freezer very warm. Call to Home Warranty. All my food in fridge and freezer needs to be thrown out. They pick who will come and when. It is 115 outside and I'm not exaggerating. He finally comes several days later and it's a long ordeal with him having to get approval for parts and then do the installation. Three weeks without so much as an ice cube. I think the job cost $1500 - they don't give you any paperwork. They did tell me my refrigerator allowance was used up.

    Nearing the end of the one year coverage, the Casita AC stopped working. Again paid $60 nice AC guy came and fixed it - previous homeowner had all kinds of hardware cloth installed to keep the pack rats out which in turn shorted out the ac. Paid my $60, he fixed it and added gas which Home Warranty does not cover. No savings for me but I have the name of a good tech.

    Then it was time to renew Yikes!!!! I can't remember how much per month to renew this policy it was A LOT. Kind of like buying car insurance. I said No thanks.

    Moral of this story, don't buy an old house or if you do get a reduced price so you can replace all of the appliance because the first year was nothing but a headache and major PITA



  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally

    don't buy an old house or if you do get a reduced price so you can replace all of the appliance because the first year was nothing but a headache and major PITA

    The corollary to this is don't buy a new house because appliance shopping is a major PITA now that well-made, long-lived, reasonably priced appliances are scarcer than unicorns. This is another current thread,


  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    Mathilda, is this your first house after having lived in rentals? Because it sounds like you haven’t had to deal with normal repair and replacement of standard home appliances before. That isn’t an insurance issue. That’s a savings account issue. Put aside the same amount as your mortgage every month for a home repair and improvement account. That’s a much better solution than most home warranties.

    Also, make friends with your neighbor’s who are DIY handy. Learn from them in exchange for being a helper. Take some classes offered at your local hardware store. Sign up for a Habitat For Humanity build, and learn a few things there. The more that you can do yourself, the more it frees up budget for when you can’t DIY.

    Appliances generally fall into the “call someone” category at first. But if you watch YouTube, and have a basic set of tools, you may be surprised st what you can accomplish! My very unhandy sister repaired her own front load washing machine. I was shocked! She’s since tried a few more things. You can too.

  • Olychick

    You will likely come out ahead by just paying for repairs yourself, not trying to find appliance "insurance" or extended warranty coverage.

    Try Next Door (neighborhood, community social media) for recommendations of trustworthy repair people. I've found the best people for all kinds of things, including appliance repair from the community members who post on Next Door, and it's free.

  • Jenn Dinosaur-Mom

    The seller switched the fridge in the kitchen when she moved out, leaving one that iced it’s freezer door shut in its place. She lied about there being a warranty claim in precess on the broken dishwasher, which the paperwork for she’d promised to have the company mail to us in our name but needed a week after move out to get it done - it took filing a claim in small claims court on my end to get an envelope in the mail with a check from her in the amount of what a new dishwasher would cost plus legal costs. And yes, I cashed it the day it arrived. At least the stove/oven, and washer/dryer were okay...though the latter had to be replaced a year after we moved in, and the microwave went out maybe 3 months after we first moved in.

    Luckily our budget allowed for all of these replacements, I set aside funds from the sale of our previous home in SoCal to pay taxes at tax time, on the transaction later that year plus a cushion for emergency repairs or appliance issues.

  • dadoes

    Non-built-in appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators) typically don't convey with a home sale in this area, although freestanding ranges may. My 2nd home purchase included a refrigerator, which I thought to be unusual. I brought mine along from the previous house, which became my garage 'fridge. My buyers did not request that it stay, although it was 8 yo at the time so they may not have wanted it if they'd asked ... to their disadvantage, LOL being that it's nearing 22 years now and has had no repairs for the duration.

  • PRO

    Learn the words "self insure". Insurances are ONLY effective for major expense/disaster, or you will have paid for the "coverage" many times over.. Dental insurance is one of the worst in this regard. Appliances do not merit insurance, even when brand new. !5 year old autos do not merit collision coverage, unless a "classic" brought out only on sunny days; you insure for liability only. Anyone with collision insurance with LESS than a thousand dollar deductible will have paid dearly for it. Even a homeowners policy requires a separate rider for jewelry......and yup. that better be one really nice ring: )

    All rainy days need a sunny savings account to go with them. Even WITH insurance coverage.

    Veer here: If you're old enough to remember writing a 65.00 to 95.00 check at your yearly ob/gyn exam, ( yes, despite your insurance coverage ) getting a lab bill three days later for 15 bucks,, versus yanking 5 to 10 dollars out of a wallet in a cheap co-pay......? You begin to understand what drove up the cost of health insurance, no matter a well intended concept of "preventative" care. With some dire consequences. There is no free lunch.

  • kevinande

    I echo the sentiment of most of you. I have a budget for appliances. I generally do not repair them, just replace. As you all are aware the repair cost sometimes rivals the cost of new. My wife wants one of those new French door refrigerators. I will not buy one though, it is the one thing we just disagree on and I will not yield. I have a 15 year old Hot Point (GE) side by side fridge. It has functioned flawlessly for years and still looks great. I refuse to give it up for a new POS that will last for a year or two and cost me 2k. I told her when this one dies, you can get a new fridge. Coolest part I bought it used for $200.00! Which is another avenue, sometimes you can find great deals on used appliances, and clearance sales.

    Home warranties are nice when you buy a home for that first year, you never know what may happen and most people just want to enjoy there new home and not be burdened with expensive repairs. Be aware though they are not in the replacement business if they can get out of it. If your not handy, then they can actually be nice. An Average warranty is about $50.00 a month so if you use it once a year may not be worth the expense. If you use it 3 or more times a year then it may actually have some value to the purchaser. I prefer to hold onto my money and just buy as needed, but not everyone has the save mentality. So for some the warranty actually has value. I am more handy than most, so other than plumbing work, it is of little to no value to me. Appliance warranties from the manufacturer I am not sold on either. I have a rental that had a range that is under warranty. While they did repair it, it took them over a month to do so. I ended up having to purchase a new range for them while I have the old induction unit sitting in my garage now an extra. Not a pleasant experience for myself or the tenant. In my rental the only other appliance is the fridge which is an older model top freezer and bottom fridge. This unit is about 17 years old and works flawlessly. I am really going to hate it when these units die.

    We just bought another house last year and I ripped out the old A/C unit within 2 months and replaced the entire system because it was a POS (I knew that going in though). I did get the warranty company to replace the evaporator coil though, so I did not have to pay for that. I just bought the new condenser and furnace after they did the coil replacement. Not to mention buying at wholesale and self installing saves thousands! New dishwasher($700 dishwasher $58.00 with tax Lowes clearance), new induction cook top and new wall oven ($1300 oven for $400 at lowes clearance). Only thing I kept was my fridge lol. I expect the oven or the cook top to give me issues within the next year or so. fingers crossed though. If they break, I will just toss them and try another brand. I am tempted to go higher end, but I will be pissed if I spend upwards of 4k on an appliance and it breaks in short order. I really like the Thermador Freedom. I figure if they are going to break anyway may as well buy the cheap ones. I am all about finding a deal if I can, full retail sucks especially when they are cheaply manufactured and reliability is non existent .

  • jmm1837
    Not going to get into the medical insurance issue (being a Canuck/Aussie, I have a very different take than the average American) but I never buy extra warranties on anything. Not worth the cost. Yes, learn to do some basic repairs, and yes, understand whether the value of an appliance is worth the cost of bringing in a repair guy. I always remember calling the repairman about my washing machine: he asked me what had happened, I described it and he said, "well, you can buy a new machine, or you can pay me $95 to come to your house, look at it, and tell you to buy a new machine." Apparently, that particular brand had a life expectancy of 7 years and mine had just hit 8. The smoke was also a hint.
  • Helen

    I do agree with that appliances are something which one self insures and part of the cost of homeownership is having sufficient funds to be able to fund a $200 repair AND also replace a $1000 or $1500 appliance.

    However, I am in the US and versed in health economics - Jan Moyer's analysis of health expenses is not based in reality since most Americans now have large deductibles as well as significant co-payments. Even for many Americans insured with corporate health plans, the cost of co-payments and deductibles causes many of them to skip necessary treatment and medical costs are still the most significant cause of consumer bankruptcies.

    Americans borrowed an estimated $88 billion over the last year to pay for health care, according to a survey released on Tuesday by Gallup and the nonprofit West Health.

    The survey also found that one in four Americans have skipped treatment because of the cost, and that nearly half fear bankruptcy in the event of a health emergency.


    Soaring Deductibles

    High Deductible Health Policies Linked to Delayed DIagnosis

  • Mrs Pete

    I'm on the "self insure" bandwagon. What you really need is an Emergency Fund so that when an appliance fails (or something similar happens), you're ready. Things will break, and insuring yourself against the loss of a used basic-name fridge will cost more in the long run than simply being ready to pay for its replacement. Remember, insurance is a money-making business ... most people will "lose" the insurance game most years.

    Continuing that thought, a used refrigerator may or may not be worth repairing. Repairs tend to cost so much that it's more sensible to put the money into a new appliance -- though I admit feeling guilty about saying, "Chuck it into the landfill." Before you decide to replace it, do check YouTube to see if you can find a simple here's-how-to-fix-it video. Judging from your description, I doubt you'll be successful, but you'll feel better knowing you tried.

    If you're looking for inexpensive ways to replace the refrigerator, consider these ideas:

    - You can just about always find 10% off coupons for Lowe's ... try eBay, if nothing else.

    - Try a scratch and dent store, though my experiences with such places have varied widely.

    - Stick to basic name-brands. They serve practically everyone in America perfectly well. Don't be tempted by bells-and-whistles. You need a refrigerator to store cold food. You don't need a computer to photograph your refrigerator contents or share recipes through the door.

    - If you go to a small appliance store, they expect you to haggle.

    - If you buy several appliances together, you can certainly expect to get free deliver, installation, and haul-away of your old items ... but for just one 'fridge you may not get that.

  • Jennifer Hogan

    When you buy a home you need to budget for maintenance. It was included in your rent, but now you are both occupant and owner. Home warrantees purchased by a seller is just to give the new owner peace of mind that they won't get hit with huge expenses the day after they close.

    Long term, they are not a good buy. You will spend more on the warrantee and services through the warrantee than you would if you paid for the replacement and service on your own. They also replace broken items with the least expensive model available. You don't get to pick what you want or what will be energy efficient and not cost you extra each month on the electric bill.

    The plus of a warrantee is that you don't feel the expense so intensely when you pay a small amount toward the warantee each month. The solution is to pay yourself that small amount each month (10 cents per square foot per month) and when something breaks you have that slush fund to spend.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    Get a repair man find out what is causing the issue and carry on it could have been already done in this time frame. It could something simple that the bnext time it happens you know what to do.

  • espc10

    We have a "service guard" appliance repair plan available through our gas utility. We pay about $25 per month extra with our gas bill which covers repairs for our appliances. These service people are local and are very, very good. They identify the problem, order the part, and then do the repair. We have never, ever had to pay extra for anything. They also offer a yearly check on our furnace and central air in the plan. I'd suggest checking your utility provider to see if they have an appliance repair plan. Good luck in your new home!

  • dadoes

    espc10, what do you figure is the total you've paid thus far @ $25/month?

  • toxcrusadr

    That actually sounds like a well-run insurance plan that doesn't rip you off. A yearly inspection of HVAC alone is worth several months worth of that premium. I've never heard of one run by a utility.

  • ifoco

    In regards to having $$ set aside for emergencies and repairs I was appalled that 40% of Americans cannot cover a $400 unexpected expense. This includes high income earners who have no saving and are living from paycheck to payckeck.


    If you don't have a budget, you won't know how much money flows thru your fingers. It's not how much you make but how much you save.


  • espc10

    @dadoes -- Paid in one year -- $300. Work done: 2 year old oven door handle fell off while I was opening the oven and because the tempered glass was damaged, the serviceman ordered a new oven door and installed it.

    Had the entire gas pilot light structure in my Maytag washer replaced -- 31 years old and he said it should work another 31 years.

    Had my Subzero refrigerator cleaned because it was not cooling -- included removing the entire back inside the unit.

    Dishwasher was leaving particles in upper rack. Service took apart the innards and cleaned out the jets which were chock full of hard water deposits.

    No heat from furnace. Service found that the tube was blocked where the water ran out of the unit.

    We have also had the dryer drum changed. I cannot even imagine what these services calls would cost me if I didn't use them...and these people are very friendly and know what they are doing. It's not an insurance plan, but a service plan -- and not a warranty plan which usually accompanies new purchases. It is not offered everywhere. Here it's called "Service Guard" and is a subsidiary of Black Hills Energy (gas).

  • Lyndee Lee
    Insure what you can not afford to lose like your health and your home and carry liability insurance appropriate to your assets. Past that, I self insure with high deductibles on property and health care.

    I only know a few people who have gotten repairs or replacements covered by a home warranty. The biggest problem is those companies use the hassle factor and delayed responses to discourage claims. Who wants to go for days waiting for service calls and new parts and then trying to get unfixable appliances replaced? I would rather deal with it myself and either fix it or replace it on my schedule with my choice of model.

    Other than a boiler repair, my partner and I do our own repairs. If it is easy, we do it ourselves or we take the old one to the scrapyard and buy a replacement, sometimes used from ReStore or Craigslist. With all the websites selling parts and online videos and forums, appliance repairs can be a high value DIY task. We also have a good appliance repair parts store a couple miles away with knowledgeable counter staff, a large stock and can order anything for next day delivery. Tools are cheaper and smaller for appliance repairs; sockets and screwdrivers are easier to store than saws and ladders.
  • ifoco

    I agree. The refrigerator/freezer repair authorized by the warranty company took 3 weeks in 115 temperatures. I was not in control. However, I didn't pay for the service. I would never have redone the entire components on this kitchen aid freezer/fridge on my own dime for what it cost. It didn't do a great job cooling before it crapped out and it doesn't do a good job now that everything is fixed.

    As Lynee Lee said cover your self for the big expenses and self insure for the rest which is how we normally conduct our lives. We got this warranty service for "free" (not really we paid thru the nose but you get my drift) and we deal with whatever happens on our own.


  • Helen

    The OP evidenced a lack of understanding of homeowners insurance and what exactly is insured.

    As a PSA, I wanted to add that it really is important to at least have some understanding of basic principles of insurance. I thought I had a handle on mine but a recent flood from my upstairs neighbor made me realized I didn't understand the nuances. Luckily mine was a relatively small incident and since my condo was still in the process of being remodeled, I was fully covered but some things to make sure you have

    Replacement Cost versus Depreciated Cost - this could be really significant in terms of how much you will be given to replace/repair

    Cost to Bring Up To Code - When my wall was removed, the original framing was not up to current Code and so had to be brought up to Code.

    I would suggest everyone confirm exactly what will be covered in the event one has the bad luck to actually need to use one's insurance.

  • tqtqtbw

    Also check what coverage you have for alternative housing while everything is being repaired. We were in a suite hotel for almost 3 months after a non-structural kitchen fire. (The rental houses they offered us were too far from where we needed to be.) It would have been impossible if we didn’t have good coverage.

  • wmsimons85

    Forgive me because I haven’t read through all the comments. But I can highly recommend Old Republic home warranty for repairs. The seller purchased these when we bought the properties and they have already paid for themselves.

    We just renewed a property with them. The seller purchased the very top plan which was quite expensive but we renewed with the standard plan at $470.

    If we hadn’t experienced what we did I would have never purchased one of these things in a million years. But it has been brilliant for us. We renewed because think the air conditioning units being 13 years old may be next! Haha.

    In the first year for one property 2006 They were called out twice for two different electrical problems. Once to repair the built in Microwave. Installed a new water heater. Replaced an electric unit in an oven!

  • wmsimons85

    Just to say if we had paid for it the water heater alone would have cost much more than the initial plan. It was the top one that covered bringing up to code which was needed. We just renewed without up to code coverage.

  • weedmeister

    My friend has coverage at $600/mo for two homes, one a rental 5 hours away. $50 deductible. I know they've done the GD at least twice, WH twice, oven once, replaced the refrigerator, replaced the AC condenser. They added coverage for the well and septic pumps. There isno way they could fix anything themselves.

    Personally, I would not do it except for the rental.

  • wmsimons85

    Well that is what we have it on, not our own property. Having said that when we bought our home three years ago the seller did provide one with American Home Shield and we also had to have our water heater replaced and also an expensive part in our air conditioner. We didn’t renew when it was up though. But think it is great for rentals as you say weedmeister. Just had a large job done last month where they weren’t receiving hot water. The plumber had to do a major repair. This caused a leak in the shower handle and they replaced that.

  • Lyndee Lee
    I wonder how home warranty companies deal with permit issues. In my locale, I am required to have a licensed plumber get a plumbing permit to replace the water heater in a rental unit.

    I can't imagine paying $600 per month for an insurance policy that only covers limited items since that is about 5 times my price for landlord's coverage, including upgraded liability. The most expensive repair I have ever paid was $900 on a steam boiler but total repairs on that equipment was about $1600 in 26 years of ownership. Most of my repairs cost under $50 for parts; over $100 in parts, I would replace in most cases.
  • wmsimons85

    I have no idea of whether they cover permits or not in your area Lyndsey but did want to clarify that the figure I gave was an annual one not a monthly one. I would never pay $470 a month!

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