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Is a Protection Plan Really Worth It?

by Nick, Digital Specialist | May 2, 2020

Furniture stores try to "sell" their clients on protection plans all the time. Know before you go: what do they really cover? Are they really worth the extra money?

“So, would you like to add the five-year protection plan to your order?”

As a customer, you’ve probably been asked this question (or something like it) dozens of times. Any kind of major purchase- furniture, cars, appliances, electronics- usually comes with the option to add a “protection plan” or a “service plan” or something like that, which is supposed to protect your investment and give you peace of mind. But you’re already spending a lot of money on this major purchase- and now they want to charge you more to add this plan? Is this plan even worth it?

In certain cases, a furniture protection plan can be a wise investment. If you’re prone to spills and stains, if you have kids or pets, or you’d rather just have the peace of mind that you’re protected, a protection plan can be worth the investment. They also make sense if you’re purchasing something that might be more likely to be damaged- a light-colored sofa, for example. However, before you decide to add this onto your order, there are some questions you should probably ask before you make up your mind.

1. What does it cover? Quite simply, you should find out what exactly this plan does for you. Sometimes, the plan will cover against accidental damage, where some may just be for breakage and others would be for routine maintenance (this is common with cars). Furniture protection plans generally cover anything accidental- rips, tears, stains, spills, burns, and the like. You might want to try to find out how the issues are generally handled, too- for example, if you spill red wine on your couch, what happens? Do they repair or clean a broken piece? Will they replace it?

2. What doesn’t it cover? Another important question to ask is what is not covered under the plan- with furniture protection plans, for example, anything that can be considered normal wear-and-tear isn’t usually covered. Specific types of damage might be covered for less time, or they’ll limit the number of instances that are covered. Specifically, you might want to ask about pet damage.

3. How hard is it to file a claim? Nobody wants to have their claim caught up in red tape. The store you’re shopping at should be able to clearly explain what the process involves and how long it should take to get an issue resolved. Find out how long you have to file a claim once an issue arises. Do you contact the store directly to file a claim, or is it through a third-party company?

4. How long does the plan last? This seems like an obvious thing to ask, but make sure you know how long the protection plan lasts. Also, does anything happen at the end of the plan? Some stores will actually offer you a store credit for the amount of the protection plan if you haven’t used it, but make sure you ask about this first.

5. Where am I covered? A lot of people don’t think about this, but this is something you’ll want to ask if you’re planning to relocate before the plan expires. Some service companies may not be large enough to cover the entire country. Similarly, if you’re planning to sell your furniture, you might want to ask if the plan is transferrable to the new owner.

Pro Tip: If you do purchase the protection plan, keep the documents all in one place- including a copy of your original sales receipt. If you don’t have a place where you normally keep paperwork like this, put the papers in a folder or an envelope and keep them with the furniture that it’s for. Stash it under a couch cushion, under the mattress, or in a drawer of the piece you just purchased.

If you’re the kind of person who is gentle and cautious, or if you don’t have kids or pets that might ruin your new furniture, then the protection plan may not be worth the money. But if you’d rather have the peace of mind that your furniture is protected, it’s likely a relatively small investment to know that you’re covered.