First, it’s important to understand that both standard warranties and extended warranties are issued by the manufacturer, not the place where you buy the equipment. So, assuming the manufacturer is solid, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether it will be honored.
Second, you need to know what the standard warranty covers. It is common to have the frame covered for the longest period, maybe even “lifetime.” Of course, that means the lifetime of the purchaser, not the lifetime of the machine! Motors also tend to have long warranty periods. Parts and labor are the shortest periods. What this tells you is that you are most likely to have parts or labor needs. Extended warranties cover whatever the standard warranty covers and extend the time periods for all parts and labor equally. For example, a one year extended warranty typically expires one year from when the earliest part of the standard warranty expires.
You should also know that the sale of extended warranties is prohibited in both Vermont and Florida. This does not seem to be a reflection of warranties for exercise equipment. Apparently, there were problems in other industries that caused legislatures in these states to try to protect consumers.
Buying an extended warranty for a treadmill probably makes more sense than buying one for an elliptical machine because treadmills have more delicate parts. All skilled labor at your home can be expensive, so this is where the “parts and labor” warranties can really pay off.
So should you buy a home treadmill warranty?? It helps to think of an extended warranty as an insurance policy. You feel better having one, even while you hope you don’t need it. Indeed, the manufacturer is betting that you won’t need it! However, when you are buying a more expensive machine, you feel like you want to protect your investment. This may be reason enough to buy an extended warranty, but more expensive machines may be less likely to need service. Also, unlike with cars, repairs on less expensive machines don’t cost much more than repairs on more expensive machines. Since warranty costs don’t vary as much as the cost of treadmills, the best overall value can be achieved by buying an inexpensive treadmill with an extended warranty.
Contributed by Robert Braun