Are Extended Warranties Worth It?

Cost Comparison: Shop Around for Extended Warranties

Service plan costs vary--and you need to be aware of coverage overlap. For example, warranties from Best Buy, Circuit City, and CompUSA/Good Guys overlap a manufacturer's warranty period, meaning you're paying for double coverage.

Company$2500, 42-inch plasma HDTV$400 digital camera$125 inkjet photo printer$40 DVD player
Best Buy$400/3 years$60/3 years$30/2 years$40/3 years
Circuit City$500/2 years$80/3 years$30/1 year$10/1 year
CompUSA$600/3 years$50/2 years$25/1 year$20/1 year
Dell$549/4 years1$59/2 years$37/2 years2n/a
Wal-Mart3$388/3 years$44/3 years$19/2 yearsn/a
CHART NOTES: Prices given are for comparable products; not all stores carry the same brands. Warranty periods listed are in addition to the manufacturer's coverage. n/a = not applicable.FOOTNOTES: 1 Total warranty length; it is a Dell product. 2 A two-year warranty on a Dell printer is $29. 3 Minimum product cost for warranty eligibility is $50 on the Web site and $300 in stores.

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