Children, pets, and expensive furniture are not a good combination because they will always be their playful and adventurous selves. Their curious and explorative natures extend to furniture, and a manufacturer’s warranty may not cover such damages. So, what is a third-party furniture protection plan, and how does it help?
A third-party furniture protection plan is an agreement a customer buys, separate from the warranty that comes with a piece of furniture that provides extra protection. Third-party insurance companies offer it, and it may take care of issues a manufacturer’s warranty won’t cover.
This article considers how a third-party furniture protection plan works and what it covers. I also discuss whether buying a furniture protection plan is worth it.
How Does a Third Party Furniture Protection Plan Work?
An insurance company provides a third-party furniture protection plan. The furniture company you use may have an exclusive contract with the insurance company, or you may be free to choose another company.
These protection plans or extended warranty plans differ from the manufacturer’s or factory’s warranty. While the factory warranty covers all issues with the design, quality of materials, and workmanship of the product, a furniture protection plan protects your new furniture against accidental damages (stains, tears, etc.)
You or someone else in your home may cause accidental damage, and the range of services offered depends on the type of plan you choose. A protection plan can cover issues not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and product issues after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
The third-party company providing the protection plan has subcontracted furniture experts/specialists they work with. The company sends these experts to fix the issues with your furniture.
If the furniture cannot be repaired, the company may refund you the total cost of the furniture at the time of purchase or consider the depreciation.
The plan usually lasts from three to seven years, and some of them allow you to make as many claims up to the indemnity value of your plan—the original cost of your furniture or a specified amount. When a spill or damage occurs, you can contact the insurance company online or in-person and file a claim.
Claims may be accepted or denied immediately. Because of the legal wording in the fine print of these protection plans, many people are unaware of the exclusions, and they expect coverage for things not available.
If the third-party company accepts your claim, they will send an expert to fix your furniture. If there are doubts about your claim, the company will send someone to inspect the damage before making a final decision.
What Does a Third Party Protection Plan Cover?
A third-party protection plan covers accidental stains and damages to your furniture or someone else in your house causes. It provides cleaning services for accidental stains, repairs, and even replaces irreparably damaged furniture. Outlined below are examples of what a typical protection plan covers:
- Accidental stains
- Household stains
- Human and pet bodily fluids
- Ink stains
- Food and beverage stains
- Cosmetics, nail polish, and lipstick
- Structural defects
- Certain mechanisms
- Separation of welds and joints
- Burns, rips, tears, and punctures in most leathers and fabrics
- Scratches, heat marks, gouges, and burns in wood
- Loss of silvering to mirrors
- Seam separation, broken hinges, chips, and broken glass
A furniture protection plan does not cover theft, loss, or intentional damage. It also does not cover overall cleaning for your furniture because this is a part of regular maintenance for wear and tear. Other exclusions of a third-party furniture protection plan can be found in the contract’s fine print.
Here’s an example of a tricky exclusion:
The bold print of a protection plan says it covers pet scratches and spills, but the fine print may exclude pet damage caused by “claws and jaws” as well as “accumulated” and “unidentifiable” stains. Thus, it is crucial to look at the fine print before purchasing a furniture protection plan.
Is Buying a Furniture Protection Plan worth It?
The worth of a furniture protection plan depends on some factors, including the cost and the value placed on it. If you can easily repair or replace the furniture in case of damage, then a protection plan might not be for you.
If you are also particular about the cleaning and care of your furniture, it is unlikely that many accidental spills and damages will happen to it. A furniture protection plan may also not appeal to you. Ultimately, it boils down to your budget and lifestyle. Some reasons a furniture protection plan might be worth it are:
1. If you have children and pets
Cats scratch things as surely as the sun rises from the east, and your $1000 couch is not an exception. All pets that roam increase your risk of furniture damage, and it would be best if you had a plan that sets your mind at ease.
A sippy cup can accidentally fall on your velvet couch, and crayons in the hands of a child have no respect for white leather. Since you cannot tie up your child, you would do better with a furniture protection plan.
2. If your furniture is sentimental or expensive
You may have an antique that has been handed down for close to 5 generations, a work of art, or you bought a piece that you expect to be an antique in 10 years. Whatever the reason, furniture can be an investment, and just as you would protect a car or house, you can apply the same care to your furniture.
3. If you rent out or sublease your home
There will always be human error, and if you frequently rent out or sublet your apartment, all it takes is one careless tenant to ruin your couch. While the tenant checks out, the bad furniture remains with you. A furniture protection plan may be helpful to you.
Before buying a furniture protection plan, consider what it covers, what it excludes, how long the plan lasts, where you are covered, and how hard it is to file a claim. The best plan meets your needs without stress.