Washing Machine – insure or not insure?

This post is not really ‘coaching’ related, but I thought it might be useful information to someone so I decided to share it here.

My washing machine broke on the Boxing day (26th Dec). The sequence of the event was as follows

  • 26th Dec – I used the ‘dry mode’ to dry the bed sheets. Midway through the cycle, it cut off the main power and blew the 13A fuse. I happened to have a spare fuse, so I replaced it and continued to use the following date.
  • 27th Dec – I used the ‘wash cycle, 40 degrees/1:15’; the washing machine stopped working the mid-way by cutting off the mains electricity. I switched to use the ‘drain mode,’ it stopped mid-way.
  • 29th Dec – I tried to use it again, this time, ‘wash cycle, 40 degrees/1:30’; the washing machine stopped working the mid-way by tripping the electricity. I switched to use the ‘rinse’ mode, and it stopped mid-way.

I had insurance on the washing machine, so I decided to log a claim for a repair. I called on Sunday 29th Dec. The operator picked up the phone immediately. I was told she does not have the authority to access the repair team’s diary. She told me someone would call me on Monday or alternatively, I can call them from 8 am onwards.

Calling the telephone operator...

On Monday 29th Dec, I called them around 8:20 am, and I was told the earliest appointment available was 13th January. My heart sunk because that was two weeks away. The operator told me they could put me on a waiting list, so if there was any cancellation for earlier dates, they could move my appointment. I thanked her and hung up the phone, but I was not 100% satisfied. The telephone message said it’s possible to book a repair online as well, so I went to their website and saw that the earliest available date was 8th Jan! I decided to call the repair team again to check this fact and see if they could move my appointment. This time, a different operator picked up the phone, and after checking the system, he told me there was no availability for 8th Jan, but there was 4th Jan slot. When I heard this, I was over the moon! I immediately jumped on this offer and thanked him.

I received an email confirmation a few hours later. The time slot was allocated the day before and notified via text. I received the slot 8 am – 11 am.

When the engineer came...

On 4th Jan, an engineer called Stefan arrived around 8:40 am. He was very polite, and although he looked young, he experienced. He pushed a few buttons on the machine and immediately said the problem is with the heating element. He had already brought a spare part, so it was just a matter of replacing the part. His overall stay was only 20 mins.
The cause of the failure was mainly due to limescale build-up. The fluff built up around it probably didn’t help either. I was advised to use a washing machine descaler every three months.

washing machine heating element

Overall my experience with the washing repair was positive. I think it helped a lot that I had kept a detailed note of what happened and communicated it to the operator over the phone. Without passing on the detail, I doubt Stefan would have brought the spare heating element for my washing machine.

Insure or not to insure?

Below is my breakdown of whether paying for insurance is value for money.  

If I didn’t have insurance:

  • Call out charge = £42 
  • Repair = £28
  • In-built appliance surcharge = £10

Total labor = £80 + VAT = £96

Parts = £25 + £7 (next day delivery) = £32–ntc-/231199.htm

Total = £128

Insurance was free for the first 2 years, then I had to pay £3/month before it went up to £6 / month then from Oct 2019, £7 / month.  Total insurance cost  so far = £3 * 12 + £6 * 12 +£7 * 3 (Oct-Dec charge) = £129.

It’s interesting to see that the money spent on insurance was very similar as cost for one-off. Overall, it seems having insurance is more economical because it also covers in the event of non-repair, i.e., should the engineer can not repair the appliance, a new one will be offered as a replacement. Of course, if the insurance charge keeps going up, then the economic benefit may not be the same.  

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