Beware cold callers selling dubious ‘home appliance insurance’

Which? have had a surge in reports of misleading calls convincing people to take out dodgy cover for household appliances. Unscrupulous companies are cold calling vulnerable people and tricking them into paying for warranty policies for their household appliances. Their inbox has been inundated with stories from people who’ve been misled into handing over bank details, with the elderly being heavily targeted. Nuisance phone calls, pressure selling and fraudulent tactics are being used to sell policies that might not even exist. Payments are often set up as direct debits and can total hundreds of pounds a month.

Yet the contracts seen by Which? contain generic wording, giving little detail about what’s actually being paid for and casting doubt on what you’d get if you tried to use your appliance cover. Here we investigate this growing con and the impact it’s having on vulnerable people.

How the selling unfolds.

While many cold calls are trying to sell a new policy, many claim your existing cover is expiring and you need to renew, regardless of whether you had cover in the first place. They often pretend to be legitimate insurers Domestic & General (D&G), with which thousands of people have cover.

Do you really need home appliance insurance?

Ultimately, Which? doesn’t think extended home appliance cover is worth having anyway. Your home or contents insurance will cover the most common problems you might have with your washing machine, dishwasher, oven or other appliances. You’ll also be covered by the standard manufacturer’s warranty that comes with most expensive appliances when you buy them, which can last for over 10 years in some cases. Some bank accounts also offer breakdown protection, so it’s worth checking what benefits you already have.

What you can do if you’ve been mis-sold a policy If you think you’ve been mis-sold a policy, or are having trouble cancelling one, contact your bank for advice. You should be able to claim your money back under the Direct Debit Guarantee, or under Section 75 if you paid over £100 using a credit card. If you’ve paid out using a debit card, you can ask your bank to refund you through its chargeback procedure.