Hearing aids are small, fragile and expensive. It’s a tough combo: if things go wrong, it can be a costly proposition.
Fortunately, when you buy your hearing aids, they come with a warranty. Here’s what you need to know and why you might want to opt for an extended warranty, plus additional loss and damage insurance.
Hearing aids have a default warranty
As soon as you purchase your hearing aid, the device is covered.
The manufacturer offers at least one year of full coverage against loss, damage and repairs. For hearing aids with more complex technology, the warranty is longer, often up to three years, says audiologist Michelle Matyko.
Although the coverage comes from the hearing aid manufacturer, your clinician fulfills the contract, says Matyko. If you’re having trouble with the hearing aids while you’re under warranty, contact your audiologist or hearing aid provider first, she says.
Wax and moisture in the ear canals are the most common reasons hearing aids need repair, Matyko says. “For behind-the-ear hearing aids, the audiologist or hearing care professional can usually replace items like a tube or wire in the office, using supplies they have on hand,” she says.
With in-the-ear hearing aids or custom hearing aids, where the wax causes the hearing aid to warp or work intermittently, the process takes longer, she says. “In this case, the hearing aid would have to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair, which usually takes about a week,” says Matyko.
Whether repairs take place in the office or require the devices to be shipped, the costs are covered. “Warranty generally includes office visits at no cost during the warranty period,” says Matyko, though she notes that this can vary between hearing aid providers.
Loss and damage policies are covered during the initial warranty
It’s quite common to lose a hearing aid (or two).
Usually it’s just a matter of misplacing them, says Mike Eckert, senior vice president of business development at ESCO, which offers extended warranties and loss and damage coverage for hearing aids. Since the pandemic, the other common reason for loss of hearing aids has been the face mask, because ear loops can easily snag on the devices, pulling them out of a person’s ear, Eckert says. This now accounts for 17% of hearing aid losses, he says.
If you lose your hearing aid or it is damaged beyond repair, you can take advantage of one-time replacement coverage. (It’s per ear – if you lose your right hearing aid twice, only the first replacement will be covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty.)
What fees are involved?
While replacement is covered, you’ll likely have to pay a deductible or service fee, says Matyko, noting that the cost varies depending on your hearing aid provider and manufacturer. It could be a flat rate of around $400, she says, or a 10% charge of the initial cost of the hearing aid.
This is low compared to the list price of a brand new hearing aid.
If you’re the type of person who buys new sunglasses every year to replace the ones that have gone missing, you might be relieved to know that you can buy additional loss and damage coverage while you’re still under the sun. guarantee of origin, according to Eckert.
Otherwise, if you lose a hearing aid the first time, the manufacturers will help you, but with a second loss, you’re on your own, says Eckert.
Extended Warranties for Hearing Aids
On average, most people wear their hearing aids for five years. But the original manufacturer’s warranties expire after one and three years.
Extensive coverage, offered by third parties like ESCO, as well as some hearing care professionals, fills this gap. Not everyone needs this coverage, says Eckert. Some factors to consider before opting for the purchase:
- When you are considering getting new hearing aids. Some people replace their hearing aids every three or four years, Eckert points out. If this is the case for you and you are going to buy new hearing aids at the end of the warranty, you can probably skip a warranty extension. But if your hearing aids are still working properly and you plan to keep them for several more years, an extended warranty becomes a logical purchase.
- Your financial situation and your insurance. Hearing aids are a big ticket item, and if you’re on a fixed income, the cost of replacing or repairing them can far exceed your budget. An extended warranty can bridge that gap.
- On the other hand, if you have medical insurance that occasionally provides new hearing aids, it might be better to take advantage of that rather than pay for extended warranties, says Matyko.
- Your situation. This plays a big role, says Matyko. If you tend to lose items or have already made several repairs during your initial warranty, this could be a reason to purchase the extended warranty. The same is true if you are sometimes a little lax when it comes to cleaning your hearing aids.
You can extend your warranty through your hearing aid manufacturer, Matyko says. It can cost $250 or more per individual hearing aid, she says. Third-party insurance, like ESCO, is often cheaper, she notes.
If you have home or renter’s insurance, you can check with your insurance company to see if a personal property endorsement on your policy can cover your hearing aid.
Always ask for details
When purchasing your hearing aids, ask about warranty coverage and whether there are any costs associated with repairs and replacements, advises Matyko.
If you are interested in extended hearing aid coverage or purchasing additional protection against loss and damage, your hearing care professional can also help point you in the right direction, helping you determine what has makes sense given your lifestyle, budget and current hearing. AIDS.
Extended warranty and loss and damage replacement are priced based on the brand, model, and manufacturer of the hearing aid, Eckert says. He describes the claims process as “simple, easy, straightforward”.
The bottom line: This insurance provides peace of mind and protection for your investment in your hearing, says Eckert. With proper care and the right warranty coverage, you can enjoy many years of worry-free hearing aid wear.