How Insurance Works

Hearing Aid Warranties and Loss & Damage Insurance Coverage

– In this video, I’m telling you everything you need to know about hearing aid repair warranties, and loss and damage insurance, coming up. (funky music) Hi guys, Cliff Olson, doctor of audiology, and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona. And on this channel, I cover a bunch of hearing related information to help make you a
better informed consumer. So if you’re into that, make sure you hit that subscribe button. And don’t forget to click the bell to receive a notification
every time I post a new video. When purchasing a new set of hearing aids, usually the last two things
that you even talk about are the repair warranty, and
the loss and damage insurance on your new devices. So I wanted to cover some
things that you should know about these different types of coverage, and give you some tips that may save you some
money down the road. First, let’s talk about repair warranties. Hearing aid repair warranties
are basically an agreement between you, the hearing aid owner, and the hearing aid manufacturer. And it will cover any kind
of defect with those devices, and even routine malfunctions
that happen with them, over the course of a warranty period. The standard length of a warranty usually depends on the
technology level that you pursue. So if you’re in a top tier technology, you’ll usually get around
a three year warranty. If you drop down to a second tier, you usually get two, and if you go third tier or below, you usually get only one year of warranty. Again, this warranty is
between you, with the devices, and your hearing aid manufacturer, not your hearing care provider. So if your hearing devices
come with a three year warranty from the manufacturer, your hearing care professional
has to honor that. Side note here, if you purchased
hearing devices online, like on eBay, or from an
online hearing aid store, usually it voids the warranty, meaning that hearing aid manufacturer, if they find out that
it was purchased online, and they usually have
ways that they can tell, then they void the warranty entirely, so never trust a warranty that you see on an online website. As far as how repair warranties work, if you were to take your
hearing aids on a jog, and you were to sweat on them profusely, to the point where they stopped working, you would take those hearing devices into your hearing care professional, and if they couldn’t fix the problem, they could send those devices back to the hearing aid manufacturer,
if they’re under warranty, and the hearing aid
manufacturer would either repair or replace those devices, and send them back to your
hearing care professional, for them to reprogram,
and get back to you. If a hearing aid component
fails, like a receiver wire, that is something that you can oftentimes go into your hearing care professional, they can switch out the wire, or whatever component malfunctioned, and get the devices right back to you. That wire, that product, is also covered under the manufacturers warranty. Basically the hearing care professional will call the manufacturer and say, “Hey, I just changed the receiver “on this serial numbered item, “can you send me a replacement.” So it’s a really easy fix in most cases, if you have a malfunction
with your hearing aids. It’s good to be aware that
sometimes a custom hearing aid, like a custom in the ear hearing aid, has two different types
of repair warranty. You have a shell repair warranty, which covers if you crack
the shell, or beak the shell, and it also has an electronic
component warranty, for anything internal
with that hearing device. Finally, you may also
have a remake warranty. This covers any type of
remake that you would need on your custom devices. So if you lose a ton of weight, or you gain a ton of weight, and your ear canal size changes, you can actually send those
devices into the manufacturer, with a new ear mold impression, or a new 3D ear scan, and
they will remake the shell of that hearing aid,
and get it back to you. If you’re in a warranty with that, that shouldn’t cost you anything. Now it is important to note that when I say that you’re in warranty, and it doesn’t cost you anything
when you’re in warranty, that doesn’t necessarily include your hearing care professional. Again, that is an arrangement between you and the hearing aid manufacturer. So the manufacturer will
repair it or replace it, for no charge. But the hearing care
professional that you go to, they have administrative costs that go along with these types of things. So if you’re not in some
kind of a service plan that covers this, do not be surprised if you were assessed some kind of a fee to facilitate shipping that
device into the manufacturer, getting that device back, programming it, and then dispensing it back to you. Now the loss and damage insurance will usually mirror the repair warranty, so if you get a three
year repair warranty, oftentimes you’ll also have a three year loss and damage insurance
policy, on your devices, and it is just like an insurance policy, so you’ll have a deductible. So there’s some amount of
money that you will have to pay to file a loss and damage claim, in order for the hearing aid manufacturer to send you a new device. The cost of the deductible will depend on the
hearing aid manufacturer, as well as your hearing care provider, because they have different
administrative costs that come into play when
filing a loss and damage claim, and ultimately when they get that device back from the manufacturer, they have to reprogram it,
and get it back to you. You also have to keep in mind that at least with all
of the manufacturers that I work with, and I
work with a lot of them, that if you lose a hearing aid, and file a loss and damage claim, you can’t do it again on
that same hearing aid. It is a one time thing. Now, if you happen to find
that hearing aid down the road, and you’re like, “Holy cow,
I found that hearing aid “that I lost, and I filed a
loss and damage claim on,” you basically have to
keep that hearing aid, and return the one that they sent to you. If you return the one
that they sent to you, it reinstates, in most cases, your loss and damage capability, so you can file it again in
the future if you need to. Now take that same scenario, where you find your
hearing aid that you lost, and you filed the loss
and damage claim on, you can’t go and say, “Oh hey, I’ve got this other hearing aid, “now I’ve got two hearing
aids, this is great.” That’s not really what is gonna happen. Now your hearing care professional, we basically sign these agreements with these hearing aid manufacturers, saying that if a patient
finds their hearing aid, we are supposed to take that
hearing aid away from them, or rather take the device that you got as a loss and damage device, and send it back to the manufacturer. So, ethically, we can’t
let you just walk around with both of those hearing devices. On top of that, if we were
to send that device in, if it ever needed a repair,
and the manufacturer got back this hearing device that
they were told was lost, they will confiscate that device and not give it back to you. Now most clinics will
give you a trial period with your hearing devices. So whether you paid for them already, or whether you’re not gonna pay for them, until after the trial period is over, if you lose your devices,
inside of that trial period, or if you damage them beyond the point where they can be repaired, then you basically bought those devices, because if you don’t have
anything to give back to them, you can’t get a refund. Basically what’ll happen here
is that you’ll have to file a loss and damage claim. You’ll spend an additional amount of money on the deductibles for those hearing aids. You’ll get new hearing
aids, but you’re basically, you purchased them. If you lose ’em, if you
have nothing to give back, you just got yourself a
new set of hearing aids, whether you like it or not. Now I’ve been talking a
lot about the loss portion of the loss and damage insurance, but the damage side of it
is basically just the same as the loss side. Hearing aid manufacturers treat a completely demolished hearing aid exactly the same way that they would treat a lost hearing aid. So what happens when your repair warranty and your loss and damage warranty expire? Well you have a couple of options here. You can either not renew them, or you could renew them. If you choose to renew them, it can cost you anywhere
from, I don’t know, roughly around $180 to
$300 per device, per year, to keep them back in
either repair warranty, or repair and loss and damage insurance. That being said, if you choose
not to renew the warranty, this might not be a bad idea if you’re someone who doesn’t lose your hearing aids very often. And your hearing aids don’t need to go in for repair very often. And the reason I say this is because if you know that your hearing aids aren’t going to need to be repaired, based on your track
record of those devices, then it may not make sense to actually spend that
extra money on the warranty. On top of that, if you
actually have a malfuction inside of a hearing aid, and you are not in warranty, you can still send it to the
hearing aid manufacturer, and they will fix it for you, but they will charge you for that. And the clinic will usually
charge you for that as well, because again, they have
administrative costs when it comes to this type of thing. If you spend, I don’t know, 400 up to $500 for an actual repair of
your hearing devices, they usually come with a
six or 12 month warranty tacked on top of it as well. Again, the cost of these can be different based on a hearing aid manufacturer, and based on the cost of
the clinic that you go to. Oftentimes, hearing aid manufacturers will even limit the amount
of extensions that you can do for your repair warranty, and your loss and damage insurance. Oftentimes this is around six years, so if you purchase premium technology, that top tier technology, and it comes with a three year warranty, you can extend that
warranty year over year, for three more years on top of that, so six total years. However, you also have another option, which is a third party insurance company, like ESCO, E-S-C-O, and they
will insure your devices, and give you a repair warranty, you just basically pay them
for that warranty extension. Now, the other thing to keep in mind here is that let’s say that
you did lose your devices, at some point in the past, and you can’t actually get that loss and damage insurance again through the manufacturer, ’cause it is a one time only thing, you can actually get a loss
and damage insurance extension, from a company like ESCO. It’s also a good idea to
contact your insurance agent, if you own a home, because oftentimes, you can add your hearing
devices on a rider for your homeowner’s policy. So if you lose your devices,
you can actually file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance, to get a new set of devices. Again, it may not be a bad idea, once your warranty expires,
to just not extend it, and same thing with the loss
and damage insurance as well. If you’re the type of person
who never loses your devices, ’cause their either always in your ears, or in your charger, or on your nightstand, then you might not need
loss and damage insurance. In terms of repair warranty, if you’re taking your devices into your hearing care professional, to have them do preventative
maintenance on them, you know, two to four times a year, and you’re doing all the
proper maintenance at home, and you’re getting your
devices dehydrated at home, and professionally dehydrated at your hearing care
professional’s office, then there is a solid chance that you’re not really
going to see the benefit of paying for an extended warranty. You can basically just warranty yourself. If something happens,
it will probably happen at some point in the future, no matter how good you
take care of your devices. But you can limit how often that happens, by being very preventative
with your hearing aids. At the end of the day,
your repair warranty and your loss and damage insurance should be reviewed with you by your hearing care professional, or at least someone on their staff. You should get the dates in writing, the expiration dates in writing. You should also know exactly
what your deductible would be if you lost a device, or you
damaged it beyond repair. And you should know exactly
how much it should cost for extending that warranty each year, after the warranty expires. And you should know
what that cap limit is, in terms of how many times
you can extend that warranty. All right, hopefully this video has helped you understand
hearing aid repair warranties, and loss and damage insurance
a little bit better, so just in case you need
to use your coverage in the future, you have
an idea of what to expect. That’s it for this video,
if you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below. If you like the video, please share it. If you wanna see other
videos just like this one, go ahead and hit that subscribe button. Also feel free to check out
my website, ♪ Are you ready ♪ (funky music)

Reader Comments

  1. Reposted with a few edits. Hopefully this video on Hearing Aid Warranties and Loss & Damage Insurance is easy to understand!

  2. Good video Dr. Cliff! Question: Are electronic hearing aid dryers recommended for rechargable hearing aids with lithium-ion batteries? Since there are no doors to open on LI rechargeable hearing aids, would the heat generated by the dryer harm the hearing aids or void the hearing aid warranty? Thanks.

  3. Doc Cliff, can I ask what mic are you using in recording your videos? It is very clear lol. Thanks for all your videos

  4. Dr Cliff, I bought a virto b titanium in January 2020, and some time later the virto m were released, and I recently found out. I was not given that information at the purchase. Do you think it is possible that phonak replace the v for the m?

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