Does a 5-Year Warranty Really Provide More Protection?
Buying a new spa cover? Wondering if a shiny, new 5-Year Warranty is better than the industry standard 3-Year version? We broke down a popular 5-Year Warranty to figure out what’s really covered. As it turns out, it doesn’t cover any more than a 3-Year Warranty. It does, however, exclude far more. When you’re in the market for warranty coverage, do you want to hear, “Of course that’s covered” or do you want to listen to 22 variations on the word, “No”?
Here’s what we discovered.
A 5-year warranty specifically includes:
1. Shipping charges for a new cover, or any needed parts, during your first year (12 months) of ownership.
2. Defects in material and workmanship for a period of 5 years (60 months) from the date of delivery. (Excludes covers with 1-pound density cores.)
3. Damage due to water absorption within the foam core. Note – water absorption is the #1 cause of cover failure.
What’s Not Covered
1. Natural fading and drying of vinyl and thread due to normal environmental and chemical exposure should be expected and is not considered a defect in materials or workmanship.
2. Damage caused by excessive wind, snow, ice, or other natural or environmental elements.
3. Chemical abuse including, but not limited to, improper chemical balance in the water, excessive chemical use, or direct contact between chemicals and cover material (including, but not limited to, the use of Armor All® Protectant).
4. Holes in the vinyl encasement or fractures in the foam cores as a direct result of dragging the cover along the ground or other rough surface, as well as leaning or storing the cover against any destructive surface or sharp object.
5. Foam breakage or tearing of the vinyl encasement.
6. Delaminating or splitting seams due to improper handling of the cover.
7. Handle tears due to excessive force. (Handles are for the sole purpose of opening and closing spa covers and are NOT intended to be used to carry or remove cover to and from the spa/hot tub.)
8. Damage caused by improper use or use of the cover for purposes other than that for which the cover was designed.
9. Spa covers are not intended to be walked on, stood on, sat on, or made to endure excessive stress or weight.
10. Wear and tear caused by other attached mechanisms including, but not limited to, cover lift mechanisms.
11. Improper installation of cover lift mechanisms.
12. Damage caused during transportation.
13. Repairs and/or alterations attempted by persons not authorized by the cover manufacturer.
14. Incidental or consequential damages such as abrasions and/or scuffs.
15. Damage caused by chemical excess and/or abuse.
16. Abuse of any kind.
17. Negligence resulting in damage.
18. Misuse of any kind.
19. Fire damage.
20. Damage resulting from vandalism.
21. Damage caused by animals.
22. Acts of God.
That’s an awful lot of “No.” And chances are, if you find yourself needing to file a claim in year 4 or 5, your problem will look a lot like one of the exclusions above. 5 years sounds better and appears to increase the value of your new cover, but the fine print is a killer. When you call with a claim, you want to hear that someone can help you, that they see things your way – not theirs.