Dr. Buyer was recently considering the purchase of an expensive, state-of-the-art piece of equipment for his practice and asked me to review the extended warranty. The art of purchasing a piece of medical equipment—and its extended warranty—requires the perfect combination of medical, financial, business and legal expertise. Physicians are often so focused on the price of the equipment that they give little attention to the warranty and its terms.
Explore this issue:September 2012
In general, three types of warranties are available for medical equipment: manufacturer’s warranty, retail seller’s warranty and extended warranty. Manufacturer’s warranties and retail seller’s warranties are provided by the manufacturer and retail seller, respectively, at no additional cost to the purchaser. Typically, these warranties are non-negotiable and cover a product for a very limited period of time. An extended warranty—also known as a service contract, protection plan or maintenance agreement—is a contract the consumer purchases at an additional cost for the maintenance and repair of the equipment. It is intended to enhance the manufacturer’s and retail seller’s warranties by providing additional coverage and protection for a longer period of time.
This article describes key provisions that can make or break an extended warranty for medical equipment. First, the length of the warranty, and its start date, are of great importance. Second, the majority of the language found in warranties is about coverage—specifically, what is covered, along with any conditions, limitations and exclusions from coverage.| | | Next → | Single Page