What is a 'Warranty'

A warranty is a type of guarantee that a manufacturer or similar party makes regarding the condition of its product. It also refers to the terms and situations in which repairs or exchanges will be made in the event that the product does not function as originally described or intended.


Warranties usually have exceptions that limit the conditions in which a manufacturer will be obligated to rectify a problem. For example, many warranties for common household items only cover the product for up to one year from the date of purchase and usually only if the product in question contains problems resulting from defective parts or workmanship.

As a result of these limited manufacturer warranties, many vendors offer extended warranties. These extended warranties are essentially insurance policies for products that consumers pay for up front. Coverage will usually last for a handful of years above and beyond the manufacturer's warranty and is often more lenient in terms of limited terms and conditions.