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Research: $68.1 Billion Spent By American Homeowners To Replace Or Repair Broken Household Appliances

Allstate Protection Plans Appliance Survey finds 95% of American homeowners have had a major appliance break down or stop working and have collectively spent 29,651 years on in-home repairs

New research conducted in November and December 2021 by Allstate Protection Plans reveals the extent and frequency of home appliance malfunctions, as well as the stress and cost they can cause homeowners. Nearly all homeowners (95%) report having a major appliance stop working at some point—and over 40% of those say they have had a problem in the past year.

(image credit: Allstate Protection Plans)

From refrigerators to ranges, dryers to dishwashers, major appliances are some of the biggest investments we make in our homes and the Major Appliance Blues Survey by Allstate Protection Plans reveals the time, money, and frustration repair and replacements has caused, in addition to the most common malfunctions, how people have handled repairs and replacements during COVID, and appliance shopping habits.

(image credit: Allstate Protection Plans)

Some major findings from the survey include:

  • Move Over Online Shopping: Nearly half of American homeowners (43%) bought an appliance in the past year. Despite COVID, 46% of respondents still preferred to research and purchase home appliances in-store only—with 20% choosing to shop and purchase online only.
  • COVID Complications: Sales of home appliances remained strong during COVID, however delivery times were extended. After purchase, 44% of refrigerators, 40% of dehumidifiers, 38% of ranges, 37% of dishwashers, 33% of dryers, 28% of air purifiers, and 26% of washing machines were delayed past four weeks. Of the 42% of homeowners who had an appliance malfunction during COVID, 74% were comfortable scheduling in-home repairs. Of the homeowners who were uncomfortable scheduling in-home repairs during COVID, 62% chose to replace their appliance instead of waiting to have it repaired post-COVID.
  • Watch Out for Your Washer: The most frequent appliance malfunctions were washing machines (29%), followed by refrigerators/ice makers/freezers (27%), dryers (16%), and dishwashers (14%). The leading issues were having an appliance stop working completely (34%), followed by electrical malfunctions (24%), and performance issues such as not heating or cooling properly (22%).
  • Running the Course: Over half (52%) of malfunctions occurred within five years of purchase, with 18% happening in the first year and 33% within two years of purchase. Of homeowners with an appliance malfunction, 76% reported that the malfunction was not covered by a warranty or protection plan despite 90% of people being offered protection plans at purchase.
  • If It’s Broke, Fix It: When appliances broke, American homeowners’ most common course of action was replacing the appliance (56%), up from 46% before the pandemic. Twenty-four percent tried to fix it themselves, with 23% opting to schedule an in-home repair. A further 16% say they just got rid of faulty appliances, and 4% said they filed a warranty or protection plan claim. Less than half (48%) of those who tried to fix a broken appliance themselves were successful with the repair.
  • That’ll Cost You: Just over half (55%) of homeowners spent money repairing or replacing broken appliances, costing an average of $713 each. Thirty-nine percent had to throw away food due to a damaged refrigerator or freezer. This led to 67.1 million American homeowners throwing away over $14.1 billion worth of spoiled food, an average of $209 per incident.
  • Call in Backup: When scheduling in-home repairs, 40% of homeowners have contacted their warranty or protection plan provider, 27% have contacted repair services they have previously used, 22% have reached out to appliance manufacturers, and 16% say they have contacted the original appliance retailer. Twenty-eight percent of those who have had an in-home repair say the repair took more than one visit to resolve.
  • Waiting Game: On average, homeowners are without functioning appliances for 10.9 days, and in-home repairs take 11.7 hours to research, schedule, and complete. When scheduling in-home repairs, 48% of homeowners were given a 4+ hour service window, and 78% waited more than three days from scheduling to receiving an appointment. Technicians were late to those appointments 24% of the time, with the average delay being 48 minutes. In total, homeowners have collectively spent 29,651 years on in-home repairs.
(image credit: Allstate Protection Plans)

“Our survey found homeowners spend an incredible amount of time and money dealing with appliance issues,” said Jason Siciliano, vice president and global creative director at Allstate Protection Plans. “As frustrating as malfunctions are, people say the time it takes to organize and manage repairs only compounds the problem. That’s why Allstate Protection Plans has streamlined the service process to deliver the fastest response times in the business, allow people to manage appointments by phone, app, and online, and complete in-home repairs in one visit whenever possible.”

Of the homeowners surveyed, 61% of those with damaged appliances admitted that they would have purchased a protection plan for their appliance if they could go back in time. For more information on ways to protect appliances, visit

Allstate Protection Plans Appliance Study Methodology & Data Sources
The Allstate Protection Plans Appliances Studies conducted in November and December 2021 among 1,061 and 1,003 American Homeowners via RepData, the U.S. Census Quarterly Residential Vacancies & Homeownership Report – Third Quarter 2021 (Published November 2021), and the U.S. Census QuickFacts’ Population & Household Estimates (2019 figures).

About Allstate Protection Plans
For over a decade, Allstate Protection Plans has transformed the extended warranty industry with service innovation and an obsessive focus on customer experience. Today, Allstate Protection Plans is trusted by over 150 million customers in addition to major retailers and mobile operators in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. Allstate Protection Plans are available for appliances, mobile devices, electronics, furniture, and more than 20 other product categories. Allstate Protection Plans is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allstate Inc.

See also: Unbreakable Trust: Allstate Protection Plans Launches new Express program for retailers