You should also be aware of all conditions, limitations, and exclusions that could void your coverage altogether. You would not want the equipment to inadvertently be unprotected by the warranty because of an act or omission to act that was otherwise avoidable. A physician client of mine successfully repaired a sticking key on the keyboard attached to a piece of equipment in his office. Even though he repaired the sticking key, when the machine had an unrelated problem that was otherwise covered by the extended warranty, the coverage was denied because the machine had previously been repaired by an unauthorized party. I have reviewed and negotiated numerous medical equipment warranties whereby coverage is voided in the event the equipment is not maintained or used as explicitly directed in the equipment’s manual.
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The benefits and protections you receive under an extended warranty depend entirely on the language in the document. If provisions of the warranty do not meet your needs and the needs of your practice, then those terms should be revised and negotiated. While it is important to read, examine, and understand all terms of an extended warranty yourself, I do not recommend purchasing an extended warranty without having an attorney review and negotiate (if needed) the warranty, and to explain any terms that are not fully understood. In order for an extended warranty to work to your best advantage, it is important to incorporate legal advice into the mélange of expertise necessary to decide whether to purchase the warranty or not.
Steven M. Harris, Esq., is a nationally recognized healthcare attorney and a member of the law firm McDonald Hopkins, LLC. He may be reached at email@example.com.