Let me start by mentioning that all my appliances, with the exception of the stove I got as a birthday present a couple of years ago, are old. As in older than some of the people reading this blog. We have a "home shield" type insurance that covers stuff if it breaks. The protocol is to try repair before trying to replace, which makes sense. Most of the time.
Recently, we called the insurance company because we had three things which weren't working - the dryer wouldn't turn on, the fridge needed a new gasket, and the built-in over-the-stove microwave didn't work. The microwave hasn't actually worked in years, but we've been using a counter-top one instead because we didn't realize it was covered under the policy.
So, the repair guy shows up, replaces a fuse in the dryer (unfortuately, we forgot to tell him the drying options dial doesn't work except on "timed drying", so he didn't look at that) and orders a gasket for the fridge. Then he takes a look at the microwave, and bursts out laughing. Because our microwave is OLD. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember me talking about what our kitchen looked like when we bought this house, with the harvest gold stove and the burnt orange and avocado green wallpaper. That should give you an idea of just how OLD our microwave is.
But, the insurance company says he has to try to repair before asking to replace, so he goes to work. A couple of hours later, he's narrowed it down to two parts - the control panel and something else I can't begin to identify. He laughs again when he tells us that he will try to find replacement parts and call us in a week or so.
But the laugh is on us - he calls back and tells us that he found the parts. And that it wasn't easy. So, he comes back to the house, plugs in the new parts, and...the microwave still doesn't work. But is that the end of it? Does he file with the insurance to ask for replacement value? Of course not. He is required to ship the parts to some out of state lab for testing and repair. Which he does, leaving us for another three weeks with no vent (which still worked when the microwave wasn't in pieces) and a gaping hole full of wires that he recommends we don't get too close to.
In due time, the lab-fabbed parts come back, and so does the repairman. He plugs the new parts in, flips the switch - and the microwave works!!! For about two seconds, when something goes "boom" and a puff of smoke billows out. So, the repairman tells us that now he can petition the insurance company to send us money to replace it. I can only imagine how much they're going to give us for it. I'm sure there's some clause saying they will replace it at the purchased value.
But even if they give us enough to buy a new one, the math just doesn't add up. Three visits from the repairman, plus the time and money to find the part, plus the lab time to test it, and there's no way they're coming out ahead. Ya gotta love it.