Getting hearing aids can be a significant investment, often costing anywhere from $1500 to $4000 for a pair. Like other costly devices, you’ll want to protect your investment with insurance in case your hearing aids get lost, damaged or stop working. This article explores the insurance options for covering hearing aid loss or damage, so you can find the right plan.
Why Insuring Hearing Aids Matters
Modern hearing aids represent advanced technology packed into tiny, fragile components. Their small size makes them easy to misplace and vulnerable to things like moisture damage, accidental drops, and component malfunctions.
Without insurance coverage, replacement costs come entirely out of your own pocket. Just a single repair or replacement could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Hearing aid insurance provides valuable protection by covering all or part of the cost to:
- Replace lost, stolen or completely damaged hearing aids
- Repair partially damaged or malfunctioning hearing aids
- Replace batteries and ear molds
- Clean and check devices to keep working properly
For many hearing aid wearers, the peace of mind insurance provides makes it well worth the premium costs.
Hearing Aid Warranties
Before looking at additional insurance, it’s important to understand what’s covered by the original hearing aid warranty.
- Covers defects and malfunctions
- Typically 1-3 years duration
- Includes one-time loss/damage replacement
Covers defects and malfunctions
Usually matches manufacturer warranty
May offer loss/damage coverage for fees
Provides maintenance and repairs
The retailer warranty can supplement the manufacturer coverage, but read policies carefully for any overlaps or exclusions. Also verify whether you need to bring hearing aids back to original provider for service.
Types of Hearing Aid Insurance
Once the original warranty expires, you’ll want to secure ongoing insurance to avoid high out-of-pocket costs for future hearing aid repairs or replacement. There are several options available:
Hearing Aid Insurance
- Offered by independent insurers like ESCO and Hearing Care Solutions
- Covers loss, damage, repairs, standard maintenance
- Premiums average $200-$400 per year
- Basically extended manufacturer or retailer warranties
- May be included with purchase for specific time period
- Act like service contracts after initial warranty
- Hearing aids can be added to policies as electronics
- Subject to deductible listed on policy
- Typically $50-$250 deductible
Personal Item Insurance
- Specialized plans from insurers like Allstate
- For jewelry, phones, hearing aids, etc.
- Premiums based on coverage amount
- $0 deductible with comprehensive plans
Let’s take a closer look at the key distinctions between these hearing aid insurance options.
Hearing Aid Insurance Plans
Specialized hearing aid insurance provides the most comprehensive coverage options for hearing devices. Here are some top insurers and details of their offerings:
- Covers loss, theft, damage & defects
- Unlimited repairs & maintenance
- Replacement cost coverage after deductible
- $50 deductible for repairs, $75 for replacement
- Average annual premiums: $170-$375
Hearing Care Solutions
- Loss, damage, repairs, maintenance
- Unlimited service for digital circuitry failure
- Pay only if need repair – no upfront premium
- $75 deductible per claim
- Cost is 20% of hearing aid price
- Loss, damage, repairs, routine maintenance
- Unlimited manufacturer defects & repairs
- $100 deductible per aid
- Premiums average $220-$350 annually
- For Starkey brand hearing aids only
- Loss & damage coverage
- Repairs & maintenance
- Devices replaced with comparable Starkey aids
The best independent hearing aid insurance plans offer extensive loss and damage protections along with service and repairs – all for an affordable annual premium.
Extended Warranty Coverage
Rather than change insurers after your initial warranty, some people opt to simply extend their coverage through the original retailer.
- Typically continues same terms as original warranty
- Usually an additional 1 or 2 years of coverage
- Costs average $200-$300 per year of extended coverage
- May require paying deductibles for claims
Extended warranties are simplest to continue with your current provider. Just be sure to check policy details as they aren’t as comprehensive as true insurance. Make sure loss and damage claims are included and not just manufacturer defects.
Homeowners & Renters Insurance
Many homeowners and renters insurance policies allow you to schedule hearing aids as covered personal possessions. This can provide basic loss and damage coverage.
- Subject to deductible on your policy ($50-$250)
- Amount of coverage matches other scheduled valuables
- Easy to add but limited benefits
While convenient, homeowners/renters insurance has more out-of-pocket costs, like hefty deductibles. The coverage amount may also fall short of full replacement cost. Read your policy carefully to understand benefits and limitations.
Personal Property Insurance
In addition to home/renters coverage, insurers like Allstate offer personalized property insurance plans to fully cover specific possessions like hearing aids.
- Covers wide range of personal items
- Set coverage limits per item or category
- Plans with $0 deductible available
- Premiums based on total coverage amount
- Starts around $100/year for $1500 coverage
This type of insurance can be tailored specifically to your hearing aids and provides the best protection. The zero deductible and replacement cost coverage ensure you pay nothing out of pocket for loss or damage.
Tips for Buying Hearing Aid Insurance
If you determine stand-alone hearing aid insurance is right for you, here are some useful tips for purchasing a policy:
- Buy early while hearing aids are new – rates based on age of device
- Understand renewal terms – some hike premiums each renewal year
- Look for unlimited repairs and maintenance
- Seek replacement cost coverage without depreciation
- Compare deductibles and out-of-pocket costs
- Check claim processing time and convenience
- Read exclusions for preexisting conditions, cosmetic damage, etc.
- Inquire about discounts for AARP, AAA, etc.
Carefully evaluating different insurance options will ensure you get comprehensive coverage at the best rates. Don’t wait until after warranty expiration when hearing aids are older. Purchase insurance right away for optimum protection.
Is Hearing Aid Insurance Worth It?
Unfortunately, hearing aid insurance does add another regular premium cost on top of the pricey devices themselves. However, compared to thousands you’d pay out of pocket, the insurance premiums are relatively affordable for most budgets.
Here are some factors to help decide if hearing aid insurance makes sense for you personally:
Consider your lifestyle – If very active with higher chance of loss/damage, insurance is more beneficial. If you rarely have issues with electronics, savings from premiums may outweigh risks.
Compare to warranty – If warranty is expiring soon, insurance avoids gap in coverage so worth considering. If have several years left on warranty, insurance can likely wait.
Look at cost – Premiums from $150-$400 are generally reasonable for most. If any policy seems egregiously high, insurance may not be worth it.
Read policy details – Look for unlimited, replacement cost coverage without many exclusions or exceptions. More limited plans may not be worth premium costs.
Check alternatives – Homeowners/renters insurance can offer basic coverage, especially for secondary pair of hearing aids not used every day.
For most hearing aid owners, keeping the devices properly insured ends up being a wise investment in the long run. However, assess your personal situation against the factors above when deciding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about insuring hearing aids against loss and damage:
When should I purchase hearing aid insurance?
Ideally, purchase insurance when new hearing aids are bought or within the first year. Premiums are lower for newer devices. After the manufacturer warranty expires is the critical period to have coverage.
Can I buy insurance for used/refurbished hearing aids?
Yes, many insurers will cover used and refurbished devices purchased from a licensed provider. Premiums are adjusted based on the age of the hearing aids.
Is insurance worth buying for cheap hearing aids?
Even with lower-cost hearing aids, repairs or replacement can still run hundreds of dollars without insurance. Key is comparing premium to potential out of pocket expenses.
What if my existing plan stops covering hearing aids?
Supplement with an independent hearing aid insurance policy from a provider like ESCO or Hearing Care Solutions if your current insurer drops coverage. Don’t get caught without protection.
Should I insure both hearing aids or just one?
Always insure both devices as a set if relying on hearing aids in both ears. Cost to replace just one lost/damaged hearing aid can be the same as ins
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