When faced with the question about whether to get an extended warranty, keep in mind that it's usually in the store's best interest to sell you one. So how do you figure out whether it's in your best interest to buy one?
Fridges, stoves, dishwashers, and washing machines typically last well past even the most extended of warranties without needing repair. Additionally, the manufacturer's warranty may be automatically extended by the credit card you paid with. And even if an appliance needs fixing, repairs may cost less than the extended warranty.
High-end, first generation TVs are an exception—some only carry a 90 day warranty, and their cutting-edge technology can make them sensitive. Active types and parents will find that "klutz" warranties that cover breakage on laptops, smart phones, and tablets (especially screens) can be a good value.
Both Consumer Reports and PC World write annual reliability reports on appliances and technology devices. A side-by-side fridge, for example, has almost double the repair rate of a top-and-bottom fridge over a 3 year period,. In the end, investigating how reliable your purchase is before you buy is the best warranty you can get.