Home warranties are often offered during the sale and purchase of a home. Buyers should weigh the cost and coverage against their needs. They should consider a company’s reputation and reviews, including those on Consumer Affairs.
They should also pay attention to deductibles and service call fees. Add-ons may be available for things like pool pumps, built-in microwaves and septic systems.
What is a Home Warranty?
Home warranties are a way to help alleviate the stress of paying for major repairs or replacements on your home’s appliances and systems. They generally cost an annual premium, which can be paid upfront or in installments, and a service fee for each time you request to have a home warranty company send a technician to your house to fix or replace something.
The National Home Service Contract Association states that home warranty contracts do not cover damage due to normal wear and tear or issues caused by improper maintenance, so homeowners should budget for these expenses separately from their warranty plans. Additionally, home warranties don’t typically cover damages covered by homeowner’s insurance or if a system is damaged by severe weather.
A home warranty is often bought in conjunction with a home purchase, as it can give reassurance to buyers who may be worried about the condition of the home’s appliances and systems. However, it is also an option for existing homeowners who want additional peace of mind or a way to offset the cost of major repairs.
What is Covered by a Home Warranty?
Home warranties typically cover the cost of repairs or replacements to appliances and systems that break down due to normal wear and tear. They also typically cover the costs of emergency services to address problems like plumbing leaks and heating or cooling issues. However, many home warranty plans have a deductible that homeowners must pay each time they make a claim and some exclude certain types of damage such as those caused by severe weather or from water, fire and theft. To note, every warranty company covers different things so be sure to check the warranty company you buy from.
For new homeowners and for those who have lived in a house for a long time, a home warranty can be an affordable and helpful addition to their finances. However, it’s important for consumers to carefully read the contract and become familiar with a company before purchasing a home warranty. They should also check a company’s reputation through consumer websites and reviews. A home warranty can help new or inexperienced homeowners save time and money by avoiding the hassle of finding and scheduling contractors on their own.
How Long Does a Home Warranty Last?
While purchasing a home appliance warranty can seem costly at first, you’ll save money in the long run when your systems or appliances break down. You’ll also have the peace of mind that a qualified technician will be available to fix your appliance or system in a timely manner.
While each home warranty contract will differ, most plans last one year and can be renewed annually. However, most come with a 30-day waiting period to avoid covering pre existing issues that were already covered by a manufacturer’s warranty or credit card protection. The specific coverage of each plan may vary, but most include repairs to refrigerators and dishwashers, plumbing systems, heating and cooling systems and electrical systems. Other damage, extraneous to everyday usage, is usually left to homeowner’s insurance or you, the homeowner. Most home warranty providers offer different payment options, including paying in a lump sum or month-to-month. This makes it easy to find a plan that fits your budget.
Do I Need a Home Warranty?
Home warranties provide peace of mind for homeowners and buyers. They prevent you from draining your emergency fund to pay for repairs or replacements of appliances that may break down. Having a home warranty plan in place means you can get the services of qualified technicians sent to your house right away to handle the problem.
It’s also important to note that a home warranty doesn’t cover pre existing conditions or damage caused by negligent maintenance or misuse. That’s why it’s crucial to review the details of each plan before signing on the dotted line.
Those interested in a home warranty should find out which companies have a track record of using reliable contractors and delivering quality customer service. They also should look for additional coverage options, such as roof leak coverage and well pump add-ons, which are not typically included in standard plans. And, finally, they should weigh the pros and cons of a home warranty against other options, such as an emergency savings account or budgeting for routine maintenance.