Every year, many American families need to replace one of the appliances or systems in their home. This can cause frustration and add unnecessary stress. Home warranties are a great way for homeowners to have greater peace of mind.
What Is a Home Warranty?
A common misconception is that a home warranty is the same thing as homeowners insurance. A home warranty is not homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance often covers damage from fire, lightning strikes, wind, hail, and vandalism. Typically, damage caused by floods and earthquakes isn’t covered by most homeowners insurance policies. If a homeowner loses their furnace in a fire, their homeowner’s insurance policy should cover the replacement. If the furnace gets old and wears out, a home warranty can cover it.
Home warranties are a repair contract between the homeowner and a home warranty company. These warranty companies contract repair work for major appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers, and swimming pools. They also cover furnaces, air conditioning systems, as well as plumbing and electrical work.
If a homeowner wishes to have a home warranty, they would purchase an appliance protection plan through a home warranty company. This plan offers coverage based on a preselected level of protection. Home warranties can range in scope and level of protection. Homeowners can choose a basic protection plan or a more comprehensive plan that covers most inside and outside appliances. When something covered under a home warranty breaks, a contracted service provider comes to inspect the damage. If the damage is minimal, repairs can happen on the first visit. Any major replacement or repairs must be approved by the home warranty company. The home warranty company provides parts for repairs, and if the damage is beyond repair, the warranty company may replace the device.
Home warranties cover many major appliances and systems within a home, as specified in the individual contract. Items covered must be located within the main foundation of the home, with a few exceptions (well, septic tank, etc.).
More information on plans and pricing can be found here.
Do I Need a Home Warranty?
For most new and first-time homeowners, manufacturer warranties will cover major appliances for about the first year of use. After that, the responsibility of maintenance falls to the homeowner. Homeowners that have older appliances, a home more than five years old, insufficient funds to cover the repair or replacement of a major appliance, lack of time to complete the repair, or first time home buyers buying an older home should consider purchasing a home warranty.
Home warranties not only cover the cost of broken or damaged appliances not covered by homeowner’s insurance, they also help reduce the cost of maintenance and repairs. Instead of waiting until a major appliance breaks, home warranties help provide regular maintenance to appliances and major home systems. Homeowner’s insurance can’t provide that kind of service.
How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?
The price of a home warranty is typically a few hundred dollars. If the warranty company offers payment plans, this amount can be paid month to month. If a payment plan is not an option, the cost is paid in full at the beginning the warranty contract. This cost will likely range between $300-$500. The cost also depends on the property type and the comprehensiveness of the plan. In most cases, a home’s age and size will not affect the price, unless the house is new or over 5,000 square feet.
Home warranty companies also charge a service fee, or deductible, per house call. These service fees typically cost between $50-$125. If multiple visits are required, the homeowner is responsible to pay a service fee for each visit.
Having a home warranty does not eliminate all repair costs for the homeowner. Not all problems are covered by a home warranty. Additionally, a home warranty does not help if the homeowner failed to purchase the warranty in time because warranty maintenance cannot be done retroactively on existing problems. Improper maintenance (on the part of the homeowner) can also lead a warranty company to refuse coverage.
If you are interested in a home warranty, click here to get a quote.
What Are The Benefits of a Home Warranty?
The biggest benefit of a home warranty is the peace of mind it provides. It allows homeowners to relax and not stress over costly home repairs. For homeowners who don’t have the funds for an emergency repair set aside or those who want to protect their savings account, home warranties can provide a buffer between the cost of the repair and the homeowner’s bank account.
Instead of spending time calling different contractors for quotes, homeowners make a single phone call to the warranty company. There is no need to wait for normal business hours since warranty claims can be made over the phone or online anytime. The warranty company will provide trusted and qualified repair technicians, which is another big help to the homeowner.
Home warranties will also allow homeowners to save money. Appliance repairs and replacements can easily cost several thousand dollars. With a home warranty, homeowners pay the cost of the warranty, plus a service fee for each visit. If repairs or a replacement is needed, the home warranty company will provide those at a discounted rate to the homeowner.
Homeowners are able to purchase protection plans that fit their individual needs. Standard plans cover things like air conditioning, plumbing, heating and electrical systems, and appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, and dryers. More comprehensive plans are available and can be extended to things like gas and water leaks, ductwork, and sump pumps. Additional coverage add-ons for sprinkler systems, pool equipment, and well pumps can also be purchased. Home warranties are also renewable from year to year, and homeowners can choose to purchase additional coverage whenever they want.
For those looking to sell their homes, having a home warranty increases the value of a home because the warranty can be transferred when a home is sold. Many home buyers, will feel more confident about buying a home with a home warranty because it eliminates the worry of surprise repairs.
For many, buying a home warranty is a smart decision. However, before purchasing a home warranty, homeowners should read the terms of service and the contract carefully. Any questions should be directed to their home warranty service company. Home warranties can provide peace of mind and security for anyone worried about having costly repairs for their home, those with older homes, and for anyone who wants to save money and increase the value of their home.