Home is where the heart is. It’s also where your appliances are, which is why a home warranty can be a lifesaver. Home warranties are an important aspect of the home-buying and selling process, but they can also be confusing. If you’re thinking of getting a home warranty, you should know a few things before making a decision.
What is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty is a service contract that covers repairing or replacing home appliances and systems. Home warranties are not mandatory, but they can be valuable protection for homeowners.
You can think of a home warranty as insurance for your home appliances. Just like you have insurance for your car or your health, a home warranty can protect you from the cost of unexpected repairs to your home appliances.
Now that you know what exactly a home warranty is, let’s explore the six things you need to know about it.
- What’s Covered By a Home Warranty?
Most home warranties will cover the repair or replacement of major home appliances, such as your oven, fridge, washer, and dryer. Some home warranties will also cover systems, like your air conditioning or heating system.
Each home warranty company has different coverage options, so it’s important to research before purchasing a home warranty.
Some home warranties will also cover items not traditionally considered appliances or systems, like your garage door opener, smoke detectors, swimming pool, hot tub, or alarm system. It’s important to read the fine print of your home warranty contract to see what is and isn’t covered.
What’s Not Covered By a Home Warranty?
While home warranties can be beneficial, it’s important to know what they don’t cover. Home warranties will not cover cosmetic damages, like scratches on your hardwood floors or a cracked countertop.
They also will not cover damages resulting from poor maintenance, like a clogged drain or a leaky faucet.
Additionally, home warranties will not cover structural damages, like a cracked foundation or termite damage. Home warranties generally don’t cover cosmetic damage, normal wear, and tear, or pre-existing conditions. Additionally, most policies won’t cover items that can be easily repaired or replaced, like light bulbs or filters.
If you’re unsure whether or not something will be covered by your home warranty, be sure to ask your home warranty provider.
- How Does a Home Warranty Work?
If something covered by your home warranty breaks, you’ll need to contact your home warranty company and request service. A home warranty representative will then come to your home to diagnose the problem. If they determine that the issue is covered by your home warranty, they will arrange for a repair or replacement to be done.
- How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?
The cost of a home warranty depends on the coverage you choose and the length of the contract. According to the information given at one of America’s best home warranty companies, most home warranty companies offer plans ranging from $250 to $500 per year. Some home warranty companies also charge a service fee every time you make a claim, ranging from $50 to $100.
Some other factors that affect the cost of your home warranty include:
- The age of your home
- The type of home (e.g., condo, single-family home, etc.)
- The location of your home
- The deductible you choose
It’s important to compare the costs of different home warranty companies before you make a purchase. Some home warranty companies offer discounts if you bundle your home warranty with other services, like homeowners insurance.
- When Should You Get a Home Warranty?
The best time to get a home warranty is when buying or selling a home. Many sellers include a home warranty in their sales contract to give buyers peace of mind.
If you’re a buyer, you can also ask the seller to include a home warranty in the sales contract. If the seller isn’t willing to include a home warranty, you can purchase one on your own. If you’re concerned about the cost of repairs for your home appliances or systems, a home warranty may be a good option. You can also purchase a home warranty anytime, even if you’re not buying or selling a home.
- How Do You Choose a Home Warranty Company?
When choosing a home warranty company, it’s important to do your research. Here are some factors to consider:
- The size of the company
- The company’s financial stability
- The company’s customer service record
- The company’s claims process
- The company’s coverage options
A home warranty can be valuable, but choosing the right company is important.
- What’s the Difference Between a Home Warranty and Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance covers damages to your home caused by events like fire, theft, or severe weather. Homeowners insurance does not cover damages to your home appliances or systems. On the other hand, a home warranty covers repairing or replacing your home appliances and systems. Home warranties typically cover items like your furnace, air conditioner, plumbing, and electrical system.
While most lenders require homeowners insurance, a home warranty is not mandatory. So, if you’re wondering whether you need a home warranty or homeowners insurance, the answer is that you need both.
Purchasing a home warranty is a personal decision. There’s no right or wrong answer as to whether or not you need one. A home warranty can give you peace of mind and help you make provisions for unexpected repairs.
If you’re considering a home warranty, be sure to do your research. Compare the costs and coverage of different home warranty companies. Read reviews of home warranty companies before you make a purchase and enjoy your new home worry-free.