What is Home Warranty?
A home warranty is a contract that agrees to provide you with discounted repair and replacement services. Let’s assume that you have a host of appliances that you rely on to get about your daily chores. If one of them breaks down unexpectedly, it will cost you a lot to repair/ replace the appliance. Need we mention the inconvenience that such incidents bring forth? In a scenario like this, a home service contract comes to your rescue. Home warranty contracts cover expenses incurred due to repair/ replacement services, for a fixed duration of time.
This means that when you purchase a home warranty, your warranty provider pays for the actual repair service or provides you with the money needed for replacing the damaged device in case it is irreparable.
Such contracts can easily be purchased from warranty providers. Home warranty is also known by many other names such as appliance warranty, home warranty insurance, home service contracts etc.
Home service contracts typically cover appliances and systems inside a house. They are, in general, considered as your best defence against expenses incurred due to unexpected appliance and system breakdowns.
Home warranties cannot be used to replace homeowner's insurance or builder’s insurance or even extended warranties. These contracts are usually purchased for appliances that are old and sustaining some wear and tear. Homeowner’s insurance is used to protect your home and its contents from crimes, hazards and certain other perils.
Likewise, extended warranties cover individual appliances and not a set of appliances like how a home service contract does. Finally, builder’s warranty covers structural components and not a home’s contents.
Who Needs a Home Warranty?
Anyone who wishes to save themselves from huge repair and replacement bills will find a home warranty handy. Now the question is, how do we foresee an appliance or system breakdown?
If your appliances and systems are over 4 years old, chances are high that they have suffered significant wear and tear due to continued use. Such appliances and systems have a higher probability of breaking down and disrupting your budget. If your home and it’s contents are new, you may not need a home service contract.
Real estate agents also find home warranties quite useful as properties sell faster when sold along with a home warranty. Appliance contracts are also ideal for first time home buyers who will not know much about home maintenance.
Ideally, get your home inspected by a professional home inspector. They can offer helpful suggestions regarding whether or not you need to purchase any kind of warranty.
How does it Work?
These warranty plans cover the repair and replacement costs of certain kinds of damages. Damages resulting from regular wear & tear and age are usually included, while damages due to crimes, hazards and other perils are omitted. Issues due to lack of maintenance are covered by some warranty companies while some companies exclude such damages.
Once you purchase a warranty and the coverage comes into force, you can call up the warranty provider to report a damage anytime during the duration of the contract. Assume that you have a refrigerator and it is covered by your warranty. When it crashes, you simply need to place a call to your warranty company informing them about the breakdown.
The warranty company then collects some details from you and verifies that the damage is indeed covered. If yes, they will contact a service contractor in your locality with whom they maintain business ties. All major appliance warranty companies maintain massive contractor networks. The contractor then contacts you to fix an appointment to send a technician. The technician examines the damage and fixes it.
The actual cost of the repairs are met by the warranty company and the trade call fee of the technician is paid by you. In case repairs required are complex, the technician may have to wait for the home warranty company’s approval. Same is the case when parts need to be replaced. In general, it is the warranty company’s duty to procure the parts for you if they are needed.
Costs and Benefits
Home warranty plans are affordable, unless of course the coverage you need is extremely extensive. Annual premiums usually cost somewhere between $300 to $600. In addition to the annual premium, you will have to pay a service call fee or around $50 to $100 each time you report a claim. There are also some companies that charge zero deductible fee.
The prices are sometimes dependant on the area of your property and it’s age. Some companies charge a higher premium if the are of the house is over 5,000 sq.ft.
Most plans cover all major appliances and systems, with external structures being typically omitted. Additional coverage can always be purchased, but that will lead to higher premiums.
Benefits of having a home warranty plan are many. Some of them are as follows:
Budget protection against unexpected repairs and replacement costs.
Service from qualified, experienced and licensed repair technicians.
No need to search for a trusted contractor
Irreparable appliances will be replaced for you
Increases value of your property at the time of sale
Comparing and Choosing the Right Plan
The market is flooding with home warranty plans, so it is not unusual to find homeowners confused about which warranty product to purchase. Making a wise decision about the warranty company and the plan is vital. We have been in this industry long enough to say that fraudulent companies do exist. And there have been many cases where people who purchased warranties from such companies lost a lot of money.
On our website, we host over 16,000 reviews covering 80 plus home warranty companies from across the nation. The reviews section offers tools to filter and sort companies based on ratings, premium, deductible, etc.
We urge users to consider multiple options before zeroing in on plan. Wise choices will avoid a lot of unpleasant experiences in future.
Top Home Warranty Companies
We have a section dedicated entirely to identify the top companies in the industry. The companies are evaluated on the basis of customer feedback and higher the rating is, better the company will be. We suggest that you go through our top companies section to get a peek at a few industry leaders.
Our site hosts plenty of articles that speak of the home warranty industry in every possible angle. Thus if you have a doubt that is related to appliance warranties and home maintenance, we guarantee that you will find answers here.