Guide For Home Warranty Buyers
When you are ready to buy home warranty insurance, follow these steps that are intended to help you chose a better service. The important step is to find a reputed company in your area. However, that is also the most difficult part because most buyers do not have great opinion about any one company in particular. We have started collecting provider ratings from our website visitors, but most of the ratings given fall below 3 (out of 5) for all home warranty companies. That means, along with rating, buyers will also have to consider other factors such as annual premium, deductible costs, appliances coverage and of course small prints in the contract. Read on…
Very first step is to decide if you need home warranty. Check this article that explains is there a need for home warranty on this site and review the checklist. It is a good idea to get a detailed home inspection report on your existing house from a third party inspector. This report will help you understand the potential and existing problems with your appliances and will also help you decide if you need home warranty. If some appliances are aging and need special attention, be sure to check if the warranty company provides sufficient coverage for those appliances.
Make a short list of 3-5 home warranty companies that match with your needs. You can use home warranty price comparison section to identify few providers based on premium, deductible, coverage effective dates etc. (Please note that our list covers most of companies that have nationwide coverage and it may have missed local warranty providers.)
Check with your friends and colleagues as to which providers do they use. Be sure to ask about their satisfaction levels with service and claims processing. They may have some comments about customer service, contractor turnaround, quality of work etc.
It is important to choose a company that has a decent track record in this industry. Many consumers are dissatisfied with the services offered by many home warranty companies and it is indeed difficult to deal with some companies when it comes to claims processing. It is not easy to find a perfect home warranty company, but you can always chose a company with least number of complaints. There are several ways to research.
- Use home warranty insurance ratings to learn about the ratings given by our users.
- Check company’s track record using trade organizations such as Better Business Bureau.
- Research the company over the Internet for any negative reviews. Insurance discussion board in scam.com has the list of complaints against many home warranty companies. www.ripoffreport.com is another website for lodging complaints.
- Your real estate agent will also be able to provide the name of few reliable warranty companies in the area
Determine if you need extra coverage. Most basic home warranty plans do not cover clothes washer/drier, second set of equipments (second refrigerator), pool/spa equipments, computers etc. And some plans also exclude air conditioning, roof, etc.
Now, start calling the companies and make notes of their offerings. Be sure to collect information such as -
- Annual premium
- Deductible per incident (Trade service call fee)
- Average turnaround time for repair handling
- If you have determined that you need extra coverage mentioned above, check how much extra would it cost
- If you have any aging equipments reported in your Home Inspection report, be sure to check if the warranty company provides adequate coverage for those equipments
- Ask them how they calculate the buy out amount if you decide to replace the equipment yourself.
- Is coverage effective immediately upon buying the policy? (only matters if you need immediate coverage)
- Ask for clarifications and contractual obligations. Observe how they are treating you, which is a good indicator of how the company treats its customers after sale.
This video provides helpful tips on how to compare different home warranty companies -
Finally, glance over the contract terms when you are ready to buy the coverage to make sure which appliances are NOT covered. Request a reliability report from your local BBB to make sure there are not too many complaints. Remember to keep all maintenance records which you may be asked by home warranty company when you file claims.
Watch this video for other home warranty tips -
Now you have completed your due diligence part. If you have decided to buy home warranty, we recommend that you get a free price quote from from one of the top companies here -