This is a guest post by Arthur J. Chartrand, Counsel, and Administrator for the National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA)
As homeowners, you have to live under a rock these days not to have certain lifetime or lifestyle plans in place. In today’s world, there are many versions of service and warranty plans for life, health, your personal goods and your home. Without them, most would say you are way behind and perhaps even in danger, both financially and physically.
If you are a homeowner and have experienced the syndrome of costly repairs to any of your home appliances, you would be wise to consider the benefits versus costs of a home warranty contract. Due to the many economic challenges faced by families, many are remaining in their homes for a longer period of time. This results in aging appliances and the potential for costly repairs. A home warranty (service contract) with a quality member of the National Home Service Contract Association is the solution for homeowners.
Before we delve further into the benefits of a home warranty contract, consider how you, the homeowner, currently utilize other products to protect yourself, your lifestyle and your family.
Personal Health Plan: This would include exercise and proper diet. Always a complex plan that is hard to apply, yet unwise to ignore.
Health Insurance Plan: Without question, a pressing need for everyone. Health insurance is the main way we handle and budget the care or protection against catastrophe and is increasingly difficult to afford.
Life Insurance Plan: Often hard to appreciate, hard to buy, and hard to afford. And this is the real fun part, you have to die and others get the benefits.
Long Term Care Plan: Few plan for it effectively and it is very expensive.
Homeowners Insurance and Automobile Insurance Plan: These plans are usually either required by lenders or law. With that being said, no one enjoys using them. While critical, you may never actually need or use them in your lifetime.
Maybe you have a lawn care plan, automobile maintenance plan, pest control program or a home cleaning service? These are nice luxuries for those who can afford it. But what plan is in place for the biggest investment you own that will provide assurance and peace of mind? And, is something you can enjoy now and is affordable?
As a child, I spent countless hours with my Dad learning how to put a fan blower motor on a furnace. I learned what a “heat and limit switch” looked like, what it did and even how to replace one. Dad and I even put a water valve in our old dishwasher once. Here is the reality. I never taught my son to do these things. My daughter was no more interested than my sisters were in such mundane household mechanics. In today’s world, furnaces and most other major household systems are just too complex to service or repair for even the advanced homeowner. If a dishwasher breaks, economics often say replacing is a better option. And let’s be clear, if you need a new gas water heater, don’t even think about letting your son in law give it a try. With all the technology and environmental requirements associated with these appliances, it is far too dangerous for anyone but a professional.
Today, families work long hours and spouses often travel frequently and are not around to work on air conditioner compressors that go bad, or septic tanks that back up into the master bedroom. The reality is most individuals wait until something breaks to call for assistance with many household systems and appliances from glass range tops to water softeners. Back in the day, even when my wonder Dad gave up, we had a family plumber. We also had a family electrician. When a swift kick did not work on the refrigerator or TV (believe it or not these were actual and often effective remedies that often worked in the pre-1980 world), Dad just called my uncle or the guy next door. If old Uncle Hubert does volunteer, remind him that duct tape and bailing wire aren’t very effective these days on your computer chip controlled thermostat.
Today, very few individuals have a trusted family plumber or electrician. Dealing with a broken valve, a cracked heat exchanger, a blown compressor, a leaking gas water heater or a jammed up shower valve is pretty much beyond the skill of today’s homeowner. Homeowners are forced to ask neighbors, post a plea on Facebook or pay some Internet site to suggest a local contractor. None come with anything close to a guaranty. And even if you find a reputable repair person, the cost can quickly escalate beyond your expectations.
A home warranty or service contract manages your home service needs, repairs and replacement of your major household appliances and systems. By investing about $550 a year in a home warranty, you have an 800 number, answered 24/7. A local service and repair professional will be dispatched to address your needs. You no longer need a family plumber or a brother in law masquerading as an uncertified electrician. You can avoid a paid referral service to some lady who recommends cake makers and photographers along with plumbers she does not guaranty. Most homes average nearly two service calls a year. A home service contract handles not only what you don’t have time for, but nearly always, what you are unqualified to handle. And don’t forget, members of the NHSCA only utilize quality minded, screened local contractors in your area and stand behind their work.
Comprehensive home warranties cover a wide array of household systems and appliances and are becoming standard on any home sale transaction. However, many providers now offer directly to consumer contracts on your home today. Better yet, providers are increasingly offering you the ability to pick the appliances and systems most important to you as you build and price your own contract. It is just one more way the home warranty industry is bringing innovation to you.
A home warranty contract with a quality member of the National Home Service Contract Association is changing the way Americans live and relax. It is a necessary lifestyle program that you will use, and will enjoy in your lifetime.
See NHSCA website for many facts, tips, and helpful short educational videos.