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Home warranty plans help save you from burning a deep hole in your pockets by covering the home systems and appliances breaking down due to regular wear and tear. To help you choose the best plan, HomeWarrantyReviews.com has listed the 10 top home warranty companies. This list is a result of the combination of intense research by our editors and the culmination of consumer opinions.
Home warranties come with plenty of benefits to homeowners. A comprehensive home warranty plan helps homeowners to tend to expensive equipment and machines with ease. Here is a list of all the benefits one can expect from investing in the home warranty plans:
Removes financial burden
Appliances and systems can break down at any time, and such breakdowns of expensive equipment often turn out to be a costly affair. Home warranties help homeowners deal with such unexpected contingencies.
Homeowners are expected to pay an annual premium, which will cover all the repair and replacement costs. They only need to pay a fixed service call fee (which amounts between $50-$120) at the time of repair, irrespective of the total cost of repairs, which removes the burden emanating from unforeseen system breakdowns.
No mental stress
Home warranties also remove the mental stress involved in getting a broken-down system or appliance fixed. Usually, when such a scenario occurs, the onus is on the homeowners to find a technician and get the equipment fixed.
Finding a well-versed technician involves a lot of research. It also involves contacting a bunch of them to identify a suitable technician who has the expertise and fits your budget.
A home warranty will help homeowners to get rid of such stress, as all they need will be the phone number of the home warranty company. One call to the company and they will send in the technician as per your needs.
Provides all-round protection
Home warranty plans come in all sizes. You may pick only those equipment that you wish to get coverage on, or you can get a comprehensive plan that covers a large pool of systems and appliances.
Many home warranty companies provide an exhaustive list of add-ons as well, which includes septic tanks and swimming pools among others. All-in-all, most plans are drafted as per the needs of the homeowners to provide maximum utility.
IS HOME WARRANTY WORTH THE MONEY?
As a service contract that provides discounted repairs and replacements for common home systems and appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, HVAC, etc., a home warranty can be worthwhile. They save homeowners from the financial burden of unexpected breakdowns due to natural wear and tear.
A home warranty provides access to a large network of licensed and certified repair contractors who can be called on service visits by just filing a claim online. They arrive at your residence on the scheduled date & time as per your convenience and diagnose if the broken item is covered by the home warranty.
The home warranty company will bear the expenses of the repair of equipment. All you need to do is pay the service visit fee at the time of the visit or in advance as mandated by the home warranty company.
In the absence of a home warranty plan, not only would you have to figure out the best repair people for the job, but you would also have to shell out a lot of money for the repairs as well as the service charges of the technician. To take an example, small HVAC repairs can cost upwards of $150 and that is just for one issue. A home warranty deductible in contrast can come at as low as $69.
Many people often assume that their home insurances will cover much of the regular wear and tear that systems and appliances are prone to undergo. However, home insurance is only meant to cover damages resulting from natural disasters. If you live in a state with extreme weather conditions that cause your systems and appliances to be overworked, you must then consider protecting them with a home warranty.
WHEN IS A HOME WARRANTY WORTH IT?
For homeowners whose properties are over four years old and the original equipment warranties have expired on the home systems and appliances, a home warranty is a must-buy. The older the home is and especially when it is pre-owned, the more a home warranty is worth the money as such items are highly likely to conk out with use.
When you have multiple home systems and appliances that are likely to wear out, getting a home warranty can save you thousands of dollars on repairs. The best home warranty plans come at an annual premium between $350-$800 while each service visit may cost an average of $80-$100. Home warranties cover these items regardless of their age, make, or model.
If you have no intention to replace most of your aging home systems and appliances over the coming year, a home warranty plan can tide you over. A home renovation is a very expensive project and home warranty plans can help you save money for it while covering your systems and appliances.
When you are considering putting your home on the real estate market, a home warranty is a worthwhile purchase. They have been shown to increase the rate of closing deals on home sales as buyers are more likely to buy properties when they can be assured that the older home systems and appliances would be taken care of if they were to break down. Many people have managed to sell their homes at higher prices due to the coverage of a reputable home warranty plan.
WHAT DOES HOME WARRANTY COVER?
A regular home warranty plan provides coverage to all the vital items at home. Please note that the actual systems and appliances covered will be plan-specific, and you must choose a plan that is more suitable to your needs. The following list is indicative of all the items that generally come under the purview of coverage in a regular home warranty plan:
Electronic Extended Warranty
Pool and Spas
Clothes washer and dryer
Built-in Microwave Ovens
Roof leak repair
Plumbing (including stoppages)
Freestanding Ice Makers
Built-in Food Centers
Garage door openers
Kitchen exhaust fan
Water Dispensers - Hot/Cold
HOW DOES A HOME WARRANTY WORK?
Without a home warranty, the breakdown of any appliances can turn out to be a costly affair for repairing or replacing the worn-out equipment. Along with the monetary burden, you will have to find a suitable technician to get the job done. With a home warranty plan, however, home warranty companies take care of the job for you.
Follow the below-mentioned steps to get your equipment fixed:
Step 1: Call your home warranty company to register your complaint if you encounter issues with any home equipment covered by a home warranty plan.
Step 2: Home warranty companies usually work with a network of service providers. As soon as you register your complaint, the company will instantly call the affiliated service provider.
Step 3: The service provider will contact you and set up an appointment with their expert.
Step 4: The expert will then arrive at your residence on the scheduled date & time, and fix the broken equipment.
Step 5: The home warranty company will bear the expenses of the repair of equipment (and also of the replacements of the spare parts, if any).
Step 6: You are, however, expected to pay a fixed service call feeto the visiting technician. It may range anywhere between $50 - $120 per visit depending on the home warranty company.
HOW TO Buy A HOME WARRANTY?
Are you wondering how to buy a home warranty? Well, it is not as complicated as it sounds. There are numerous home warranty companies offering plans as per your individual needs and requirements.
The following steps spell out how a home warranty works in simple terms:
Step 1: You must take stock of all the appliances and systems you have at home.
Step 2: Make a list of all the items that are important and expensive which needs to be covered by a home warranty.
Step 3: Start looking out for a home warranty company. One of the best ways to select a company is by reading reviews written by other customers. Check out the user reviews posted for various companies and use the above list of the ten best home warranty companies for convenience.
Step 4: You can also find a suitable home warranty company by connecting with our experts.
Step 5: Once you finalize the company, identify a plan that is suitable to your needs.
Step 6: After selecting a plan, you will be required to pay a premium, which generally ranges between $300-$700 and are required to sign the contract.
DIFFERENT TYPE OF HOME WARRANTY
Homeowners' home warranty
Homeowners’ home warranties are those that residents can buy anytime. This is the general home warranty that covers systems and appliances from regular wear and tears.
If you already own a home and are looking to get a plan to protect your home equipment, you will buy a homeowners’ home warranty plan.
Homebuyers’ home warranty
Homebuyers’ home warranty is bought by those who are planning to buy a house. This plan is specifically designed to meet the requirements of the brand new homeowners. It covers systems and appliances that were fixed prior to the closing of the home purchasing deal.
Buyers must make a note that home warranty companies will not provide cover for those systems and appliances that were found faulty during the home inspection. It is, therefore, important to take note of the home inspection report and negotiate with the seller in case any equipment turns out to be faulty. This plan needs to be bought within 30-90 days after closing the deal by the buyers, depending on the home warranty company.
Sellers’ home warranty
Home sellers can also buy a home warranty when they list their property to sell. Getting the sellers’ home warranty is prudent as it helps the sellers to deal with any systems or equipment that may turn out to be faulty prior to home inspection. This also minimizes the risk of having to fix such equipment and the likelihood of losing customers on account of faulty systems and equipment.
This also increases the buyer’s confidence in the property as it provides an additional layer of coverage to them. Some seller insurances can also be transferred to the buyers once the property is sold, which is an added plus for the sellers while dealing with the property.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOME WARRANTY AND HOME INSURANCE
Oftentimes, people tend to mix up home warranty with home insurance. The confusion is easy to occur as both operate in a similar fashion. Customers need to pay a deductible for both home warranty and insurance and the contracts generally span over a year. The difference, however, lies in the items that home warranty and home insurance cover.
Home Warranty plans generally cover risks associated with home appliances and systems, whereas home insurance covers risks pertaining to home structure and protects the customers against theft, damages endured by house structure due to natural calamity.
Home warranty covers home appliances and systems.
Home insurance covers home structure from natural disasters & accidents and personal property from theft.
For instance, the Home warranty provides coverage to homeowners in the event of a breakdown of systems and appliances such as electric systems, HVAC, plumbing systems, etc.
Whereas, home insurance provides coverage if an HVAC system or electric system sparks an accident and burns down the structure of your house.
A home warranty is an optional investment.
Although there are no rules mandating homeowners to buy home insurance, most lenders insist on purchasing home insurance to get a mortgage on a home.
BENEFITS OF A HOME WARRANTY FOR REALTORS
Here is a list of the benefits of home warranty plans specifically for realtors:
Increases trust factor for the property
Home warranty Increases the opportunity of getting more referrals
It also brings down the post-sales liability for the realtors
DRAWBACKS OF HOME WARRANTY PLANS
While home warranty plans come with a host of benefits, homeowners must be prepared to deal with some of its drawbacks. Home warranties do not have any deterring negative points, but only a few drawbacks which homeowners must be aware of, such as:
HOMEOWNERS CANNOT SELECT TECHNICIANS
Home warranty companies send the technicians and homeowners will have no say in it.
HOME WARRANTIES DO NOT COVER PRE-EXISTING ISSUES
Homeowners must be aware that most home warranty plans do not cover pre-existing issues in systems and appliances. Make sure to clarify this with the home warranty company at the time of signing the contract.
Poorly maintained machines not covered
Home warranties only cover issues arising due to regular wear and tear of systems and appliances. Most plans do not provide cover for issues arising due to poor maintenance.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who needs a home warranty?
Homeowners, home buyers, and home sellers should invest in home warranties to protect themselves from expensive repairs and replacements. Real estate agents also find that home warranties can help sell homes faster and increase their resale value.
If your appliances and systems are over 4 years old, there is a high possibility of a breakdown due to wear and tear. Home warranties help homeowners be prepared to deal with such unforeseen expenses.
What are the general home warranty plans provided by most companies?
Most companies generally provide the following plans or their combinations plans under different names:
Systems Plan: With this plan, you can get coverage for systems like HVACs, electrical work, plumbing, and much more.
Appliances Plan: This plan covers the repair and replacement of appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens, washer/dryers, and cooktops.
Combo Plan: Most companies offer plans that have a combination of covered appliances and systems. You can pick and choose which items you want in this type of plan.
Optional Plan: These are additional items that you can add to your home warranty plans for more coverage like spas, swimming pools, roof leaks, and more.
What is a trade service call fee? Should this be borne by the homeowners?
A trade service call fee is a set fee that homeowners will need to pay to the visiting technicians who would come fix the broken system or appliance.
Irrespective of the equipment and issue the service call fee that customers pay will be a fixed amount. The issue could be simple or may need major spare parts replacement, but the service call fee will not vary.
How to get the best out of home warranty plans?
Read the policy booklet and Insurance contract thoroughly. Do not ignore content written in small font sizes either.
Choose companies that come with excellent recommendations. There are quite a few companies out there that are not well- reputed. Make sure that the company you pick has a good and clean record.
Check the cancellation and renewal clauses. Some companies do not allow termination of the contract before a certain period of time.
If you have a contractor that you trust, speak with him to know if he has tie-ups with any home warranty companies.
If you ever find yourself unsatisfied with the service you are getting, you can always make use of the Consumer Resolution Program (CRP) of HWR to get in touch with the company executives directly to get your issues resolved.