Home warranty coverage can be a great way to protect your budget against expensive home system and appliance failures. However, a home warranty isn’t an insurance policy–it’s a service contract. It provides repair and replacement service on a home’s major components (such as heating, plumbing, and electrical) and appliances.
So how do you know if a home warranty is right for you?
Are you on a tight budget? A home warranty can provide reassurance by protecting your pocketbook. With a home warranty you can rest easy knowing that if a covered appliance or system breaks, you’re covered.
Are you selling your home? A home warranty can be a great way to help make your listing stand out against the competition.
Are you buying a brand-new home? If so, your builder may provide you with a home warranty for the first year. Many home warranty companies also offer special warranties for new homes. Check with your builder or real estate agent.
Are you buying a previously owned home? If the home you’re buying is not brand new, a home warranty is a great way to keep your likely over-stretched budget from breaking. With expensive appliances systems near or past their life expectancy, a home warranty might be a good idea.
Here are some tips to help you choose the best home warranty:
The Right Coverage Options
Basic plans often cover major home systems (heating, plumbing, electrical, kitchen appliances, and so on), while enhanced plans can add coverage for air conditioning, refrigerator, washer/dryer, and more. If your home has systems such as a pool, or septic system or well, look for home warranty companies that also offer these coverage options.
Look for a home warranty that offers multiple plans and customizable coverage that can meet your individual needs.
Available coverage typically varies by state and region for most home warranties.
Know What’s Covered
Look for a warranty that does not have age restrictions on covered appliances or systems.
You should understand that not everything is covered by a home warranty, for example, small appliances like toaster ovens and mixers are not covered. Nor are some structural modifications to your home. Make sure you read and understand your contract.
Requesting Service 24/7?
If your heater fails at 9 p.m. on Friday night you aren’t going to want to wait until Monday morning to place a claim. Some service providers have Saturday service so make sure you can request claim service around the clock, either online or by phone.
Make sure you choose a home warranty that allows unlimited service requests during your contract.
Repair or Replace Covered Items
A good home warranty will cover appliances and systems regardless of age or make/model.
A home warranty should replace your covered items if they cannot be repaired.
Having a home warranty can take the stress and hassle out of repairing or replacing home systems and appliances when they break down. Your home warranty company will also provide a contractor, saving you the time and energy of having to track down the right trades person for your needs.
To learn more about what a home warranty from First American Home Buyers Protection covers, you can view sample coverage for home buyers and sellers, or sample coverage for homeowners who are not involved in a real estate transaction.