Although modern appliances have lots of cool features, they break down too often. Just 40 years ago, they made refrigerators and ovens that could work for several decades without a hitch. This is no longer the case, as manufacturers have substituted longevity with automatic functions and high performance.
Whatever the case may be, we need to adapt to these new circumstances. Given that buying new appliances every 7 or 8 years is ludicrous, most homeowners turn to home warranties. These services contract allows us to quickly address any and all malfunctions you might incur.
Unfortunately, finding the optimal provider is a tall task. These contracts are much more complex than some people may think, and you should always pay attention to the fine print. So, to help you out, we’ve created a short guide that will help you choose the right home warranty.
4 Things you need to understand beforehand
1. Warranty isn’t the same as insurance
Most people don’t know the difference between home warranties and homeowners insurance. “Insurance covers property damage caused by elements and theft, while warranties primarily cover appliance repairs,” according to Cinch, the best home warranty in Ohio.
Furthermore, most banks and financial institutions require that you insure the house before applying for a mortgage. On the other hand, there are no requirements that force you to sign a home warranty. These contracts are usually for 12 months, and you can get them at any time.
2. Check the state of your appliances
Like with any other contract, it’s necessary that you understand all the points in the document. Although it’s pretty easy to get a warranty, there are certain limitations. For example, providers generally don’t cover already broken or old appliances.
A technician will come to your home and check all the machines ensuring they work as intended. Furthermore, there are certain electronic parts that home warranties usually don’t cover.
3. Analyze contract articles and small details
Homeowners usually focus on home warranty costs when making a decision. However, there are numerous other aspects you need to consider before signing a contract. The list includes minimum contract length, coverage, premiums, deductibles, and so on.
4. Check the existing warranties
Sometimes, homeowners get a new warranty while their appliances are still covered by the manufacturer. So, before you start calling providers, we recommend that you check all the papers. Among others, manufacturers’ warranties can hint when to expect the first breakdown (as soon as the original warranty expires).
What does a home warranty contract include?
The contract covers both sides’ responsibilities. It provides information about the type of coverage you bought, contract length, fees, limitations, buyer’s obligations, and exclusions.
- A home warranty can cover several or all appliances present in your home. It specifies the parts covered by the warranty and the maximum amount a provider will have to pay for replacements or fixes.
- The contract summarizes the plan and pricing details. You can find information about deductibles and premiums.
- Among others, the provider mentions all the plans they provide and the one you chose for yourself.
- The section about contract terms provides information about home warranty cancelation, renewal, and potential transfer of rights.
- The claims section explains how a homeowner can file a claim and the company’s responsibilities in such cases.
- The last section of the contract is usually reserved for limitations. Here you can read about breakdowns that aren’t covered by the agreement.
3 Tips for buying a home warranty
Now that you have a basic understanding of home warranties, here are a few tips that will help you make the right purchase:
1. Basic requirements
The first thing you need to know is that a home warranty doesn’t have to cover all appliances. So, make sure to create a list of all the machines you wish to include in the contract and those you want to omit. It generally pays off to cover older and low-quality appliances.
2. Perform the initial research
Nowadays, it’s easy to get quality information on the Internet. Check Google reviews and pinpoint all the negative things. You should especially be careful about the hidden fees, repair efficiency, and technicians’ availability.
3. Compare quotes
Lastly, you should call providers and ask them for quotes. Keep in mind that home warranty organizations provide estimates for free, and you should never pay for such a service. Once you get a few offers, compare them with each other and analyze what each one of them entails.
Often people go with a more expensive solution if it makes sense for their specific case.