Owning a home is an expensive, stressful, and fun experience. When someone purchases a home, the first thing they want to do is protect the property and all life inside it. However, figuring out the best way to do this can be daunting and confusing. Besides traditional insurance, there is something called a home warranty to consider.
When the right home warranty companies are found and used, they can help homeowners save thousands of dollars on repairs and replacements. However, how can someone feel confident that they are purchasing the right home warranty? A good place to start is by asking the questions found here.
- What Are the Main Differences between Home Warranties and Home Insurance?
A home warranty is not the same as home insurance. That is because a home warranty will cover all types of appliance repairs along with electrical or plumbing problems that may occur. With insurance, a homeowner has coverage for the structure of the house, along with personal property inside the property such as jewelry, electronics, or clothes. Insurance will also cover liability if someone is injured while on the property. While most people know about the benefits offered by insurance, a home warranty is going to provide coverage for appliances whether they need to be repaired or replaced.
- How Much Will a Home Warranty Cost?
The cost of a home warranty is going to vary based on several factors. It is important to note that warranty companies understand that the longer an appliance is used the more likely it is to break down. As a result, a person is probably going to be offered a hugely discounted rate on the warranty during the first year of ownership. As time passes, though, the rate is going to increase significantly.
Not only does a person need to know what they are going to pay the first year of the home warranty, but what they must pay in the years after, as well. Most plans will cost between $250 and $500 and will last from 12 months to as much as 10 years. This is dependent on the type of agreement and the company that is used. Keep in mind, though, that something that is not included in the cost of the warranty is having to call the service repair person. This is typically a fixed charge, and there may be an additional surcharge for emergencies.
- What Are the Specific Items That Are Covered by the Warranty?
This is also something that is going to vary from one company to the next. As a result, there is no way to provide an answer that will apply in every situation. Something a person can do, though, is to note all the specific things that will be covered. They can also ask about the additional cost that may be applied to cover bigger items, such as the furnace or air conditioner.
- Is a Home Inspection Necessary Before Warranty Enrollment?
The short answer to this question is no. However, the appliances have to be properly installed, maintained, and in proper working condition for the warranty to be applied. Similar to health insurance, a pre-existing condition will not be covered.
- If Something Breaks or Needs Repairs, How Is a Claim Made?
It is necessary to maintain a written record of all correspondence with a person’s home warranty company, along with the service vendor who handled the job. Be sure to make requests in writing and request a return receipt to keep for your records. The service vendor is responsible for contacting the repair person who will then either fix the item with the problem or recommend that it is replaced.
- How Quickly Will Repairs Be Handled?
This is also dependent on the company. There are some that can be contacted 24 hours per day, but others will have specific times. Every company will provide customers with a timeline for the repairs, but it is necessary to ask about the timeline for emergency repairs. After all, in these situations, repairs will be needed sooner rather than later.
- How Are Claim Disputes Resolved?
If someone does not agree with the cost of services or if there is any other type of dispute with the warranty company or even the repair service, this can be sent for mediation. This means that an unbiased third party is going to examine the situation and determine who is right. If this does not work, then a claim can be submitted for arbitration.
- What Are the Homeowner’s Responsibilities?
An important thing to note is there are some warranty companies that will require proof of maintenance for appliances covered by the warranty. Even when this is not the case, they may still refuse to insure the item if they believe it was not maintained properly.
- When Will Coverage from the Warranty Begin?
If someone purchases a warranty when they are purchasing a home, the coverage will start on the day of closing. If this is not the case, then coverage will begin 15 days after payment is received.
- What if the Home Is Sold While Under Warranty Coverage?
Similar to the early termination or the early pay-off of a person’s car loan, it is a good idea to find out what the company will do in these situations. Sometimes, the coverage will transfer to the new homeowner. However, this may not happen automatically. It is a good idea to speak with the warranty company to find out what will happen and what steps must be taken when the home is sold.
When it comes to a home warranty, there is no question that it offers a lot of benefits for homeowners. While this is true, it is necessary to find the right home warranty company to get all the benefits that these policies offer. Be sure to keep this in mind to get the most out of the warranty that is purchased for a home.