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  • Alexander Wissel

Home Warranties: Protect Your Home from Costly Surprises

Get Ahead of Costly Repairs

  • Learn what a home warranty is and how it can protect your home and budget.

  • Understand the coverage options and what systems and appliances are typically included in a home warranty.

  • Discover the benefits of having a home warranty, including financial protection and peace of mind.

Home Warranties: Protect Your Home - Source:
Home Warranties: Protect Your Home

As a Realtor, we often counsel our sellers and our buyers why they might want a home warranty. When it comes to protecting your home and its systems and appliances, home warranties can be a game-changer.

But what exactly are home warranties? How do they work? And most importantly, why should you consider getting one – or not? In this article, we will dig into home warranties to see if they are make sense for your home.

A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of major systems and appliances in your home, providing homeowners with peace of mind in case of unexpected breakdowns. It focuses on normal wear and tear rather than accidents or natural disasters.

A home warranty typically covers systems like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical, as well as kitchen and laundry appliances. When a covered item malfunctions, you can initiate a service request with your home warranty provider, and they will connect you with qualified technicians to assess and repair or replace the item. Home warranties offer financial protection, convenience, and peace of mind, but it's important to carefully review coverage options, costs, and contract terms before choosing a provider.

Understanding Home Warranties

A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of major systems and appliances in your home. It provides homeowners with peace of mind in case of unexpected system breakdowns. Budgets for many families are tight, and even tighter for new home buyers. An unexpected ‘big ticket’ repair expense can do a lot of financial damage.

Unlike homeowner's insurance, which primarily covers damages due to accidents or natural disasters, a home warranty focuses on the normal wear and tear that occurs over time.

What Does a Home Warranty Cover?

Home warranties are similar to home insurance policies in a sense that most companies provide the same or similar products/coverages. It makes it easier to compare apples to apples. Home warranties typically cover a range of systems and appliances, which may include:

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems: This includes your furnace, central air conditioning unit, and ductwork.

Plumbing System: This covers pipes, faucets, toilets, showers, and your water heater.

Electrical System: Components such as wiring, circuit breakers, and outlets fall under this category.

Kitchen Appliances: Home warranties often cover your oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, and built-in microwave.

Laundry Appliances: This includes your washer and dryer.

Garage Door Opener: Some plans may cover the repair or replacement of your garage door opener.

Pool and Spa: If you have a pool or spa, you can find home warranty plans that offer coverage for these as well.

It's important to note that coverage varies among different home warranty providers and plans. Therefore, it's crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions to understand precisely what is included and excluded from coverage.

How Does a Home Warranty Work?

When a covered system or appliance in your home fails or malfunctions, you can initiate a service request with your home warranty provider. They will then connect you with a network of qualified service technicians. The technician will assess the issue and either repair or replace the item, depending on the terms of your warranty.

Typically, you'll need to pay a service call fee, which is a predetermined amount you agreed upon when purchasing the warranty. This fee is usually lower than the cost of hiring a technician independently.

Benefits of Having a Home Warranty

Financial Protection: Home warranties can save you from unexpected repair or replacement costs, which can quickly add up. Instead of facing a hefty bill all at once, you'll only need to pay the service call fee, making budgeting much easier.

Convenience: With a home warranty, you won't have to spend time searching for a reputable technician or worry about their qualifications. The warranty provider will handle the entire process, ensuring that a qualified professional resolves the issue promptly.

Peace of Mind: Knowing that your home's vital systems and appliances are protected can provide you with peace of mind. You can enjoy your home without the constant worry of potential breakdowns.

Peace of mind if probably the biggest reason we see customers getting home warranties. In a seller's market often a buyer will purchase a home warranty, while in a buyer's market a seller will. The reasons are the same: it's a great way to cover themselves if something goes wrong on a home.

Choosing the Right Home Warranty

To ensure you choose the most suitable home warranty, consider the following factors:

Coverage Options: Review the specific systems and appliances covered by the warranty. Compare multiple plans to find one that aligns with your needs.

Cost: Evaluate the cost of the home warranty, including the service call fee and any additional charges. Ensure that the price is reasonable for the coverage provided.

Contract Terms: Read and understand the terms and conditions of the warranty before making a commitment. Pay attention to coverage limits, exclusions, and any waiting periods.

Reputation and Customer Reviews: Research the reputation of the home warranty provider and read customer reviews. Look for positive feedback regarding the efficiency and responsiveness of their service.

These are only a few of the things that you should be looking at when trying to find a home warranty provider.

Are Home Warranties Right for You?

Home warranties offer homeowners a practical solution to protect your homes' essential systems and appliances from unexpected breakdowns. By understanding what a home warranty covers and how it works, you can make a better decision on a policy that suits your specific needs.

Or not. Maybe a home warranty isn’t right for you. We often see it used in the first year or three after a home is purchased. Sometimes it’s to hedge against a system that might break, and other times its there as an added bonus. But a lot of homeowners decide to not renew their policies after a few years when they get comfortable with their home maintenance.

So remember to thoroughly research different warranty providers. Compare each company’s coverage options, and carefully review the terms and conditions. If you do decide to get a comprehensive home warranty, you can enjoy peace of mind, financial protection, and the convenience of a hassle-free repair process.


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