How To Choose The Best Home Warranty
It’s fair to say that we as Americans have never been more fortunate.
Our homes are full of devices which make life entertaining and easier.
Your TV, your dishwasher, your shower unit, etc. all add to the joys of modern life.
We know, instinctively, that these creature comforts need protection and most people will have home insurance to prevent catastrophic loss in the event of fire or theft.
However, it’s fair to say that many households lack the kind of cover that they really need – a home warranty.
What Is A Home Warranty?
A home warranty is a special form of insurance contract. It is designed to cover the repair and replacement of items and systems within your home if they should go wrong.
A home warranty normally lasts for a period of 1 year and will need extending or replacing when it expires.
How Is This Different From Home Insurance?
Home insurance deals in disasters: fire, flood, theft, etc. and it’s absolutely essential but it doesn’t cover “wear and tear”.
Yet, far more of us are likely to lose our appliances to wear and tear than to a tsunami.
This is why a home warranty is an excellent idea in addition to home insurance (note: not instead of home insurance but as well as home insurance).
How Many Home Warranties Will I Need?
It depends on what you want to cover. Many home warranty providers specialize in specific types of coverage.
So, for example, one might protect all the white goods in your home (your washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher, vacuum, etc.) and another might protect your pool or your roof.
It is important to read the small print on any home warranty to know exactly what is covered.
This may be particularly important if you have more than one of any given type of device (coverage might, for example, be limited to the TV in your living room but not the one in your bedroom).
Are There Any Other Fees Involved?
It depends on the small print, but it is common for home warranty policies to include a “trade call fee”.
This is a callout charge for a representative to come to your home and diagnose the fault with the item.
It should be clearly stated on the contract that you sign if such a fee is applicable and if so, how much that fee will be.
A Home Warranty Can Help Sell Houses
If you want to sell your home with all the appliances in it; a home warranty policy can help sell your home as it gives the buyer peace of mind over what happens in the event that an item breaks. It can also minimize post-sale conflict for this very same reason.
How To Choose The Right Home Warranty
There’s a lot of choice out there when it comes to home warranties.
We recommend this company for home warranties but before you sign anything; you should follow a process:
- Research and compare a number of different home warranty providers. Start by requesting a quote from the company we recommend above but then get on Google and do some research. Type in “home warranty companies MY AREA” and see what it comes back with.
- Pay attention to Better Business Bureau and Best Company ratings to see how they deal with complaints – you want a company that cares for you and your items.
- Request quotes from the companies that you think might be right for you. If they can provide additional information in the form of a brochure or copy of their standard contract; get that too.
- Think carefully about the coverage you’re going to need at this stage. Don’t buy contracts that cover items still under their manufacturer’s warranty without a very good reason to do so, for example. Also, if there are items that you feel are due for replacement soon – you might just be better off replacing them.
- Drill down into the details of the quotes. Think about the budget you have to spend on this and the systems and appliances that you really need to cover. There may be additional options offered by the company that you didn’t include in the quote – are they applicable to your circumstances? Or do you need a specialist contractor like this roofing home warranty provider?
- Talk to friends and neighbors for their input. Do they have home warranties? What kind of experiences have they had with them? Is there anyone they particularly recommend? Is there anyone they say you should avoid completely? After all, the best mistakes are the ones that you can learn from.
- Once you have all this input – It’s time to make a decision. I find it’s easier to make decisions when you list the pros and cons of each policy and then consider how important each of these things to you. Lack of coverage for a 3rd refrigerator, for example, is likely to be less important to most people than the lack of coverage for a 2nd TV but if you’re an avid home cook – that might be completely different for you. Work out what matters to you and then focus your attention on that.
Don’t forget that you can use more than one home warranty if you want to cover different systems or product types. This can work out, in some cases, cheaper than buying one wide coverage policy too.
What We Think Of Home Warranties
We think home warranties are awesome. They enable us to better budget for our annual expenditure than paying for repairs on an ad-hoc basis.
Are they cheaper than ad-hoc repairs?
We don’t know: we haven’t got enough personal data to make an accurate comparison.
However, we don’t think that this matters.
If you don’t normally have enough money laying around to replace major appliances when they go wrong – a home warranty is going to be infinitely better for the peace of mind it brings.
Your kids need clean clothes and for that, you need a washing machine.
It’s common sense to try and preserve this in an easy to manage way.
Home warranties do just that.
One last thing: We recommend this company for home warranties but please remember to follow our process when choosing your home warranty.