When it comes to protecting your investment in your home, you may have considered getting a home warranty. However, with so many home warranty companies out there, it can be challenging to figure out which one is the right for you. Here is everything you need to know about home warranty companies, including what they are, how they operate, the benefits they provide, and how to choose the best one for your needs.
What Are Home Warranty Companies?
Home warranty companies sell service contracts that promise to repair or replace certain home systems or appliances when they break down due to normal wear and tear. This is often mistaken for homeowners’ insurance, which covers your home’s structure and belongings in the event of a disaster such as a fire or theft.
A typical home warranty covers major systems and appliances such as heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, electrical systems, refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens. Most home warranty companies offer several plans to suit different needs and budgets, with the premium typically being paid on an annual basis.
How Do Home Warranty Companies Operate?
When a covered item breaks down, the homeowner files a claim with the home warranty company. If the claim is accepted, the company will send a service provider to repair or replace the item. The homeowner may need to pay a service call fee, typically between $50 to $125.
The home warranty company has contracts with local service providers. When a service call is made, the company calls the provider that services the area where the homeowner lives. This can benefit homeowners who don’t know who to call, or don’t want to search for a reputable contractor.
Benefits of Home Warranty Companies
One of the main benefits of a home warranty is peace of mind. Knowing that you have coverage for unexpected breakdowns can save a lot of stress and worry. Home warranties can also offer financial protection since the cost of repairing or replacing appliances and systems can be high.
Furthermore, having a home warranty can be a selling point if you’re planning to sell your home. Prospective buyers may appreciate the added security of knowing that they are protected against unexpected costs.
Choosing a Home Warranty Company
When choosing a home warranty company, there are several things to consider. Here are some tips:
1. Coverage: Check what each plan covers. Pay particular attention to the exclusions and limitations. If you have an older home or appliances, you might need a plan that covers items that are more likely to break down.
2. Cost: Compare the cost of different plans and consider what you can afford. Remember to factor in the service call fee.
3. Reputation: Read reviews of the company. Look for a company with a consistent record of fulfilling their obligations.
4. Customer Service: How easily can you file a claim? How quickly does the company respond to claims? These are important factors that can influence your overall satisfaction with the home warranty.
5. State regulations: Some states require home warranty companies to be licensed. Check if your state has such a requirement and if so, whether the company is licensed.
In conclusion, home warranty companies can provide valuable coverage that can save you stress and money. By carefully considering your needs and doing your research, you can find the right home warranty company for you.