Homeownership comes with lots of responsibilities and expenses. Aside from the periodical maintenance of the home, the appliances and systems are prone to breakdown due to years of usage.
In all reality, they don’t make appliances like they used to. Planned obsolescence is a real thing that manufacturers factor into their products and caused mom owners thousands a year. Manufacturers intentionally make products that won’t last as long to increase their bottom line. To make matters worse, appliance parts are sometimes almost as expensive as replacing the entire appliance.
Most applies come with a one-year warranty but this is often not enough. You can purchase additional years but the issue is that you will have to do this for each appliance.
Therefore, whether you have owned your home for years or are purchasing a new one, a home warranty is a great way to reduce home repair costs.
Since the main aim of a home warranty is to protect your budget for home maintenance, purchasing a warranty that turns out to be more expensive than handling the repairs yourself would be a bad investment.
Do your due diligence before choosing a home warranty company instead of just settling for the first available company or those offering the cheapest price.
What is a Home Warranty, and How Does It Work?
A home warranty is a service contract between a homeowner and a provider that helps to cover repair and replacement costs for home appliances and systems breakdowns due to routine wear and tear.
You will pay a monthly or annual premium for a discounted service fee whenever you call the company for repair and replacement.
The fee charged is also dependent on the type of coverage you require. An HVAC warranty, for instance, will ensure any issue with the HVAC is fixed as soon as possible.
For every call, the company will charge a fee which is usually cheaper when compared to the actual cost of the service. Some home warranty companies only charge one fee to come to your home and inspect all the appliances in that category. For example, if your refrigerator, stove and microwave are all broken, then you might only pay on services fee. If your HVAC is also broken, then you may have to pay a separate fee.
The company will send a professional and certified technician whenever you need their service; hence, you can be assured your appliances and systems are in safe hands.
How to Choose the Best Home Warranty Company
If you are searching for a home warranty, undoubtedly, you will prefer the best option for your home need. Below are some tips to choose right among the companies in your area;
Home size and need
The size of a home can determines the type of appliances and systems in it. For instance, a bigger home will need more sophisticated HVAC than a smaller one.
Check out companies with enough staff and expertise to handle your need. There are also different home warranty plans.
Some homeowners, for example, prefer basic coverage that provides warranties for major appliances. Consider companies offering the plan that ticks all your needs.
Home warranties are expected to help homeowners reduce the cost of maintenance of their homes. You should not be spending more than usual.
Have a budget for the home warranty. It should be lesser than the typical estimated cost of repairs and maintenance of the appliances and systems.
Find a company that fits your budget.
Shortlist and compare companies
Search online for home warranty companies near you. There are online directories you can check.
You may also ask your friends for recommendations. If the company has an online website, visit it to check its pricing and coverage plans.
Also, contact the company’s customer support for more details on their service and clarification on anything else.
Once this is completed, compare the information gathered to your needs and budget. Then, shortlist those that satisfy the criteria.
Reading reviews about other home owner’s experience can also add a lot of insight into what kind of services the company has delivered in the past. You can check the BBB, BCA or Trustpilot to name a few.
Coverage and limitations
Coverage includes all repairs and replacements the home warranty will cover. Compare the coverage offered by the shortlisted companies to decide which is best for you.
If two providers offer HVAC coverage, for example, one could provide only HVAC repairs, while the other could also include HVAC tune-ups.
Another thing to check is the service fee charged by the providers. Whenever you need a repair, you do not want to pay a higher service fee than anticipated.
Providers also usually have a limitation on their coverage. A coverage limit is a maximum amount a provider is willing to cover during the warranty period.
Customer reviews and testimonies
A company might tick most of the criteria on your list, but you should reconsider if they have poor customer reviews and unencouraging testimonies.
This could mean they are incapable of delivering everything they promise.
One of the things to consider is the response time of the company. You do not want a company that will only show up after one week to fix your HVAC system.
Providers with websites may have a testimonial section on their sites. Likewise, check independent review sites to assess the company’s service and customer experience.
Read the agreement and ask questions
Make sure you read every line of the agreement before you sign. The agreement will highlight things to expect and others they will not be liable for. Do not hesitate to ask questions in case you do not understand any paragraph of the agreement.
A home warranty is typically a year contract. You do not want to regret your action for the next twelve months.