A home warranty is seen by most people as an unnecessary expense than a critical investment. However, what most of you do not know is that a home warranty can indeed be beneficial in more ways than one. The cost will be worth it, especially if you have a long-term perspective.
If you are from the U.S. and if you still have doubts that a home warranty is a must-have, read the rest of this post and we’ll share with you all the things that you have to know. From the specifics of the coverage to how to choose the right home warranty, this short post will make you a well-informed individual.
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What is a Home Warranty?
Before anything else, let us first have a quick look at what exactly a home warranty is, which will make it easy for you to understand that it is an important investment for homeowners.
A home warranty refers to a policy with the purpose of protecting the appliances and systems in a house as it ages. It will allow you to save money when you encounter problems at home, such as the breakdown of the cooling system or when the heater stops working all of a sudden.
Some people might confuse it with a home insurance, but the two are actually different from each other. Generally, the coverage of the insurance is more extensive. Home insurance will protect you from financial predicaments in case of incidents like a storm or fire.
How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?
This is one question that does not come with a universal answer. This will depend on the extent of the coverage, among other things. However, according to an article from the website of the American Association of Retired Persons, the basic plan for a home warranty will usually cost $300 to $400. On the other hand, the premium plans can cost up to $1,000. The higher the cost is, the more extensive the coverage will be.
Aside from the cost of the coverage, which is often annually, you will also have to pay a deductible for every claim that is filed. This is usually $75 to $100, depending on what is covered.
There are many companies in the U.S. that offer a multi-year plan discount, which will allow you to save money. There are also options to pay the plan monthly so that it will be easier on the pocket.
What is Covered by a Home Warranty?
The coverage will depend on a number of factors, such as the package you have chosen or the terms from the seller. Some of the main inclusions in a home warranty include common appliances, such as stove, oven, water heater, dishwasher, and garbage disposal, among others. It also covers mechanical systems at home, which include heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical receptacles.
How to Choose the Best Home Warranty in the U.S.
If you are from the US and if you search for a home warranty, you will be overwhelmed with the long list of the possibilities. However, this does not mean that you can choose just any provider. To make the right decision, below are some of the most important factors to consider:
- Cost: This is the deciding factor for most people. As noted earlier, the higher is the price of the warranty, the more extensive the coverage is, and consequently, the more you will have peace of mind.
- Reviews: If you are finding it hard to decide which home warranty can offer the best value for money, take the time to read reviews from other people. Their personal experiences will help you come up with the right decision.
- Inclusions and Exclusions: To determine the value for the money, make sure to note what is included and what is not. This can save you from frustration in the future since you will know what exactly is covered by the warranty.
- Repair Timeline: Often, the contract will specify the timeline at which the repair can be completed. Obviously, a better choice would be one that offers quicker repairs.
- Customer Support: It will also be good if the provider of the home warranty offers round-the-clock customer support. This means that when the problem arises, you can immediately get in touch with one of their people to assist you as needed.
- Satisfaction Guarantee: To attract people, some companies offer a sort of satisfaction guarantee. For instance, they can offer free replacement of an appliance if ever they cannot repair it.
How to Make a Claim
Different companies may have different policies when it comes to filing a claim. Generally, however, here are the things that you should do:
- As soon as the problem becomes apparent, call the company’s hotline. At all means, do not attempt to fix the issue by yourself or call a repairman. This can make the warranty void.
- After filing the claim, wait for the company to dispatch a technician to your place. A preliminary inspection will be made. Often, the repair will also be completed on that day. This will depend on the extent of the problem. If the product is beyond economic repair, it can be replaced by a new unit, but this is not always the case. This will depend on the terms of the contract that has been earlier agreed upon.
- By now, you can already enjoy your home appliances or systems working like they are brand new! However, if the problem was not fixed, a second appointment will be scheduled as needed.
Even with the popularity of home warranties in the U.S., it is undeniable that there are still many people who have hesitations about its value. Truth be told, as it has been mentioned above, this is a necessary investment for homeowners. It will provide you with peace of mind from financial troubles. The annual plan will be worth it.