As a home inspector I’m often asked if a home warranty is worth the cost.
My first response is “Do your homework.” All home warranties are NOT created equal.
I’m not going to recommend or advise you stay away from a specific home warranty provider, that isn’t the purpose of this post. What I want to do is to make you aware of the things to look at when considering the purchase of a home warranty.
A Home Warranty is not the same as nor does it replace your home owner’s insurance policy.
There are different levels of coverage and the costs will vary accordingly. The more items you want covered the more your policy will cost. Don’t just shop for the best price.
You may not need a home warranty if…
- You’re buying a new home.
- You purchased your appliances with a credit card.
- Your manufactures warranties are long and have great coverage.
- Don’t pay twice. You may already have coverage.
When a warranty says it covers a specific appliance, check to see exactly what that means. Are the major components of the appliance covered? For example, for a refrigerator is the fan and compressor both covered?
Is the condition of an appliance a factor in whether it’s covered or not? It is, and the service provider makes that call.
When you need a repair…
You are locked into using the service repair company that your warranty provider says you must use.
There’s usually a per visit charge for service calls ($50.00 to $100.00).
A warranty does not mean your appliance will automatically be replaced if it breaks. Instead, the provider might say they are going to repair it, it’s their decision.
Be aware, a home warranty is not a replacement cost guarantee. if an appliance needs to be replaced, most service providers (if they decide to replace it) will determine the value is of the old appliance and apply that amount towards the cost of the new appliance. You will have to pay the difference.
One of the first things to do for any provider is to check them out on the Better Business Bureau site to find out what kind of rating they have.
Next, do a search on the company name through Google to see what other customers say. Are people happy with the service they receive when something breaks, and they ask for repairs or are they frustrated and unhappy with the service provided.
Talk to family and friends to find out if they have a Home warranty and if they are happy with their provider.
Once you have a good provider, then look at the options or plans they have available. Again, don’t just shop for the best price. Shop for the best provider and plan. It will go a long way towards your satisfaction when something breaks!