Home warranties can save homeowners a lot of money in repairs and replacements. But, homeowners should do their homework to find the right warranty provider. Look for a hassle-free claims process and a relationship with reputable contractors.
New buyers may also want to consider a home warranty as a way to cut down on expenses right after moving in. Every homeowner has basic questions such as, “Does home warranty cover plumbing leaks?” Therefore, here are 7 essential questions to ask before you purchase a home warranty.
1. What is a Home Warranty?
Home warranties are a way for homeowners to protect themselves from the high cost of repairs or replacements for major appliances and systems. However, they do not cover everything. Many home warranty companies offer add-on coverage that homeowners can purchase to address specific needs.
Home warranties are often a selling point in real estate transactions and can provide peace of mind for buyers who do not know how well a home has been maintained or if the system was properly installed. But they should be viewed as a supplement to standard homeowner’s insurance and not a substitute.
2. What is the Waiting Period?
Many homeowners purchase a home warranty when they buy a new home to protect their investment and have peace of mind. This helps ease the transition into homeownership and allows them to focus on their new life.
However, new homeowners must keep in mind that home warranty providers typically have a waiting period for claims. This is to reduce the risk of people trying to take advantage of the policy by submitting false claims for items that were broken before they purchased the home warranty.
The only exception to this is if the home warranty is purchased as part of a real estate transaction, which usually results in coverage starting on the date of closing. Otherwise, the typical wait is 30 days.
3. What is Included in the Coverage?
Home warranty providers offer a wide range of plans and coverage options. It is important to read the service contract carefully to understand what each plan covers and does not cover. For example, most providers exclude coverage for repair needs resulting from pre-existing conditions.
Systems and appliances have lifespans, so they will break down or malfunction over time due to normal wear and tear. A home warranty can help to soften the blow of having to replace these items. However, it does not protect homeowners from unexpected events that damage these items.
4. What are the Exclusions?
Home warranties usually include a list of specific exclusions and limits. These limit the amount the warranty provider will pay to repair or replace an item.
For example, the warranty may exclude damage to a water heater that is caused by using a septic system or from an electrical outage. It also may not cover damages to the roof or gutters caused by tree branches or hail.
It is important to understand these limitations and exclusions before purchasing a home warranty. Otherwise, the cost could be more than you expect.
5. What is the Cost?
A home warranty can cost several hundred dollars a year, paid up-front or in installments. Depending on the plan, it may also include service fees for repair technicians.
Many homeowners consider a home warranty to be worth it because they can cover the costs of repairs and replacements, saving money in the long run. It also helps to avoid delaying repairs, which can worsen the issue and lead to further damage or costly replacements.
6. What is the Claims Process?
Home warranties come with limitations and exclusions, which impact the overall value of the coverage. It’s important to understand these and compare providers so you can avoid surprise costs.
It’s also a good idea to find out if the provider has any standardized appeals process that you can follow if your claim is denied. This ensures accountability in the event of a dispute with the company.
7. What is Customer Service Like?
Home warranty companies often claim that their service is like insurance, but unlike traditional insurance, their contracts contain payout limits and annual caps. They also use arbitration to resolve disputes rather than the court system.
Home warranties can save homeowners money by avoiding costly repairs and replacements. However, homeowners should carefully assess the costs and coverage of a home warranty to ensure it meets their needs.
Singh is an experienced spiritual writer and the resident author at Guruvanee.com. With a deep passion for exploring the mystical aspects of life, Singh delves into various spiritual traditions, philosophies, and practices to inspire readers on their spiritual journeys.