Home warranties are the perfect solution to unanticipated high costs borne for home maintenance. Choice Home Warranty handles contracts for over 1,000,000 homes spread across the U.S., making them one of the largest home warranty companies.
What is a Home Warranty?
Home warranties are service contracts that cover the cost of the maintenance of household appliances or systems for a fixed period. It protects consumers from high unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.
How do Home Warranties work?
When a system or appliance is compromised or damaged, the resident contacts the warranty provider. This warranty provider usually works alongside multiple service providers or contractors (plumbing and electrical services), and they request their services on each case.
Upon assessing the damage, the service provider provides a detailed report of the same, including the extent of and the potential causes for the damage.
The warrantor confirms if the policyholder’s contract covers the assessed damage to the system. If it does, the services of the contractor are enlisted, and the warrantor bears the costs.
What do Home Warranties cover?
Warranties usually cover major household appliances such as water heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, stoves, and so on. Systems such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC are also typically covered.
Many warranties have details in fine print that are crucial to understanding the coverage offered. Each warranty has different covers, i.e. some warranties cover garage doors in the basic plan, whereas others may require premium subscriptions.
Companies like Choice Home Warranty also offer coverages for roof repairs and are trusted by many for their 24/7 customer care and availability of customizable coverage plans.
How much do such warranties cost?
Basic plans can range from $300-$500 annually, whereas a comprehensive coverage plan would typically be priced around $650-800 annually. Additional costs include claim service call costs (approx. $85 per claim) and any expenses that exceed the maximum coverage amount for a particular item.
If service costs exceed the coverage limit, the surplus amount needs to be paid for by the policyholder. Hence, it is recommended to opt for warrantors with higher coverage limits.
Some companies also cover the replacement of an appliance should it prove to be beyond repair.
Difference between Home Warranties and Home Insurances
Both are often mistaken for each other. Warranties cover the functioning of the house, such as systems and appliances present in them. In contrast, insurances cover the home itself and any damage to the home due to a fire or other natural causes.
Home warranties exist to cover consumers who purchase houses with stocked appliances without a well-documented history of use and maintenance at the time of purchase. It can also be time-consuming to search for service providers, and warranties can cover the same.
The main reasons for procuring a warranty remain limited time and high costs of repairing damaged appliances or systems.
Things to Consider before contracting Home Warranty Services
- One makes the most out of a warranty contract when there is more risk involved. There are grounds upon which one can fail to qualify for a warranty contract, but there needs to be a perceptible risk of damage for the warranty to be required.
- On purchasing a relatively older house with no information but its history of repairs and condition, it is advisable to take out a warranty contract on the same, which might keep one from the unnecessary or avoidable expenditure.
- Appliances/Systems to be Covered.
- Make a list of appliances that need to be covered by the warranty. Not every system will be susceptible or vulnerable to damage, and this list will help one select the best plan for them.
- Some companies also offer customizable plans either from a fixed price list or by providing you with a quote.
- Terms and Conditions.
- Contracts usually do not cover damages resulting from pre-existing conditions unless declared or examined and acknowledged. Other arrangements differ in this aspect by examining before providing a quote for the warranty contract.
- Remember to read the fine print before entering a warranty contract.
- Additional Costs.
- Each claim comes with an attached cost. Before taking up a contract, remember that the agreement does not cover all costs. Look for a contract with high coverage limits and lower per claim costs and service call fees.
- Costs can differ for houses above approx. 5000 sq. ft and fixed plans only extend to those below that space limit.
Warranty Plans do not cover damages by natural calamities or causes. That being said, statistics have shown that the average U.S. homeowner could spend up to $7,560 per annum on house repairs and maintenance. Opting for a contract would significantly reduce that expenditure.