If you have been planning to purchase your home for some time now, chances are you may have come across the term home warranty numerous times. A Home warranty is very important to you as a homeowner because it protects you from the financial constraint that arises from unexpected repair costs when appliances, plumbing systems, and major built-in systems break down. Working with the best home warranty company can give you peace of mind knowing that in case of any eventualities, you will not have to pay the full amount from your pocket.
There are a number of things you will need to consider before choosing a home warranty company. Ensure that you work with a company that suits your lifestyle, family needs, and your home. Here are three features to look for in a home warranty company that will make your choice worth it in the long run.
Look for a home warranty company that caters to your current coverage needs. Depending on the nature of your home, you may find that your systems and appliances need a basic plan that will only tackle the big necessities’ or you may discover that your home needs a comprehensive plan. Start by taking stock of all your systems. If they are old, you will need a warranty for all of them but, if they are relatively new, they may not require a warranty right away.
It is also important to look for a home warranty company that customizes plans and offers coverage for add-ons such as pools and spas, additional cookers, freezers and ovens, external sewer lines if you have them, and enhanced air conditioning.
Ask the home warranty company if they provide emergency services and if their customer service is available throughout the day. You should also find out if you can work with a service provider of your choice or you will need to choose from the pool of the company’s pre-screened technicians before you make a commitment.
- Pricing and Plans
A very important feature to pay attention to when choosing a home warranty company is their pricing plans. Home warranty companies are different in that they offer a wide range of pricing plans, thus ensuring that you identify the one that ticks most of your boxes and still fits in your budget.
Take time to call or email several companies and get quotes so that you can compare prices and see which company best suits your needs for prioritized items. Ask for help if you are not sure where to start. A property management agent or even your neighbour’s can be a great resource during such times.
Most home warranty companies will ask you to choose from two or three service fee plans which are dependent on how you use your warranty. The amount you pay monthly will also be dependent on where you live and the service fee you pay. For example, you can choose a basic plan which covers the five major systems such as the heating system, plumbing, your water heater, electricals, and air conditioning.
- The Contract and Terms
Before making any commitment, make sure that you read the contract thoroughly so that you are well informed of what is covered, what is not, and the replacement policies that the company uses. Reading the contract will also help you set realistic expectations as you will be certain of what the home warranty will be able to do for you. Remember, having the right expectations will help you to save time and also get the most out of your home warranty.
Once you receive the contract and terms booklet which is often sent via email or mail, take time to read through the overview section. Ideally, the overview section will give you important details of what is covered. So many homeowners overlook the overview section only to get frustrated when their claim is denied.
Most contracts will state that appliances and systems will only be replaced if they were in proper working order during that time when you bought the home warranty. The contract will also indicate that appliances will only be replaced if they failed to work because of the normal wear and tear that happened after you bought the home warranty.
Remember contracts have limits, thus be sure to understand your particular contract and know what your limits are. It is also important to read through and understand the effective dates on when your contract takes effect and when and how long it will last.
One important thing to remember is that home warranties do not cover acts of God such as rain, fire, and freeze. This is one area many homeowners overlook only to be disappointed when their claim is denied. Go through the contract and understand which areas are covered by the home insurance policy. Talk to one of the home warranty company representatives and go through the contract with them before signing on the dotted line.