Home Warranties - What are they? Who should have one? Where can I get one?
One of the scary things about making the leap from property renter to property owner is the idea of maintenance and upkeep. I'm no mechanic or repairman. Maybe you don’t know a socket wrench from a sheep ranch. And calling repairmen—how do you know you’re not going to get ripped off because of your lack of knowledge? One solution is the home warranty. These are often offered as part of the buyer’s incentive package when you are buying a home.
What a home warranty is not: It’s not a blanket insurance policy against anything ever going wrong in your home. It’s not a permanent warranty. It does have exclusions. Before you purchase or accept a warranty, it’s good to know what the warranty is, what it covers, what it doesn’t and how it works.
How does it work? Most home warranties are very similar. You’ll want to read your warranty thoroughly and mark anything you don’t understand to have explained to you. But in general:
l If a home system or appliance breaks down or stops working, you call the home warranty company.
l Your home warranty company will call a service provider it has a business arrangement with.
l The service provider will call you to make an appointment.
l The service provider will fix the problem. If an appliance or system is malfunctioning and can’t be repaired, depending on your contract coverage, your home warranty company will pay to replace and install the appliance.
l You will pay a small trade service fee (usually less than $100).
What If the service provider doesn’t fix something to your satisfaction or says that the problem is your fault and isn’t covered by your warranty? Call your real estate agent. Your real estate agent should seek resolution for you.
What’s not covered? Check your specific policy, but in general:
l Outdoor items such as sprinklers l Faucets l Refrigerators, washers, dryers and garage door openers l Spas and pools, unless specific coverage requested l Permit fees l Haul aways
What can cause denial of a claim?
l Improper maintenance l Code violations l Unusual wear and tear l Improper installation
General coverage includes
l Air conditioning l Dishwashers l Doorbells l Furnace/heating systems l Water heaters l Ductwork l Garbage disposals l Inside plumbing stoppages l Ceiling fans l Electrical systems l Range and oven l Telephone wiring
Your responsibility is to read thoroughly and understand your warranty before you agree to the terms. Be sure to clear up anything you don’t understand before you sign anything. Below is a list of Home Warranty companies.
AMERICAN HOME SHIELD
Far and away the trusted industry leader
Over $2 billion paid out in claims in the past 5 years
Nationwide network of more than 14,000 contractors
More than 1.7 million customers
Best reputation in the home warranty industry
AMERICA'S 1ST CHOICE
Save 10% on any plan
Dedicated account managers
Choose your own service technicians
Longest work guarantee
Unlimited number of repairs
SELECT HOME WARRANTY
No limit on the number of claims
24-hour claims line
No home inspection required
Free roof coverage
Thousands of local service providers across the country
Easy online quote form (just your info & home address
CHOICE HOME WARRANTY
First Month Free + $50 Savings
24/7 Claims Hotline
No Inspection Required
Fast, Reliable, local Technicians
Dedicated Support Team
HOME SERVICE CLUB
Strong online ratings and reviews
24/7 service team schedules repairs fast
No home inspection needed
Extensive list of system and appliance coverage
2 plans to fit your budget
Award winning service!
AMERICAN HOME WARRANTY
Free online quotes
Home system and appliance coverage
Maintenance and repair options
Personalized plans catered to your needs
Answer a few, simple questions to see which home warranty provider is the best fit for you
ADVANCED HOME WARRANTY
Specialized Service Solutions
24/7 Claims Service
Dedicated Customer Service Professionals
First Month Free with Annual Contract
Home Inspection not Required
24/7 support whenever your appliances fail
Large network of independent pre-screened contractors and qualified technicians
In business for over 30 years
Good coverage on home systems
Does not cover pre-existing issues
They replace items that fail if they can't be fixed regardless of age, make or model
TOTAL HOME PROTECTION
24/7 Claims Service
Pre-Screened and Licensed Local Technicians
Coverage regardless of make, model or age
Monthly and Annual Plans
No claim limits
1 Month Free With Purchase Of Any Single Payment Plan
Plans For As Low As $1 Per Day