The point of home warranties is to allow homeowners to get a full night of peaceful sleep. You’ll sleep like a baby because you know that if you wake up to a warm refrigerator, a jet-less Jacuzzi, or a dryer that doesn’t fluff, your home warranty company will get things running again.
Here are ten tips to help you find the right warranty company for your home.
Read the Reviews
Hopefully, we have all become a little more internet savvy throughout the years. We know that reviews on a warranty company’s website do not paint a complete picture of their customers’ experiences.
Instead, look at reviews on third-party websites. Even though people tend to write reviews only after bad experiences, read about the complaints. Were the grievances about the warranty company’s customer service, or were they complaints about a repair person working in a specific market? It’s not fair to base the service of a national warranty company on the actions of one repair person.
Check the Coverage
Consumer Reports noted that some warranty companies would cover a refrigerator, but they will not cover a broken icemaker located within the unit. Perhaps the warranty company includes the fridge found in the kitchen, but not the extra fridge that you have for drinks that sits in the garage.
Some warranty companies have tiered plans to choose from. Make sure you read all the fine print to see if everything is covered that you would expect and want to be included.
Compare the Costs
Does it make financial sense for you to have a home warranty? Figure out how much you would spend on a warranty system throughout the year. Then look back at the repair and replacement bills for the last two or three years. Would you spend more money on a home warranty plan than you would have just by paying out of pocket when expenses arise?
Granted, if you haven’t had many repairs in the last two or three years, you may be about due for some to happen in the next couple of years. Appliances don’t last forever.
Check the Availability
Some people in rural areas report how having a home warranty proves to be more of a pain than a benefit. If you are required to use specific service technicians for repairs, those technicians may not venture outside of city limits.
See if Your Appliances are Already Protected
Are you sure a warranty doesn't already cover your appliances? You may have even purchased an extended warranty for your devices when you bought them.
Look through your records to see what appliances are covered and which are not. You may find that you still in need of a home warranty, but maybe a lower-tier plan.
Know the Plan’s Limits
Some plans limit the amount they will pay out on coverage during a given year. You may be able to purchase one of these plans at a lower premium, which may make financial sense for you.
Learn if the Plan Replaces or Repairs
You may be disappointed if the service technician fixes the burner on your twenty-year-old stove instead of replacing the entire unit. Some plans may be more apt to replace appliances than others. This information probably can’t be discovered in the fine print. Instead, talk with friends and neighbors about their experiences with their home warranty companies.
Get Free Quotes
There are many home warranty companies in the marketplace. Read the reviews of several that serve your local area. Then get free quotes from two or three of them.
Find out About Pre-Existing Conditions
Don’t assume that if you purchase a home warranty when your heating and cooling system is on its last leg, the repairs will be covered. Most home warranties on the marketplace are aware of these practices and will not include older systems.
Also, don’t wait until your dishwasher and microwave quit working to buy a home warranty. There may be a waiting period before you can start using the service, and no one wants to be without a dishwasher for too long.
Check Out the Customer Service
Call the warranty company’s customer service line to get a free quote. Ask questions.
If the person on the other end of the phone seems knowledgeable and friendly, this bodes well for what the overall customer care experience will be like for the whole company.
Home warranties can undoubtedly bring peace of mind, but you need to make sure you do your homework before signing on the dotted line to purchase one.