By this time, you have probably seen the ads, gotten the emails and maybe even hung up on a few robocalls going on and on about the benefits of a home warranty. Are they actually worth getting, however?
Let’s take a good look at home warranties and what they really have to offer. This can allow you to determine if a home warranty is ideal for you or if it’d just be a waste of your money.
What Is a Home Warranty?
First of all, just what is a home warranty? This is an important matter, because many people don’t actually understand what a home warranty is for. A common assumption is that a home warranty is like some version of homeowners’ insurance, perhaps offering short-term coverage after closing on a home.
While the timing aspect is pretty close, a home warranty is actually significantly different than a homeowners’ insurance coverage. Instead, a home warranty covers certain things within the home to allow for their replacement in case they break soon after buying the property.
What Does a Home Warranty Include?
The specifics of what a home warranty covers can vary a bit depending on the specific home warranty plan you purchase. In general, though, home warranties are designed to cover major systems and appliances within the home.
When you are purchasing a home, your home warranty will have you covered if something such as the refrigerator or water heater breaks down a few months after you move in. In the majority of cases, major systems such as plumbing and HVAC are insured as well. The policy functions like most standard warranties, allowing you to get needed repairs or replacements while the warranty is still in effect.
What’s Not Covered?
Unless it is specifically mentioned in your home warranty, general home repairs or other maintenance are not included in the warranty.
This means that something such as a broken window, a weak place in the floor or peeling paint would have to be repaired as an out-of-pocket investment if they aren’t insured under your homeowners’ insurance. The home warranty is designed to cover only your new home’s appliances and major systems.
How Long Do Home Warranties Last?
Again, the term of a home warranty depends upon the specific warranty policy you take out. One of the most common warranty periods is one year, providing you a full year’s worth of peace of mind after you take out the policy.
Now based on your demands, but you may be able to get a home warranty for longer or shorter periods as well.
Can You Add Extra Services?
Depending upon the home warranty provider you choose, there may be add-ons that you can include with your warranty service for an additional cost. These can include items like swimming pool maintenance and repair, well maintenance and expanded services such as maintenance tune-ups for your HVAC system.
Some providers even use add-ons to create customizable warranty plans, offering up a basic general plan and then expanding it to meet your needs by permitting you to add only the features you want.
Do You Need a Home Warranty?
Whether you actually need a home warranty or not is kind of a big question. The answer depends on a great deal of factors such as the age of the home that you are buying, the amount of coverage you get from your homeowners’ insurance and also what you have in the house that will be dealt with by the home warranty.
The price of the warranty plan should also be a consideration, since this can vary by several hundred dollars depending on the provider and the amount of coverage included. The right home warranty can be a fantastic purchase, but it’s worth looking at the price and coverage to make sure the plan is actually what you want.