Should You Consider a Home Warranty?
Home warranties, much like insurance, offer a shield for your home and your finances. But like insurance, it’s not always clear whether claims will be approved.
What is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty primarily extends coverage to home systems . There are different levels of coverage. Basic coverage encompasses aspects such as plumbing, electrical systems, garage doors, smoke detectors while a premium level will include coverage for bigger items like the furnace, air conditioning, and water heater. The annual cost typically falls in the range of $350 to $700, depending on the type of home and the extent of coverage.
Sound too good to be true?
It’s important to note, there are more steps with a home warranty. For instance, when your water heater malfunctions, it's not as straightforward as calling a professional for a replacement. Instead, you need to adhere to the warranty's prescribed procedure for repair or replacement, with repair being the preferred option whenever possible.
It’s also important to understand the ins and outs from the get-go. Are there any proactive steps you can take at the start of your coverage to streamline the process in the future? Ask your sales rep about coverage gaps and what falls outside the warranty's scope. Ask about the claims process as well.
So, should you consider a home warranty?
Consider the age of your appliances and home systems. If they needed to be replaced today would it place a financial burden on your shoulders?
If your appliances and systems are on the older side and replacement would strain your finances, a home warranty might be a good consideration for you.
Similarly, if you recently purchased your home and depleted your savings account a home warranty might be something to consider regardless of age of appliances and systems (unfortunately issues and breakdowns aren’t limited to aged items only).
Home warranties can be purchased on an annual basis, affording you the flexibility to reevaluate the need for one each year. If you have a home warranty or if you’re considering one, here are some quick words of wisdom:
Take the time to talk with your sales rep and understand your coverage. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. The more you know, the better you can set the right expectations for yourself. A warranty can be a valuable protective tool, but it likely won’t cover everything you hope for at 100%.
Set a reminder in your calendar to reassess the need a warranty for the following year.
Keep note of the benefits you can utilize throughout the life of the warranty (i.e. some offer seasonal furnace tune ups, etc.)