Homeowners today have the option of getting a home warranty when they purchase the house. In many cases, the current homeowner will offer the buyer a home warranty as part of the sale or the real estate agent may gift the homeowner a home warranty.
The home warranty generally lasts for a year and then will need to be renewed. For today’s homeowners, this can be a great way to make sure everything is covered in case anything happens. With how expensive a home is, having the assurance that issues will be covered can help homeowners feel more relaxed during the first few years of ownership, especially if it’s their first time purchasing a home.
Is a Home Warranty Really Needed?
No, it’s not required for homeowners to have a home warranty. However, it is a really good idea. If something breaks down a week after purchasing the home, is there enough money in the emergency fund to cover it? What about if something major breaks down a few months into ownership. Those who are used to a landlord handling the repairs may be shocked to find out how expensive repairs can be, especially on major appliances and systems in the home. On top of this, it’s entirely possible that multiple things could break within a few weeks or months. Without a home warranty like one from 2-10.com, it’s entirely possible that savings will be depleted and it’ll be necessary to choose what’s the most important thing to repair now, then wait to get other issues fixed once more money is saved. From a financial standpoint, a home warranty is a really good idea and something that every homeowner should consider.
Getting a Home Warranty
Most of the time, home warranties are obtained for the buyer. A seller may purchase the home warranty to make the sale more attractive and to add value to the deal when they sell their home. In some cases, real estate agents will opt to pay for a year’s home warranty for the buyer to help the sale. Once the year has ended, the homeowner will be responsible for renewing their home warranty each year to make sure they continue to be covered.
Home warranties can be purchased for just about any home. In some cases, it is possible for the homeowner to purchase a home warranty on their own, even if they purchased the home years before. It is a good idea to look into the coverage options, as many home warranty companies offer tiers of support. Higher tiers will be more costly, but it is still a low cost per year and will cover more appliances than the basic tiers. Look into the cost of replacing appliances or major repairs on systems and compare that to the age of the appliance or system and the cost of the tier to determine which one to purchase.
What the Home Warranty Will Cover
The standard home warranty policy will cover appliances and major systems in the home. Appliances include the refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, oven and stove, garage door opener, and other major appliances. It can also include a built-in microwave, ice makers, and other appliances. For systems, the standard home warranty may include the heating and air conditioning, electric system, plumbing, water dispensers, water heaters, garbage disposals, ceiling fans, and more. It may also include smoke detectors, ceiling fans, and doorbells.
Home warranty companies typically offer add-ons as well or may include more appliances and systems in a higher-tiered plan. This can include swimming pool equipment, the septic tank, some roof leaks, pest control, locksmith services, electronics in the home, and more. Homeowners worried about whether something is included can speak with the home warranty company. If something is not included in the standard plan, the company may still offer coverage for an additional fee.
Home Warranties Don’t Cover Everything
Homeowners should be aware that home warranties do not cover every possible scenario. In fact, there are times when a home warranty won’t cover an appliance or system at all, even if it’s on the list of covered items. If the item is damaged or broken before the start of the home warranty, repairs are not covered. If the appliance or system was damaged during the installation or due to an improper installation, it likely won’t be covered. Other reasons an appliance or system might not be covered include if it was used for commercial instead of residential use or if there are just cosmetic issues with an appliance. Homeowners can get more specific details on what is or isn’t covered by contacting the home warranty company or checking out the paperwork when they obtain the home warranty.
The home warranty may not cover the full repair or replacement price, either. In many cases, homeowners will find the home warranty will cover the service fee for the repair as well as some or most of the repair costs. If an appliance does need to be replaced, the home warranty may cover some or all of the replacement, depending on the coverage offered as well as other details of the situation. It is a good idea to learn more about how much is covered before filing a claim to know what to expect if a claim is ever needed.
When Something Stops Working
When the air conditioner stops working on a warm summer day or the refrigerator stops cooling properly, repairs are needed. The homeowner will need to call the home warranty company or use their website, if online claims are accepted, and speak with an agent. The agent will review the homeowner’s coverage, help start the claims process, and explain what the homeowner can expect. A professional will be sent to the house to diagnose the issue and perform the necessary repairs. The amount of time all of this can take will vary, so it is a good idea to call as soon as any issue is noticed. The faster a claim is started, the more quickly everything can be repaired.
What If it Can’t be Repaired?
Sometimes, appliances can’t be repaired. If this is the case, it will be necessary to purchase a replacement. The home warranty company will likely cover at least some of the cost of a new appliance, which will help offset the costs for the homeowner. The first step, however, is to try to repair the appliance, as this will be sufficient to get more use from the appliance in most cases. Homeowners can contact the home warranty company if they’re worried the repair isn’t going to be enough or they’d like to skip trying to repair the appliance and look into purchasing a new one.
What if the Repair Doesn’t Last?
If the appliance stops working again, the home warranty company will send out another professional to take a look and make the necessary repairs. If the professional doesn’t believe a repair will be successful this time either or they are worried the cost of repair to get the appliance working again is too high, they may suggest purchasing a new appliance, instead. Some appliances can have multiple issues at once or be known for specific issues that can’t be repaired. In these cases, it’s worth it to look into getting a new appliance.
Aren’t These Things Covered by Insurance?
Home warranties and homeowner’s insurance are completely different, though they can overlap in some situations. Homeowner’s insurance is likely required by the mortgage company to protect their investment, and it covers things that are out of the homeowner’s control or disasters that could impact the home. A home warranty, on the other hand, covers appliances and systems that may stop working. Fires, lightning, flooding, and more are all covered by homeowner’s insurance, while a broken air conditioner or a washing machine that doesn’t spin will be covered by a home warranty.
Using Insurance and a Home Warranty Together
There are instances when homeowner’s insurance and a home warranty may work together to help the homeowner deal with a disaster. If there is a flood in the home due to burst plumbing, for instance, the home warranty will cover the plumbing repairs, but will not cover the damage done by the water. The homeowner’s insurance company, on the other hand, will cover the water damage, but will not typically cover plumbing repairs. In a situation like this, it’s possible to use the home warranty and the homeowner’s insurance policy to get help covering the costs of the disaster and getting the home back in shape.
If you’re thinking about buying a home, having a home warranty is a good idea. Though it may not be required, it’s going to give you peace of mind to know that the appliances and major systems in the home are covered if they stop working. Take the time to look into home warranties today to learn more about what they cover, what pricing tier you may prefer, and what you need to know about getting it set up for when you purchase the home.