If you’ve recently purchased a home, or are considering renewing the home warranty that came with your home, chances are that you have some questions. You’ve probably heard a lot of different things about home warranty programs. Like anything that remotely resembles an insurance program, there’s a lot of nuance behind individual experiences.
What is a Home Warranty?
Think of your home warranty as a type of insurance. It’s technically a service agreement, similar to what you sign when you get with a new car. Individual warranty programs have contracts with individual service providers who will come out and diagnose your problem, arrange for parts, and then return ready to fix it. The quality of any single home warranty program is only as good as the contracts that the company has with its service providers.
The yearly costs for a home warranty range widely, with the very basic plans starting around $300 and comprehensive plans that include larger repairs pushing the $1,000 mark. There’s also typically a service call charge and there can be an upper limit on the costs the warranty will cover.
Depending on the age, size, and complexity of your home it’s all a matter of perspective when choosing the right warranty for you.
How Does a Home Warranty Work?
Although they may seem the same, one company may cover something that another company completely excludes, so be sure to read the ENTIRE document before agreeing to a particular home warranty. Working with a reputable warranty company is a simple process. It goes something like this:
- You notice that the sink is backed up unexpectedly.
- You call the number to your warranty company.
- An operator answers and asks for information and a brief description of the problem.
- You explain that your sink is full of water.
- Your operator the triages the case as either emergency or not, and does one of two things: gives you the number to a service provider OR promises to contact one on your behalf.
- The provider calls you to arrange an appointment.
- The appointment is set, the service provider comes out and figures out what the problem is. If it’s an easy fix, they may deal with it right then. If it’s a costly repair, they’ll need to go back to the warranty company and try to figure out how much is your responsibility and how much the company will cover.
- You authorize a costly repair, pay your part, and go on with your life. Or you decline it and call the warranty company back to get a second opinion.
Warranty programs can be hit and miss. Sometimes the things they cover versus the things they don’t seem completely arbitrary. But, there’s plenty of competition that will allow you to get into a program you can afford.
If you need help understanding or choosing the right warranty for your home, give us a call today!
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