Home systems and appliances are expensive to repair or replace. Unexpected and out of the blue, these expenses can be budget-wreckers for homeowners.
Look for a company with a good track record and a convenient process for filing claims. Also, read reviews and request sample contracts from each home warranty provider.
1. Read Reviews
A home warranty may be included as part of a real estate deal or can be purchased independently. If you’re interested in purchasing one, you should read reviews and compare plans to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.
It’s also helpful to ask friends and family who have home warranties for their opinions. This will help you identify any companies that don’t have good customer service or provide poor coverage options.
Be sure to note any red flags, such as complaints about denied claims. Also check if each company offers sample contracts that you can review. Though these won’t fully reflect the terms of your final contract, they will give you an idea of what to expect when filing a claim. Also find out how each company handles service requests and any add-on coverage options (like pools, spas and other home services). Lastly, check how long the plan lasts and if there is a fee for canceling it.
2. Get Quotes
Home warranty providers offer a wide range of plans with different coverage options, premiums, deductibles and terms. The best way to select a plan is by getting quotes from multiple companies.
Make sure that each quote includes all the costs involved in the plan, including the service fee and deductible. In addition, look at the contract’s coverage caps and determine whether they are aggregate or per-item.
Also, check that the company you are considering is registered in your state and that it follows local regulations regarding home warranty services. Insufficient regulation allows dishonest providers to give reputable home warranties a bad name. Read online reviews, ask friends and family about their experiences with certain home warranty companies and compare plans to find the best value for your money. You can also find sample contracts and user agreements on the website of a company to get a better idea of what to expect from a specific plan.
3. Compare Plans
Rather than simply choosing the first home warranty company they come across, homeowners should carefully compare each one’s plan options, costs, and policy terms. Often, representatives can help shoppers find plans that cover the most important items for their specific needs. Every situation is different and warranties are all different between different companies. A Colorado home warranty may include something different from another state’s home warranty so be sure to ask questions so you know.
In addition, homeowners should check the available coverage limits for each option they consider. Some companies will only cover a certain amount for different types of systems, appliances, and services, such as limited roof-leak repairs or basic furnace replacements.
It’s also helpful for homeowners to see how each company handles the process of filing a claim. Some will expect homeowners to pay for service themselves and get reimbursed, while others offer online or app-based claim-filing options. Homeowners should decide how they’re comfortable with each company’s claim-filing process before settling on one. Most importantly, homeowners should make sure the plans they consider cover all the systems and appliances that are important to their lifestyle. If not, they may be better off building an emergency fund for repair or replacement costs instead of paying a premium to protect them.
4. Read the Contract
The contract is important to read because it lays out everything that a homeowner will need to know about their home warranty plan. It will include all costs, all limits, and the reasons a claim might be rejected. This helps homeowners avoid any surprises when they need to make a claim.
Many companies have sample contracts that are available for homeowners to review. These are a great way to compare coverage options, premiums, and deductibles. It also helps homeowners find a provider that offers a plan that meets their needs without breaking the bank.
Another important thing to look for in a home warranty plan is how the company processes claims. For example, some companies have an online portal that is available 24/7 and will process a claim as soon as a homeowner submits it. This can be very helpful if an appliance or system breaks down in the middle of the night. Other companies have a specific timeline that they follow for processing and paying for repairs.