Buying a house and filling it up with furniture and appliances will make a huge dent on your finances. Things breaking down will do, too. Naturally, you’ll want to protect yourself from such unexpected expenses. This is where home warranty comes in.
The problem is there are different home warranty plans out there. They vary in a lot of things, such as cost and coverage. It can be a little tricky to determine which one is the best for you. So, to make things easier, I’ve outlined some of the factors you should consider when shopping for a home warranty.
First things first!
Before you explore your options, here are two things you need to do:
- Make an inventory of your appliances and home systems. What do you have in your house and how much does it cost to maintain them? Highlight the ones that cost the most, the ones that are most likely to break down, and the ones that are important in your day-to-day life.
- Double-check existing warranties. Some appliances already come with their own warranties. Check which ones have these and list them down. This way, you’ll avoid paying double for something you already have. Now that you’re done with these, it’s time to move on things you should consider to find the best home warranty insurance.
Home warranty companies offer different coverage levels. This refers to a lot of things. For instance, some companies offer a wide range of home warranties, while others specialize in certain ones. There are also companies out there where you can customize your home warranty plan.
The actual coverage of the plans also differ. What you find to be a standard plan might be packaged as advanced in another company and vice versa. Look for the following details:
- Actual coverage of the home warranty
- Limitations and conditions
- Cancellation policies
Several factors come into play when it comes to a home warranty plan’s overall cost. Location might play a role as well the type of property you live in. Coverage, of course, affects the cost. Ask about the following or keep your eye out on these things as you read contracts:
- Additional services (if there are any)
- Service fees
- Maximum limit
- Other added costs
Moving on from what a home warranty plan provides, it’s also important to consider the customer service policies of different home warranty providers.
Note the following as you shop around for a plan that works for you:
- How present in the home warranty company in your area?
- How many in-service contractors do they have in your locale?
- What are the ways you can file a claim?
- How long does it take for the company to respond to claims?
- What are their respective claim processes like?
- What are the requirements you need to pursue a claim?
Home warranty companies either have their own in-house service contractors or work with partners to resolve claims and actually provide the coverage of the plans. As you sit down and talk with a representative, ask about the following:
- Do they have in-house service contractors or do they work with partners?
- For companies that work with both, specify which services are covered by in-house and partner contractors, respectively.
- What is the screening process like for the contractors?
- What are the criteria they use to select contractors to work with?
Reputation of the company
Cost and coverage aside, you should also look into the different companies or home warranty providers out there. You’ll find that some standout from others for either positive and negative reasons. Here are a couple of things you can do to check the background of these providers:
- Read reviews online. You can find some on social media networks and forums. Some providers have official websites with dedicated pages for ratings and reviews.
- Check their official social media pages. Legitimate home warranty providers are likely to have these so they can disseminate announcements and information about new products. These pages also offer a glimpse of company-customer engagement.
- Double-check if the home warranty providers you’re interested in are registered in Washington State. You can start your research by checking out this list of top 10 home warranty companies.