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A homeowner’s guide to home warranty

For many homeowners, getting a home warranty is one of the best ways to get peace of mind. Unfortunately, not all home systems and appliances are durable, so if you want to avoid paying for costly repairs from time to time, you may want to consider investing in a home warranty plan.

A home warranty policy covers a variety of appliances and home systems, and is very useful especially for first-time home buyers who don’t have that much experience with taking care of a home.

Thinking about getting homeowner’s warranty insurance? Here are a few important things you need to know.

Purchasing home warranty

Depending on local customs, it is either the home buyer or seller who will be required to pay for home warranty coverage. In most areas, it is the seller who usually pays for the coverage, as it’s something that works to their benefit – after closing, the buyer won’t bother the seller in case something breaks. Some real estate agents also provide buyers with a home warranty plan at closing.

Benefits of having a home warranty

Like other types of warranties, a home warranty serves as your protection against expensive and unexpected repair fees, giving you peace of mind. It acts as a buffer for homeowners who do not have an emergency fund. Getting a home warranty is a smart move especially for people who don’t consider themselves to be handy or those who don’t want to be go through asking assistance from a contractor in case of a problem. A home warranty is also ideal for homeowners who purchase very expensive high-end appliances.

For home sellers, offering an already paid one-year home warranty along with the purchase gives them protection against any issues or complaints a buyer may have in the future after closing the sale. However, sellers who offer a home warranty aren’t exempted from the legal requirement to disclose any existing problems with the property.

The cost of home warranty

Depending on what the plan covers, a home warranty usually costs somewhere between $300 to $500. There are some companies that hold special sales, with plans offered at discounted rates or additional coverage at standard prices.

A policy is prepaid for a single year and will need to be renewed by the homeowner, often for a slightly higher fee.

Coverage

There are many different plans available, so you’ll need to find out about what each specific plan covers. Consult your agent in case you want to avail of upgrades. Take note of whether a home warranty company covers repairs to make certain appliances or types of systems compliant with any new regulations in your area.

Keep in mind that not all home warranties are all-inclusive. While most policies cover electrical, plumbing, and HVAC, some plans might not include coverage for items you may consider an appliance or system. Some basic policies for example, cover septic systems while others do not.

Talk to the home warranty company to make sure you get the type of coverage for everything you need, and make sure to read the entire policy thoroughly before you sign up.

Replacement or repair

In most home warranties, items that are considered too expensive to repair can instead be replaced by the provider. In this type of situation, the home warranty company might offer only a percentage of the total value of the item in question, requiring you to spend more to replace the same model you owned.

How a home warranty works

While different home warranty plans have specific types of coverage, most plans operate in a similar manner overall, with slightly different terms and conditions.

  • The homeowner calls the home warranty company in situations where an appliance or system malfunctions or ceases to operate.
  • The company gets in touch with an associated provider.
  • The provider calls the homeowner to schedule an appointment.
  • The provider finds a solution to the issue. In case the system or appliance cannot be repaired, depending on the plan’s coverage, the warranty company will provide compensation for the replacement and installation of the item.
  • The homeowner pays a service fee, which usually costs less than $100.

Disputes

In some cases, a service provider might find a reason to deny a claim. In this type of situation (or if you’re disappointed with the service), you can ask for assistance from your real estate agent, who can work towards a resolution with the home warranty company.

Need more information on getting a home warranty plan? Get in touch with the top Pierce County real estate resource! Call Lori Lewandowski today at 253-617-5922.