When we buy a new car, appliance or computer, we typically ask for information on the warranty. For most of us, it’s standard operating procedure. But when it comes to the largest purchase most of us will make, it’s not. Why not? A home warranty is usually provided on new home construction, but most of us don’t think about it on a resale. Understanding what a home warranty is would probably help.
Basically, a home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair and/or replacement costs of home systems and appliances. Not everything is covered, but many of the items that typically break down are included like attic fans, garage door openers, garbage disposals, ductwork, electrical, plumbing, furnaces, major appliances, pool equipment, and more. Coverage varies based on the company and plan you select.
Home Warranty Policies are provided by several different companies and consumers are encouraged to research a few before making their final selection. Since coverage varies from state to state and from policy to policy, ask to see a sample copy of a policy for your state and coverage level before you commit.
Although they each vary in services and pricing, most of them operate in a similar manner:
- If a covered appliance or home system malfunctions, the homeowner calls the home warranty company for service.
- The home warranty company arranges for a service provider.
- The homeowner usually pays a service call fee as per the terms of their contract.
- The service provider fixes the problem, or if it cannot be repaired, depending on the contract coverage, the home warranty company may replace the appliance with a “like quality” item. Keep in mind that an older appliance may have been the top of the line when purchased, but is not considered top of the line today, so a replacement appliance of “like quality” may be a base model and not top of the line.
Other things to be aware of with a Home Warranty Program, are that sometimes a claim may be denied. Understanding the terms of your contract will help you to be prepared. Some common reasons claims are denied include:
- Poor and improper maintenance
- Code violations
- Unusual wear and tear
- Improper installation – DIY installations that may not be to code, etc.
Items that may or may not covered:
- Irrigation systems
- Appliances such as refrigerators, washers & dryers, garage door openers
- Air conditioners
- Spas and/or pools
- Permit fees and haul-aways
As you prepare to sell your home, and/or purchase a new home, you might want to think about a home warranty.
Make an informed decision – research a few companies. And if you are considering selling your home, or looking to buy a home, please contact us here or at 678-920-3099.