Home warranties are proving to be an increasingly valuable protection for homeowners. A home warranty offers affordable home system and appliance protection. It differs from property insurance and mortgage insurance, and can be thought of as an extended warranty on all applicable home systems and appliances, bundled under the umbrella of one home warranty provider. Typically, when a homeowner purchases a range, microwave, dishwasher, washer/dryer, or other appliance it is covered for a full year by a manufacturer’s warranty. Extending these warranties for individual items is costly and often riddled with exclusionary terms and conditions. Manufacturer warranties are restricted to specific purchases, and are subject to a limited timeframe.
Home warranty protection is comprehensive, and all-encompassing. Plans can be selected based on the types of home systems and appliances that need to be covered. These include electro-mechanical, plumbing systems, heating systems, ductwork, air-conditioning, and more. A home warranty becomes invaluable to homeowners after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. It is generally accepted that dryers can last up to 12 years, dishwashers up to 10 years, freezers up to 11 years, microwaves up to 9 years, refrigerators up to 12 years, air-conditioning units up to 11 years, and heaters up to 13 years. Of course, these are simply averages based on information compiled through the Appliance Market Research Report for Appliance Magazine, and featured in the Chicago Tribune.
Should You Spend up to $500 a Year on Home Warranty Protection?
Specifics vis-a-vis durability depend on the quality of the brand, frequency of usage, proper maintenance and repair etcetera. For many folks, it can be a little disconcerting to understand when a home warranty is useful, and when it should be avoided. As a rule of thumb, a home with brand-new appliances does not typically need a $300 – $500 + home warranty service. And warranties become useful after the first several years of an appliance’s lifetime. It is during this period that repairs, maintenance, and replacement of systems and appliances are needed.
The costs of replacing these systems can put a serious dent in savings, and possibly even derail retirement planning. It is a known fact that home warranty protection can certainly be beneficial with major operating systems. The service contract can be purchased for a year at a time at a cost of up to $500 +. There is usually a non-refundable callout fee of up to $100 + for a service technician/repair person to come out and evaluate the problem. Home warranty companies do not as a rule approve every callout request for repair or replacement that is made – if they did they would be out of business.
Don’t Waste Money on a Manufacturer’s Warranty in the First Year
However, there are credible home warranty providers which will conduct necessary maintenance work to ensure that home systems and appliances are functional, and if needed replaced. An important point to remember about manufacturer’s warranties is this: it is highly unlikely that a brand-new appliance will break down within its first year. Therefore, it’s futile to spend hundreds of dollars on a manufacturer’s warranty when the money could be put towards broad-spectrum coverage on a home warranty plan.
Not all home warranty contracts allow homeowners to include all systems and appliances. There are even certain limitations with regards to pre-existing conditions. The leading providers of home warranty services such as Pride Home Warranty, Endurance Home Warranty, Choice Home Warranty, Total Home Protection, and Select Home Warranty have passed the litmus test in terms of business reputation, client reviews, professionalism, affordability, and coverage. Review Home Warranties is a leading authority on home warranty services, and they have conducted in-depth analysis of the top home warranty providers, as featured in a top 10 companies list.
It is always best to go with a reputable warranty provider, given the many complaints that the industry has faced over the years. Since homeowners cannot select their own repair person, they are at the mercy of home warranty companies. Reputable companies will always ensure that customer satisfaction is high on the agenda. There are alternatives to warranty coverage, such as squirreling away a fixed sum of money every month for new appliances, but the costs of things like HVACs and boilers can easily reach several thousand dollars per item, making warranty protection a much more attractive alternative.