You may have noticed that the worst situations tend to happen at the worst times, and leave you wondering how you will resolve them. For instance, it is in the middle of winter, and suddenly a problem develops with the heating system in your house. This can only leave you frustrated, because you are afraid of all the costs you have to pay up, and possible repairs you need to do, before it works again. Situations like these are annoying, and they have happened to you – at least once. Chances are high you are also not sure whatsa home warranty means, and what you need to look for in a good warranty cover. Here are some factors to consider.
Home warranty versus home insurance
Many homeowners tend to confuse one guard home warranty with home insurance, but there exists a very major difference between the two despite their similarities.
Insurance covers usually protect your home against major external liabilities like fires, physical harm such as vandalism, and other threats like hail. Home warranties, on the other hand, usually cover specified components and systems within your home, including air conditioning, electrical wiring and household appliances.
Do you actually home warranty in the first place?
To answer this question, you need to figure out if you prefer letting someone else handle repairs, or you are a DIY kind of person that relies on tutorials and like taking things apart. If you decide to take a warranty cover for an appliance, so it will either be fixed or replaced without you paying more money.
If you live an average to busy work life, you are physically incapacitated, or you have very many kids living in the home, you require a home warranty. That will give you some piece of mind, especially when something goes wrong with any of your appliances.
The calculator of home maintenance
The calculator is a very handy tool, which will assist you to calculate the expense of maintaining all the appliances in your house, and it will use their age as a basis.
You will find many different calculators, with the only differences being that they take different factors into account when they calculate the approximate cost of maintaining your home or its appliances. The good thing is that the calculators are friendly to your pocket in terms of cost, and they are useful in indicating to you whether you need that extra cover.
What do you need for your home warranty?
First thing to note is that most basic covers will take care of all your appliances, unless you choose an upgraded plan – which means you will have to pay more. The time the warranty period takes is one year for most cases, though some options allow you to have a longer coverage period.
In case you are buying a home for the first time, chances are high you know the benefits of a home warranty, especially when you are moving into an older home.
The good news is many warranty providers are smart enough to know the life expectancy of your appliances and household systems very well. They will therefore create an offer for you that suits your needs very well at first, then the rates will increase gradually as the years go by. The cost of your cover will depend on several factors, such as the area your home covers or the combination of different appliances.
Premiums will also depend on the warranty provider, and they may choose to include or omit extra charges like service fees in your premium charges.
When you change your home warranty provider
If you are looking to change your warranty provider, you need to consider several factors. These are the attractive policies that the company offers, the customizations and running offers you can receive with your plan, their customer service, and the customization that they allow you to have within your contract.
In addition, it is important to consider their willingness to allow you to hire your own contractors during repairs or replacements. You will not have any control over who they assign to your problem, which can be a good or a bad thing. The bad news is that this can result in delays, as they need to have an available contractor to come and solve your issue. On the other hand, the good thing is it may save you some of the hassle of dealing with rogue contractors, as they are also bound by certain rules when giving you their services.
Cautions you need to take
It is important to note that home warranties are not reimbursement systems – that means, they will never pay you back for any money that you spent on repairing your appliances or systems. This includes work that was done through an outside party or that was not covered in the warranty contract.
Maintenance is a very general term, and some companies take advantage of this fact. Any damages that you make to your appliances are not handled by the company, as they believe it is your responsibility to ‘maintain them properly’. However, this depends on the mechanics that will come to inspect the appliance when you make a complaint to the company. When there is a conflict between you and the company or the mechanic, it can actually hamper the process and make you lose money in additional repairs.
Contractors operating through home warranty services take a longer time to respond, compared to private service companies. This is due to two factors – they are hired by the company on a job-to-job basis, so when demand is high, they are spread thin. The other reason is getting the resources and parts needed to fix your system or appliance – for some, it can take a longer time, and if the damage is severe, it takes even longer. Lack of genuine concern by the company can also hamper your progress in fixing the issue at hand.
Getting a home warranty is not a decision you should make in a hurry, as there are several factors you must consider. Evaluating your needs will also help you make the correct decision, and also opt for the best cover you can get.