What should you look for in a home warranty or home repair plan?
Similar to buying a warranty after purchasing a new car, home warranty and home repair plans help provide protection for when something goes wrong with the covered system. Once you've purchased your home, here's what you need to know when looking for a home warranty and repair plan:
What is a home repair plan?
A home repair plan, or home warranty, is different from homeowners insurance, which will cover damages in the event of a fire, storm, flood or an accident. Instead, a home warranty or a home repair plan covers repair and sometimes replacement costs for systems and appliances, such as:
- Heating and cooling systems
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- Washers and dryers
- Garbage disposals
- Water heaters
When something breaks, you can simply call your provider and they'll find a qualified contractor to make the covered repair. These plans reduce the hassle of finding and choosing the right service professional, as the task is in someone else's trustworthy hands.
Homeowners typically buy a home warranty or a home repair plan for three main reasons: peace of mind, cost savings in the event of a breakdown and stress relief. People can feel more prepared for unexpected issues when they know they're covered. For this reason, it’s a good idea to enroll in a home warranty or repair plan as soon as they've closed on their home to help avoid surprise repair expenses after moving in.
When something does stop working, a home warranty and home repair plan can save you money on the repair and replacement costs. If "handy" doesn't make it on the list of words to describe your many talents, a home warranty and home repair plan can also help to keep your stress levels at bay. Instead of worrying about potential repairs, your home warranty and home repair plan will make calling a professional a cost-effective option.
Questions to ask
When you're searching for the best home warranty and home repair plan, there are certain plan specifics to consider. Keep these questions in mind to make sure the plan is right for you:
1. How much does it cost?
Prices will vary depending on which home systems or appliances are included, and how many add-ons the provider offers. Plus, it's important to clarify if you'll be responsible for any additional out-of-pocket expenses, such as service call fees, sales tax on new equipment or disposal fees. For the best deals on comprehensive plans, Realtor.com suggested buying your home and warranty at the same time.
2. What does the plan cover?
Plan administrators will often break down their plans by different home systems, namely heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical. You can also choose to cover specific appliances rather than an entire system. Look for a home warranty or home repair plan that will cover your biggest concerns.
3. Are there limitations to the coverage?
Once you've decided which systems or appliances you want the provider to cover, ask them about any limitations or exclusions in the policy. Many plans will have a cut-off amount for how much of a repair cost they will cover. Look for plans with reasonable limits so you won't be stuck with higher bills than expected.
4. How long will the warranty last?
In addition to comparing costs, it's important to consider differences in the duration of coverage. Look for plans with a clear and simple renewal process so you'll feel confident about your protection. Similarly, check to see if there are guarantees for the parts and labor involved in repair or replacement.
5. Is there a 24/7 service helpline?
When you're in need of an emergency repair, make sure you'll be able to reach someone immediately. You want to find someone qualified to best help with your burst pipes, sewage flooding or gas leaks, so look for providers with 24/7 emergency hotlines to connect you with licensed and vetted technicians.
When you're ready to accept some peace of mind, plans from HomeServe can provide you with 24/7 protection for many of your home systems. Enter your ZIP Code to learn more about affordable home repair services available in your area.