A home warranty is different from homeowners insurance. A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair and/or replacement costs of major home appliances and home systems. Home warranties generally cover home systems like the home’s plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems, etc. and major appliances like refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, etc. A home warranty company will pay the cost of repair or replacement of a system or appliance only if it has broken down from normal wear and tear. While home warranties are not required, they do bring some peace of mind. Especially if you’re a new home owner with no previous experience of maintaining a home, such warranties can save you a lot of hassle. However, it is critical to know what a warranty covers and entails before purchasing one. Here are 3 important questions to ask your contractor about your new home’s warranty.
1) What Does the Warranty Include and Exclude?
Before buying any home warranty, it is important to know what is included and what is excluded from your warranty coverage. Generally, plumbing, HVAC systems, major appliances like ovens and refrigerators, etc. are covered in a home warranty. However, some companies also offer coverage for simple issues like leaky roofs and displaced gutters. More often than not, home warranties and homeowners insurance cover different facets of your home. However, sometimes it may happen that certain things covered in your home warranty plan may already have coverage in your homeowners insurance. It is advisable to check for this overlap to avoid wasting money. Home warranties often vary from company to company and state to state. A home warranty plan in Houston may be very different from a Texas Home Warranty plan. You should also consider the state laws and stipulations regarding home warranties before buying one.
2) What Is The Duration Of The Warranty Coverage?
It is important to know when the coverage actually begins. Generally, if you buy a warranty when you’re buying a home, coverage begins at the day of closing. Otherwise the coverage begins 15 days after receipt. However, it is better to ask the company about this to be sure. Also, you should be very clear about the duration of your coverage. More complex components such as HVAC systems and plumbing can also be covered over for a longer period of time. Ask your contractor about the various plans and their durations and select a plan that suits you best.
3) How And When To Make A Claim?
Another important thing you need to consider is when you can make a claim. All warranties have some limitations and conditions. The warranty you chose may offer repairs and replacements for appliances if they are damaged by wear and tear. However, if the item is damaged or broken due to carelessness or other reasons, the warranty may not cover it. It is advisable to know in advance all the possible situations in which you will be compensated and which situations are not covered in the warranty. Also, it is important to know how you will file for a claim, what you need and what the process involves. Most companies offer various methods to file a claim like call, online or mobile apps. Find out what your company’s policies are and methods for claims are and choose the one that suits you best.
When you approach a company for home warranty, they are generally more than willing to answer your questions and walk you through the process. However, you should also do your own research and read all the documents and fine print thoroughly. While a warranty may bring you peace of mind, hurrying into anything is never advisable. Make sure you are completely clear on everything in the policy before signing on the dotted line!