Your home is a huge investment—likely the biggest one you will make in your lifetime. When you purchase a home, the last thing you want is to experience a breakdown of your appliances, air conditioner, furnace, or plumbing.
When you are making such a large purchase, a home warranty can give you peace of mind. Particularly if you purchase a home that isn’t new, you may be tempted to opt for the safety net that home warranties provide.
But, peace of mind comes with a cost. Home warranties are certainly not free, and they aren’t for everyone. Are they worth it for you and your home? Read on and find out.
Disclaimer: Lee’s Air, Plumbing, & Heating is not associated with any home insurance or home warranty companies, so we can give you honest, unbiased advice.
What Is a Home Warranty?
Homeowners’ insurance and home warranties are very different. Insurance covers damage to the home caused by disasters like fire, flood, or hail. Home warranties, on the other hand, either cover the cost of or provide discounted fees for, repair and replacement on critical components like HVAC or plumbing.
Unfortunately, preventative maintenance is rarely included in the cost of a home warranty. It will usually come at an added cost if it’s available at all.
Why Should I Get a Home Warranty?
For some people, convenience and peace of mind are priceless. If you purchase a home warranty, you won’t have to seek out contractors or service providers. The warranty company will have a network of trusted providers to call on.
If you are someone who hates DIY and doesn’t own a set of tools, a home warranty can keep you from needing to diagnose problems yourself.
How Much Do Home Warranties Cost?
Home warranties generally come as bundled packages, meaning you might be paying for items you know you’ll never use—like the trash compactor you don’t even have.
There are monthly fees for the entirety of the contract, service fees when you need someone to come and take a look at a problem, followed by a deductible to pay if it’s determined that you do need repair or replacement, and coverage caps that limit how much will be paid for.
Generally, monthly costs run less than $100, but when you add the other fees on top—or when you don’t use the service—you’ll have to ask yourself if it is worth the cost.
Some people find that putting aside the money you would have spent on the monthly fee into a separate account is a great way to save for repairs or replacements should the need arise.
Read the Fine Print & Run from Red Tape
Even if you find a home warranty that fits within your budget, many homeowners encounter barriers with the red tape needed to access their coverage.
Here are some of the issues you may run into:
- The home warranty provider often designates the repair company, even if the homeowner would prefer a different choice.
- You may not have a say in the brand or model of replacement components.
- There are often “improper maintenance” clauses in the warranty contract, leaving the new homeowner on the hook for costs if the previous owner did not keep up with maintenance.
- The “maintenance” clause can be subjective, and you must be very careful to follow the contract to the letter to avoid refusal of service.
- Warranty companies decide whether you get a repair or a replacement.
- Many home warranties exclude certain repairs.
Are There Other Options?
If a home warranty seems too restrictive and not worth the cost, there are other options. For example, membership plans are available with Lee’s Air, Plumbing, & Heating to provide an affordable maintenance and repair option.
With a membership plan, you won’t have to worry about whether or not your HVAC issue is covered by the complicated terms and conditions of your home warranty.
Residential HVAC memberships offer discounts, benefits, and annual maintenance for what you’d typically pay for a tune-up and safety check. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about dealing with paperwork or red tape. You’ll get priority service from a friendly team that is already familiar with your home.
Membership plans also allow homeowners to look after preventative maintenance, rather than just responding to problems as they happen. Tune-ups and safety checks included with the program can detect any issues before they occur.
Weigh Your Options
Ultimately, only you can decide whether or not a home warranty is right for you. Your home is your investment and how you take care of it is up to you.
Professionals in the home care industry, like Lee’s Air, Plumbing, & Heating, can offer guarantees on their work and maintenance plans that may provide you with the peace of mind you need—along with flexibility!