A home warranty is a service contract that covers the costs to repair or replace your house’s major systems and appliances. Compared to a home insurance policy, which protects your home in the event of fire or flood damage, a home warranty can protect for the more common homeownership scenarios, like a broken refrigerator or downed HVAC system.
Typically, home warranties are purchased when buying a home or transferred to a new homeowner from the seller. Home warranty protection can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and should be explored by homeowners regardless of if they have lived in their home for a few months or several years.
When Can I Buy a Home Warranty?
Fortunately for homeowners, a home warranty plan can be purchased at any time. And with most companies, your coverage options should remain the same regardless of when you purchase protection. Additionally, you can supplement your existing coverage when needed.
Purchasing a home warranty when appliance warranties are nearing expiration or major home systems are beginning to wear is a strategy by some homeowners looking to maximize their investment protection on a budget.
How Does a Home Warranty Protect Me?
With a home warranty, you will simply contact your warranty provider and file a claim when a covered item breaks. The company will then connect you with a trusted service provider to assess the problem (typically within 48 hours) and either repair or replace the appliance or system.
There are three primary types of home warranty coverage plans that determine what is covered:
- Systems plans. These will cover major, whole-house systems such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems, etc.
- Appliance plans. As its name suggests, these plans cover your home appliances like the oven, refrigerator, dishwasher and more.
- Combination plans. These are larger plans that combine the coverage of both systems and appliances.
Some companies will also allow homeowners to build custom plans and purchase add-on protection for miscellaneous items, such as a pool or second refrigerator.
Understanding the condition of your home’s major systems and appliances after being lived in and used frequently, is important to understanding what protection best meets your needs.
Do I Need a Home Warranty?
If you are not a new homeowner, you might be wondering if a home warranty is worth the cost. You should consider several factors in weighing the decision to purchase a home warranty including:
- Your home and appliances’ age. New appliances, which are often found in new homes, are more likely to be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty—sometimes for several years. Similarly, the systems of a new home, like its HVAC or plumbing are likely in pristine condition. However, after several years, these warranties might be nearing expiration or already expired. A home warranty is an excellent way to ensure you’re protected for if these appliances or systems need repair or replacement.
- Are you planning to sell? Most home warranties can be transferred to new owners upon selling and offering one to a potential buyer is a great way to sweeten the deal. These protections can also help you avoid unexpected repairs while preparing to bring the home to market.
- What is your budget? Most home warranties cost around $50/month, with service fees ranging from $75-$150, on average. If your budget is tight, a financial strategy that cuts out these added costs might be considered, but keep in mind, a broken HVAC can cost homeowners thousands of dollars.
The pros at Modernize can work with you to understand your needs and expectations and quickly connect you with a trusted home warranty provider in your area. Regardless of how long you’ve lived in your home, a home warranty can be purchased when needed as a great way to protect your investment, save money in the long term, and avoid headache-causing repairs.