Home Warranties Explained
I often find home warranties to be confusing to consumers as to what they actually are and what they cover. As a result I often feel home warranties get a bad reputation because of this confusion. Let me know explain what a home warranty is, is not and some tips to help you when working with a home warranty company.
So what exactly is a home warranty? The home warranty I am referring to is a third party company who charges a premium in which in return they agree to cover the specific home on certain common items. So it is not the same as home insurance or a builders warranty. Instead a home warranty will cover common household items such as your HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, pool pump, spa, garbage disposal, dishwasher, refrigerator and even your washer & dryer. Now let me be clear there is a fine print to all those items and some companies include some of those items while others charge an extra fee to cover some items.
So the general idea is that for 12 months you will be covered on these items, the biggest being the HVAC system. In our example the air conditioning goes out in the middle of summer, what do you do? First call the home warranty company, tell them the issue & they will send out a contractor of theirs to take a look at the issue. You will have a trade call or service call fee you will pay up front, usually $60 or $70. Lets say the item is covered and the total repair bill is $450, then you are only out of pocket the service fee.
This service helps buyers of a home have a little bit more confidence and put their mind at ease knowing the risk is being shared with the home warranty company. The main complaint I hear about home warranties happens when an item is not covered and that is where I can’t stress enough that you read the fine print on the coverages. Too often consumers make an assumption an item is covered when in the fine print it would have disclosed it was not, this is very common.
So before you purchase a home warranty whether you are buying a home or just want the coverage for your home be sure to read the fine print. Know what is covered, what is not, what their service fee is and what their response times are as well. I find that being well informed about a product or service before hand can lead to a better experience with your home warranty company.
With a heart of a teacher I look to educate my clients about the process of buying, selling or renting real estate. I strongly feel an informed and educated consumer will make better decisions and be less likely to be taken advantage of.
Have questions about this or other topics, don not hesitate to contact me.
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Luis Cuevas, Realtor®
RE/MAX Cross Country
1990 Justin Road
Highland Village, Texas 75077
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