Questions to Ask Before Buying Home Warranty Coverage

Home warranty coverage can include appliances as well as your house’s core structure, but be sure you’re asking the right questions before you purchase a plan.

Buying a home warranty plan is an excellent idea whether you’re buying a new home or have been living there for a while. If you purchase a home warranty, you can save thousands of dollars if your refrigerator or plumbing system breaks. As you shop around looking for the best home warranty companies, there are specific questions you want to ask yourself and the companies.

What Do You Want to Cover?

Before you start shopping around, take a walk through your house. Look at the appliances and your systems with a critical eye. Make a list of the things you’d like to see covered, like the stove, oven, or dishwasher in the kitchen. Maybe you have a chest-deep freezer in your garage you want to protect, or perhaps you want to cover your garage door opener. 

Anything electrical and all appliances can qualify for coverage, depending on the plan and the company. To help you decide what should go on your list, consider its replacement cost as the measurement. If it would cost a lot to replace and would leave you with a significant financial burden, that’s what you want to cover. Be sure to include electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems in your list.

What Does the Home Warranty Plan Cover?

Once you have your list, you’ll be armed to ask questions of the companies. Each home warranty can have different coverage, so the first thing you always need to ask about what the warranty covers. With a list, you can compare what you need against what they tell you. Alternatively, you can tell the company what you need to be covered, and they can give you a tailored quote.

Can You Get a Copy of the Warranty Plan?

Once you have quotes in hand, request a copy of the home warranty plan policy. After sending it to you, you can compare the details to see what applies to each item. In some cases, there may be limits as to how much a home warranty plan will cover every year or for a given appliance. If you know that information, you will be better informed ahead of time to decide on the home warranty you want.

How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?

The cost of a home warranty will depend on various factors, including the premiums you pay and the coverage you require. Lower premiums may mean lower monetary limits or more exclusions. Age of appliances can also play a part in your quote. Sometimes, you may also have to replace certain items before coverage can apply, so that’s something to keep in mind as you compare home warranties.

You’ll also be responsible for service call fees, but you’ll know how much you can expect to pay if you ask about the costs. Home warranty plans usually have specific providers that they contact for repairs, so they can tell you what to expect.

Are There Limits or Exclusions in the Home Warranty Plan?

Every home warranty will have limits and exclusions, so you need to know what they are. Exclusions let you know about specific parts that may not be included in replacements or in certain situations that may not be covered. Limits are all about money as they will only pay up to a specified amount per item or year.

It is possible to find home warranties with unlimited amounts on things like HVAC units or systems, but if you have pool coverage, you may have limits on repairs. To find the best home warranty companies, you’ll need to shop around so you get the policy coverage you want.

Who Are the Contractors Who Perform the Work?

Asking this question is two-fold. You want to know who the contractors are to check reviews and verify if they’re bonded and insured. A good home warranty company will vet their contractors to make sure they work with the best people. 

Asking about the contractors lets you verify who you would have in your home performing the work. It’s critical to make sure that those people are bonded and insured if anything happens while the work is being done. You also want a recourse to follow if the contractor doesn’t do the work they’re supposed to do or does a lousy job.

The Bottom Line

Ask the questions, and don’t make a blind decision about your home warranty. If you’re purchasing a new home and it’s included, ask the realtor if it’s possible to cancel for something different. You can even request your own company if you’d prefer. Check the coverage and read through the fine print to get a good idea of what the company offers. Ask about costs, limits, and exclusions before deciding. Finally, verify the company’s reputation and the contractors that will come out if you ever need to lean on your home warranty plan. 

If you need assistance in finding your new home or selling your current one, we’re here to help! From navigating the listing process, to finding your new home, alongside advice on everything from insurance to home warranty, UCBR is a leader in the Hudson Valley. Find out more about Ulster County Board of REALTORS® and the benefits of working with a REALTOR® on our website, and contact us today to get started!


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