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Cost Savers

Home Warranty Basics and What It Covers

A home warranty is one of the best means of protecting your budget that a homeowner can have. But, what exactly IS a home warranty?
American Home Shield Home Warranty Protects a Broken Washer

Photo by: American Home Shield

As a homeowner, costly repairs are probably one of your greatest worries. So what if someone told you that you could help alleviate those fears with the knowledge that if something does break, it's covered for one simple service fee? Sounds too good to be true? Well, it's not. A home warranty is one of the best means of protecting your budget that a homeowner can have.

So what exactly is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a one-year service contract that covers repairs and replacements of most major home appliances and system components due to failure, standard usage and other problems that happen due to age.

What does it cover?

A home warranty will typically cover most major components of large home systems, such as your HVAC (central heating ventilation air condition), hot water heaters, plumbing, electrical and more. It may also cover regular appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators and stoves. Some plans allow you to purchase optional add-on coverage for your spa, second refrigerator, swimming pool, pumps and more.

How does it work?

When your appliance or home system breaks down, call your home warranty company. If the breakdown is covered by your plan, they will set up an appointment with a licensed, pre-screened service provider in your area. When the licensed service technician arrives, they will assess the situation and your coverage and tell you the proper course of action to repair your appliance. Then you pay them only the service call fee (up to $125, depending on the home warranty company). The rest of the cost is covered by the home warranty company. 

When do you purchase a home warranty? 

A home warranty can be purchased when you first purchase your home or any time during your ownership. Moving and adapting to a new neighborhood can be stressful enough for you and your family. Knowing that your appliances are covered by a home warranty can alleviate a great deal of worry.

How long will it last?

Most home warranty terms are one year. This is a 12-month contract which in many cases is renewable from year to year. 

How much do they cost?

Depending on your provider and your location, home warranties can run around $75 per month for a policy that includes most major appliances and home systems. You can add on coverage for additional larger systems like pools and spas.

How can a home warranty help me sell my home?

When it comes to selling your home, offering a home warranty in the contract is an excellent way to entice buyers. It shows good faith and offers an assurance to buyers that the home appliances and major components of home systems are covered for the first year of ownership. If you already have a home warranty, a typical policy can be transferred to the new owner.

Not only will a home warranty protect your largest investment, but it's sure to help you plan for the unexpected. Now who doesn't want that? 

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