Here’s What to Watch Out for in a Home Warranty Plan
A home warranty plan is an excellent way to keep your house in top-notch condition. You can use it to protect your home’s systems and appliances, so if a covered item breaks down, the company will repair or replace it for you. Because it’s so important, you want to make sure you purchase the right plan. Thus, get the scoop on what to watch out for when selecting a plan from the best home warranty companies.
Check for Exclusions
Home warranties don’t cover all appliances and home systems. For instance, most plans don’t cover pools, roofs, or spas and generally cover one instead of multiple refrigerators.
Additionally, policies sometimes exclude older appliances. For instance, the warranty might stop covering your refrigerator once it reaches the ten-year mark.
Before committing to a policy, check the list of exclusions to ensure you’ll receive ample coverage. Also, see if there are add-on options. Then, you can build a policy with the right amount of coverage for you.
Review the Contract Requirements
Home warranties are a lot like car warranties. If you fail to maintain or try to repair something yourself, you might lose coverage. Thus, check the requirements before signing up for a contract. Find out what you have to do to keep the warranty intact, including the documentation needed to show you’ve maintained your appliances. Then, you won’t have to worry about a claim being denied because you weren’t aware of the requirements.
Go Over the Service Fee
When you buy a home warranty, you’ll generally pay a premium plus a service fee each time a technician has to come to your house. The service fees differ from one company to the next but generally range from $75-$125. It’s a good idea to find out how much the fee will be ahead of time. That way, you won’t end up with a warranty that has such an expensive fee that you cannot afford to file a claim.
Evaluate the Plan’s Limits
Most home warranties place limits on coverage amounts. However, these limits vary greatly depending on the company and the plan.
Sometimes, plans have a cap in place for all appliances. Other times, the plans have specific caps for each covered item. For instance, the plan might cover your refrigerator up to $1,000 and then provide $5,000 for your air conditioner.
You also need to review the aggregate limit. This refers to the total coverage for a set period of time. For instance, a plan might cover $5,000 per item. At the same time, your aggregate limit could be $15,000 for a year. That means you can make up to $15,000 in claims per year.
Go over your budget and find a plan with limits that make sense for you. Then, you won’t have to stress when filing claims.
Check the Number of Service Calls Per Year
You should also watch out for limits on service calls in your contract. Some have a limit in place, while other plans provide unlimited service calls. Keep in mind that plans that come with unlimited calls still usually have a dollar amount cap. Thus, once you reach the dollar amount, you’ll have to pay for service until the limits reset. That normally happens after a year.
Review the Waiting Period for Repairs and Replacements
Some people don’t realize that home warranties have waiting periods that you have to meet before filing a claim. Generally, you can expect a 30-60 day waiting period. Once that period passes, you can file claims for repairs or replacements. It’s a good idea to know how long the waiting period is so you can begin to make plans.
See When You Can Request Service
Finally, find out when you can request service. Some companies have limited options for contacting them. Thus, you might have to wait until normal business hours to call the company. Others provide 24/7 claim filing options, so you can submit the information when it happens instead of waiting.
Choosing a Home Warranty
After evaluating these seven factors, you’ll be ready to buy a plan that meets your needs. Then, you’ll get valuable protection in case anything happens to a covered item. As a result, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with coverage.