Pros and Cons of a Home Warranty
After you’ve purchased a home, whether it’s new or previously occupied, you want to make sure everything works, and continues to work. If something happens to an appliance or one of the systems that keep the home running, such as the electrical system or plumbing, the last thing you need is the extra expense of repairs or replacement. There is a way to set your mind at ease–a home warranty, also known as a home protection plan. Some consider the added expense of this service contract unnecessary; others believe the peace of mind provided by a home protection plan is well worth the cost. Here are some pros and cons of a home warranty.
A home warranty covers what your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t. A homeowner’s policy protects you from fire, theft or storm damage while a home warranty provides financial coverage for equipment that is defective or simply wears out during the time you’re covered.
If this is your first time buying a home, it’s usually a good idea to have a home warranty policy. Since you’re probably not familiar with the ins and outs of dealing with a contractor, having a home warranty could help with the process. Knowing you won’t have to spend a lot of your own money if the stove stops working or a water pipe springs a leak will most likely mean you won’t hesitate to get it fixed instead of worrying about where the money’s going to come from. This is especially helpful if you’re not the do-it-yourself type.
A home warranty is fairly inexpensive, especially considering the peace of mind it brings. Since you know you won’t be hit with exorbitant repair or replacement bills for household items you can concentrate on paying the mortgage and making the home look the way you want it to.
The warranty company handles the contractors. You call the company and report the problem. They call a contractor, who comes out and fixes whatever’s wrong. You don’t have to be concerned with the details.
Most home warranties have a one year term, but there are no limits on how many years you can have a home warranty. It’s completely up to you whether to get it or not, or how long you can be covered. You also get to choose the warranty company you want to deal with. There are usually several in any given area.
If you’re a good handyman, then fixing the problem yourself will probably be less expensive than a home warranty. You save the cost of labor and have the benefit of knowing the job was done right.
Frequently, a warranty company may instruct it’s contractors to perform a quick, inexpensive fix in order to save money. That means you may have to call them repeatedly for a recurring problem because they don’t want to spend the money to replace a defective stove or electrical wiring. If an item does need to be replaced, the warranty company may opt for an item of inferior quality. You could demand a better quality item, but would more than likely end up paying the difference in cost.
Another drawback is that you may have to wait for the contractor hired by the warranty company to find the time to fit you in. Having to wait for weeks to get your air conditioner fixed in the middle of the summer can be extremely inconvenient.
Sometimes the fine print of a home warranty can contain disclaimers that will mean you’re either not covered or will have to pay a high percentage of a particular repair. Sometimes parts and labor aren’t covered. As with any type of insurance policy, reading the fine print is mandatory if you want to make sure you’re not surprised by added costs you didn’t expect to pay.