Looking for a Home Warranty in today’s market is a colossal task. Not only is reading the fine print clauses crucial, but the number of companies out there offering Home Warranties is vast. Brand new companies enter the scene regularly, each with their own set of plans and attractive deals.
This guide will help you to adopt key strategies when picking the right Home Warranty for you:
Talk to those around you
Getting references from friends, family and acquaintances that have experience with Home Warranty services is one of the most credible ways of helping you choose the best one for you. Word of mouth is still very impactful and you can count on their opinions being unbiased and clear. They will be able to narrow down companies by area as well as draw comparisons with your current needs.
Do your own research
Taking the time to do your own homework is very important. Start off by making a shortlist of companies that interest you as well as those that have been recommended by someone you know. The rule of thumb is to spend some time reading customer reviews as this will help you to filter out some unwanted services. Be sure to check the company’s rating on the Better Business Bureau website.
Once you are satisfied with the companies you selected, it is time to find out how much each will cost you. The majority of the companies will provide you with free quotes – all you need to do is fill in your zip code and provide them with an email address. As an alternative, you can try phoning them and requesting one directly.
Home Warranty companies offer different types of plans, each with their own coverage system. It is up to you to decide whether you would prefer to focus on your home systems, on your appliances or a combination of both. It will come down to which you deem more important and which company will cover it. Preferably opt for a company that covers pre-existing conditions as sometimes businesses deny claims stating that it was a pre-existing condition.
Should you have an issue with your appliance and/or home system, you will need to call the Home Warranty company to get it fixed or replaced – this is called the deductible or service call charge. On average, it will cost you in between $50 and $125 – the higher the annual premium, the lower the deductible usually is. Keep this in mind when choosing your plan.
When contacting the company, be sure to ask about the average turnaround time for the service to be dispatched and completed. This is useful to know especially as waiting times are significant during the busy season. Also find out if a service call payment is required should the appliance break down shortly after being repaired.
Most Home Warranty companies use licensed contractors, but some allow you to suggest your own should they be unable to provide you with a suitable alternative in your location. In some cases, you can ask for a different contractor should the one assigned to you have a low rating.
Some companies have a 30-day waiting period before the policy comes into place while others come into effect immediately. This is useful should you have repairs that require immediate attention.
Give a Home Maintenance Calculator a try
A Home Warranty is not something everyone needs to have. This being said, it is always a good idea to try out a home maintenance calculator. You can easily find free and very user-friendly calculators online. They will allow you to estimate the maintenance costs of your systems and appliances and then provide you with a price comparison of what a Home Warranty plan will cost you.
The best Home Warranty firms are available 24/7. Be sure that you can file a claim online, without requiring the initial assistance of a representative as this will avoid spending time waiting on hold for your call to connect.
Make sure that the appliances you want to be covered are in fact mentioned in the policy. There is a slim chance that it was overlooked by the representative, nonetheless, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Read the fine print carefully before signing as this will keep you away from negative surprises as well as save you time should you need to file a claim.
In the event of a buyout, ask the company how a reimbursement would be handled. This includes the procedure as well as how long it would take to conclude. Some companies are more flexible and allow you to add money and buy an appliance that is more expensive at the time of replacement.
It is important to find out the company’s cap on replacements. This is very useful should you be looking to repair or replace certain systems or appliances as the Home Warranty service may not cover the full cost. Should that be the case, the homeowner will be obliged to pay the difference. Analyzing the cap amount is one of the most overlooked details when comparing plans, so make sure you are well informed beforehand.
The client is king
Pay attention to how the company support team and representatives talk and treat you every time you contact them, whatever the reason. If they take time to clarify your questions and are cordial and friendly then this might be a good fit for you as a customer. Not all companies have the same interactional approach with customers, but you have every right to spend your money where you feel appreciated.
These are only but a few tips on how to pick a Home Warranty plan that is ideal for your particular situation. Remember to always go with your intuition and that keeping your home’s safety in mind, will ultimately keep yours safe too.