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Buying a Home Warranty
Buying a home warranty is stressful. It is a contract and as such it is subjected to all kinds of fine print that may not be easy to understand. You may not know what appliances you own that can be covered. You may not be able to add the appliances that you want to. Then there are the repairs. A lot of times you have to have the right contractor. Failure to hire the right contractor can void your home warranty.
In order to understand home warranties, you have to understand what has covered automatically and what can be covered automatically. You will find that this article covers all of that. You will find information about contractors, finding a home warranty, your appliances, and even the basics of your contracts. Read on and feel like you are finally getting an understanding of what you need to buy.
Are Appliances Covered by Your Home Warranty?
Which appliances, when buying a home, will be covered under your home warranty is often determined by which ones you own at the time of purchasing your warranty. It can also depend on the condition of your appliances. When we think of appliances, you make think washer, dryer, and dishwasher. However, the air conditioning, water heater, plumbing, heating systems, and even your spa may very well be covered. Depending on your warranty, things like the garage door may fall under the category also.
Most often, you will need to schedule a time and date for a warranty inspector to come out. They will take a look at your home, your appliances and evaluate the condition of all. You will then be given the opportunity to cover certain appliances. Basic coverage will likely include the standard systems including plumbing, heating, air conditioning, garage doors, and electrical systems.
If your inspector says that they are outdated, inefficient, or just plain not working you may get an opportunity to bring them up to standard. You will likely have to get repairs and updates done within a specified amount of time. You will probably also have to show who did the repairs and what the repairs were. There are contractors that will work right with the home warranty company, but often times it is up to the homeowner to tackle the original repairs and paperwork.
In order for an appliance or system to be covered, it must be in proper working order at the time that the home warranty takes effect. If a system cannot be covered, it is highly likely that you won’t be able to add it until the next time you renew your home warranty. If you are unsure about whether or not an appliance could be covered, you should write it down and ask your home warranty provider. They can always clarify how and if you can add an appliance.
Which Appliances are not Covered by Standard Home Warranty Plans?
You would not expect a clothes washer, clothes dryer or microwave to be left behind by the seller. However, you can negotiate with the seller for your appliances. Your dishwasher, stove, refrigerator and your spa are all optional appliances that you may need to purchase extra warranty for. The amount of the extra coverage may vary.
Keep in mind that these are still subjected to inspection. Even if you are paying for extra coverage, they must be in working order at the time of inspection. There are cases where you will be given time to get it up to standard, but because they are optional, you may not be able to repair them.
Also, if you purchase a new appliance, you may be able to add them to your home warranty without too many issues. You may have to show proof of purchase. You may also need to add them to your home warranty within a certain time frame. You may not have to do an inspection if you can show that they are brand new and that you are adding them warranty as a brand new item. A rebuilt, certified pre-owned or a used appliance will probably have to be inspected or otherwise proved to be in good working order.
What Information Should You Disclose?
You are going to subject your home to a series of inspections and tests, so it is best to be upfront with your home warranty brokers about problems you foresee. It will equip them with knowledge that can help to lead you towards a plan or contract that is best suited for your needs. No one wants to spend time or money on something that they don’t need or won’t ever use. Communication will help to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Keep in mind that there are options and plans to fit all kinds of needs and you want enough coverage to handle all situation but not too much that you will never use. After all, why do you want to cover potential tenants if you don’t foresee subletting your house? That is just one example of modifications or extras that you may or may not need.
Your broker’s job is to make sure that your needs are met. They cannot assess your needs if you don’t let them know what they are honestly and clearly.
How do I Find out if My Repair is Covered?
The BBB sets standards for contractors. It will record how long they have been in business, how they respond to complaints, how they handle contracts and even more. It makes the company responsible for someone besides their clients. It will ensure that you are getting quality work for the cost of the work. It is like having a security blanket for both the contractor and the client.
Within your warranty's contract, you will find a set standard for costs. It will detail which costs you are responsible for. The amount that you have to pay is the deductible. The deductible is likely to vary depending on the appliance and will vary per repair. For example, you may need to replace your septic system. The contractor will tell you that it is 5,000 dollars. Your deductible is $500. So, you will pay the deductible and your home warranty will cover the rest. Depending on how your contract is set up, you may only have to pay this one for the year or you may have to pay it based on the amount of the repair. For example, now that you spent the $500 and the septic was replaced, your hot water heater has begun to leak. Your home warranty may cover it since you have already paid the deductible for the year, or you may need to pay another share of the deductible. It is very important that you read the fine print so that you are clear as to what the warranty covers and what the cost of your deductible is.
The contract is the legal agreement between you and the home warranty company. It means that they are legally required to hold up to their end of the agreement. It also means that you must uphold yours. The fine print will let you know all the costs, the procedures, and the requirements you are responsible for. Do not hesitate you ask questions about what you don’t understand. This is simply not something that you want to hastily sign. Take your time and read it thoroughly because it is legally binding. Home warranties are definitely worth the money, but you just have to understand what you are getting into before you sign any paperwork.
How do I Read a Contract?
The way that contracts are set up is in articles. Each article is a section. They are usually numbered. Depending on which part of the contract that you are in, you will see terms that will relate to your coverage options. You will need to understand what your coverage options are. You will need to understand which contractors are covered under your warranty. There are going to be articles and subsections that may not be related to your coverage options. You need to verify, with your broker, which articles refer to your coverage options and which ones are not covered. You may want to have the contract modified to specify exactly what your coverage options are.
Part of your contract is going to specify which contractors are covered. There will specific details regarding what your coverage is regarding costs and options. Your coverage options will determine which contractors are qualified, according to your warranty, to repair your appliances. These coverage options will affect your costs.
Failure to follow the contractor guidelines in your coverage will not only escalate your costs, but it can also void your warranty. It is one of the many reasons why you need to make sure that you understand your warranty coverage and your costs. You will find that all your home repairs will have specified contractors that will offer you only the best quality services. If you do happen to have repairs done that you aren’t happy with, there will be procedures set in place so that issues are resolved.
Your home warranty is a way to take the stress and drama out of home repairs. You aren’t going to have massive amounts of money coming out for emergency repairs. You are going to be sure that your contractor is doing the best job that they can on repairs and that if it cannot be repaired, you are getting a new appliance. You will also find that any repairs that you have done, including replacements, will then affect your home warranty. You have protection in knowing that all your appliances will be properly maintained and cared for. You have protection in knowing that you and your family are covered in an accident or home emergency. That peace of mind is well worth investing into.
Does a Home Warranty Offer any Home Buyers Protection?
A warranty is different than homeonwer's insurance. It is more the maintenance and upkeep on your home. You need to weigh the pros and cons of each before you make a choice, should you decide you only want one. Both home warranties and insurance have great pros and serious cons, but they usually work well in harmony with each other. Just make sure to read the fine print so that you understand the fees with both.
An extended warranty may have a nominal fee, however, the deductible will cover things such as the electrical systems and maintenance. You can usually get a free quote on one, but read the fine print to ensure that you are getting the coverage that you really want. Sometimes the fees are well balanced and can be combined with your insurance to keep your deductible within your budget. The more you put into your home warranty, the more that you are going to get out of it.
When you buy your warranty, you will have a window in which you can decide if the warranty is for you. You have a chance to review it, usually 30 days from the signing date, and decide if it will be enough or if you will need an extended warranty. Of course, you can decide if you want to use it at all. The concern should be on the appliances, the home systems, and the contractors. If you don’t own all the home systems that it covers, you may want to find a different one. For example, if it includes central heating systems, but all you own is central air, you may want to see if it allows you to add central heat to your home. Updating is often covered under the extended warranty to allow you to make your home more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable.
The thing that you must remember is that the systems and appliances that are covered under your warranty can vary depending on your coverage. If you chose a contract outside the warranty guidelines you void your warranty and essentially set yourself back. Always make sure that you understand what you are getting. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t hesitate to do your own research. It is an investment in your home and your future. Take it seriously and it will save you time, money, and your mental health. Read the fine print. Don’t skip through because you think you have a good idea what it says. You have a 30-day buyer protection window for a reason.
How do I Purchase A Home Warranty?
The home sellers are going to be responsible for any preexisting problems. That means that if the air conditioner went out prior to closing, the previous homeowners are going to be responsible for it. It is a considered a preexisting condition, and your warranty’s home buyers protection is not going to cover it. There are exceptions to this rule. You can purchase additional coverage. You can write it into your contract.
If you are planning to purchase a house, you will want to consider all your home warranty options. In most cases, appliances over four years are covered, provided that they are in good working order at the time of the contract. You will want to be prepared to pay a coverage fee and then a deductible per repair or replacement. Most of the time, your deductible is going to be between 50 and 100 dollars per repair. Almost always, the warranty will pay for replacements only if all attempts to make repairs have failed or if replacement is going to be less expensive.
When you are buying a warranty for a home you are purchasing, your warranty will go in effect at closing. You will want to check with your buyer to see if their warranty is transferable, but usually, they are not. In most cases, your warranty will expire at the time that the deed is transferred out of your name. This is one reason you want to make sure that all systems are running and current on all maintenance and repair. Failure to do so may cost you a lot in the long run. You may be denied coverage until you have paid for repairs out of pocket.
As for what is covered, that will depend on your warranty. There are many plans available. You need to research which ones offer what you need. Things like pools, spas, and sprinkler systems will usually need additional coverage. Minor appliances like dishwasher, microwave, and even your washer and dryer can be covered under some warranties. You will want to see what will fit your budget. Ideally, you will talk it over with your broker so that you get the exact amount of coverage you need that will still fit into your budget.
Just as your warranty options are large and wide, your costs will vary with your home warranty as well. For example, you may have the option of paying a higher coverage fee with a reduction of a deductible. Or perhaps, you can pay a yearly deductible cap rather than having to pay for each and every repair or replacement. The amount of your deductible will vary depending on the coverage type and the appliance or system that you need to be fixed or replaced. For best results, research your choices and find one that will give you the coverage that you need while still fitting nicely in your budget.
Can Real Estate Professionals Assist with Buying a Home Warranty?
The process of purchasing and signing a home warranty can be quite lengthy. You may mean that you need to do some deep research into home warranty companies and home warranty plans. You may need to read several home warranty reviews per single home warranty company in order to find the ideal home warranty policy. Home warranty providers are going to offer a wide variety of warranty plans, warranty policy, in which you will find a range of warranty coverage. You may need to get a series of quotes from many providers. The quote process itself may be lengthy and difficult.
The first thing you want to do after sifting through warranty reviews and warranty companies is to schedule an appointment with your first choice warranty company. At your first appointment, you will go over what you are expecting from a home warranty company. You will find that they usually have a list of different warranty policies to choose from. The warranty premium is successful to vary with what type of coverage that you want. You will select your policy. You will discuss the choices that you will have for contractors. It is important that you understand your options. It is important that you make sure that your contractor list covers your area.
The next thing that you will do is schedule an appointment for your home to be inspected. You will need to make sure that you understand the timeline so that you plan enough time. Ask what all will be inspected, but you need to expect every major appliance and system in your home to go through a rigorous series of testing. You will also be bombarded with a barrage of questions. Which is likely to lead to the next step.
In some cases, you will not get an answer on how your home inspection went. You may have to schedule an appointment to see what did and didn’t pass inspection. You will then be given a time frame, usually 30-days, in which to make repairs. These repairs will often require a secondary inspection.
Once all the inspections are finished, you will have a better idea of which warranty policy is best for you. Then you will have a set premium. You will also have a list of services, contractors, and deductibles. You will have a closing date. You should also have a buyer protection plan of about 30-days.
Once your warranty is all set up and ready to go, there will be a process in which to file claims. There are some cases that it may take several weeks to get a repair done. It all depends on both your home warranty provider and your contractor choice.
Have you ever wondered why it takes you so long to get a claim processed? Perhaps you are just wondering why it is taking so long to get an approval on your application? While there may not any set reason why it is a long process, there may be a series of reasons why it is taking so long. For example, your home warranty service may be having trouble get the records from another warranty company. Perhaps the former homeowner had a different home warranty provider or less coverage than you, and they are having trouble getting the maintenance and repair records. It may be that they are having trouble getting confirmation of your bank statements from your financial institution. Don’t be afraid to call and politely ask what you can provide to help speed up the process.
How do I File a Claim with My Home Warranty Company?
You also have a customer service team that will help you to go through the process. It is something that you may have to do when you get ready to purchase a home. Your home warranty provider can help you navigate through the hassle of quotes and repairs. You will be able to ask questions so that you can understand rate coverage and deductibles.
The repair process must be completely exhausted before the replacement process can even begin. The repairs must be done by a contractor that is on the home warranty provider’s approved list. If they cannot be repaired, then they will be replaced. There is another process for all replacements.
Who do I Call for Repairs?
Selling Your Home? What Happens to Your Warranty?
A home warranty is the best way to get the home protection that you need. It will help you to keep your real estate in good condition. It will also help you to make sure that you are not caught off guard by extreme and unexpected repairs. Not only does it help to patch the holes that you may have in your home insurance, but it also makes sure that you have peace of mind should major repairs come up. You know that you are going to be able to get a good contractor that will give you great service. If you get less than expected, you will have a way to get your complaints addressed. Your problems are solved. Don’t hesitate to invest in a good home warranty protection. You will be very glad you did the moment that you need it.