Home Appliance Warranties: Insurance for Your Appliances and More
Imagine returning to the comforts of your home, after a long two-week summer vacation. Drained by the Georgia heat, you briskly run to turn on your thermostat anxiously waiting to feel the cool sensation of air circulating through your home. However, there’s a problem! Ten minutes have passed and there isn’t any air blowing! Naturally, you begin pressing all buttons just to get a reaction from your air conditioner, but there is still no response. Hoping that the issue is something simple, you decide to: change the batteries in the thermostat and flip the AC valve switch on the breaker. But nothing is working. This is the moment when you know you need to call a HVAC specialist. He assesses the situation, only to tell you the one thing that no homeowner wants to hear: that your AC unit needs to be replaced! The replacement could cost anywhere from $500 to $4000 dollars! Unexpected home repairs can be a devastating financial strain. At some time or another, many homeowners will find themselves in this situation or one that is similar. Therefore, it is important to have a home warranty.
What is a Home Appliance Warranty?
A home appliance warranty is a policy that provides coverage for repairs and replacements of appliances and systems in your home. Thankfully, these policies cover the main house systems that are usually on the fore front of every owner’s mind such as: plumbing, electrical, water heaters, and air conditioning. If you’ve ever come home to a smelly kitchen due to a non-working garbage disposal, then no worries. These warranties also cover items that owners normally don’t think of like: smoke detectors, garbage disposals, and shot/cold water dispensers. As you can see, home appliance warranties cover a great deal of things. However, there are some items that aren’t covered under these policies for example: pools/spas, septic system, well pump, home entertainment systems, washer/dryer, and dishwasher. Although all of these items come with their own warranty at the time of purchase, the home warranty provider may include these items at an additional cost to you. It is best to ask what is covered in the contract before purchasing the policy, as each company insures different items. Another thing that is not covered in these policies are: pre-existing conditions. Providers don’t usually make customers get an inspection before obtaining a warranty. Even so, it is important to be truthful about the conditions of your home. If a repairman reports to the company that the problem is pre-existing, then your claim will be denied. It may also result in termination of your coverage due to fraud.
Now that you understand what a home appliance warranty is, it is time to answer every consumer’s favorite question, “How much does this policy cost?” The average rate for a home warranty policy can run anywhere from $250 to $450 based on the type of coverage. Take note that each time you use your warranty, a normal service fee (which would be your deductible) of around $50 applies. If this sounds like a lot money, rest assured that it isn’t. Most companies charge a pricey diagnostic fee just for the technician to come out and to give an analysis of the problem. Understand that this fee does not include the cost of the item or the cost of labor for the actual repair. Luckily, your home appliance warranty would cover all three expenses by only paying your $50 deductible. Obviously, you end up saving tons of money with a home appliance warranty!
What is the Difference Between Home Insurance and Home Appliance Warranty?
A lot of homeowners ask the question, “Do I really need a home appliance warranty, if I have homeowner’s insurance?” The answer on whether or not you need a home appliance warranty can vary depending on your home’s appliance/ system maintenance needs; which will be discussed in the next section. However, understand that home owner’s insurance and home appliance insurance are two different types of coverage. Homeowner’s insurance policies are intended to provide coverage for the structure of your home. This means that any damage or total loss caused by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning, and other catastrophes listed on the policy are covered under homeowner’s insurance. One the other hand, home appliance warranty only covers the repair to appliances/systems in your home due to mechanical failure. Therefore, having homeowner’s insurance has nothing to do with whether or not you should obtain a home appliance warranty.
How to Know If a Home Appliance Warranty Is Right for You?
You may still be wondering, whether or not a home appliance warranty is right for you. To ensure that you make the correct choice; here are a few things to assess:
- You have old systems/appliances- It is extremely important to know the age of your home at the time of purchase. Obviously, the older your home is then the closer it is to needing some major repairs/replacements. In order to help you out here is a life span list of household items:
- AC Unit- 15 years
- Air Furnace- 15 years
- Gas/Oil Furnace-18 years
- Stove- 10-15 years
- Built in Microwave- 8 years
- Garbage Disposals- 10 years
- Plumbing (drain lines/supply pipes)- 40 to 75 years
If any of these items are close to their life span, then a home appliance warranty is good option for you.
- You have a current manufacturer’s warranty that is ending- If your home is relatively new, then most things will already come with a manufacturer’s warranty. When the warranty expires, you will need to replace it with your own home appliance warranty. Or instead of waiting you can purchase an extended warranty to already be in place.
- You are selling your home- The more up-to-date your home is then the more valuable it is. This means that you can sell it for more money that it would’ve been worth if you didn’t have a warranty. It also means that buyers will be more interested in your home due to the fact it is covered under a home appliance warranty. In long run, you could end up making an extra couple thousand dollars by investing in a warranty plan for only a few hundred bucks!
- You are on a fixed income- This reason is obvious: to save money! Repair costs can easily break the bank. Home appliance warranties allow homeowners the freedom to use their money for other things.
What Are the Pros/Cons of a Home Appliance Warranty?
In the previous section, all four scenarios can be used as a great baseline to determine if a home appliance warranty fits your situation. It also helpful to know the pros and cons of these warranties. It’s best to know the good and the bad, before paying for a home appliance policy. Here are some advantages and drawbacks to consider:
Protects against unpredictable bills
Offers reassurance to new home owners
Company selects the technician
Strict clauses on the condition of appliances/systems
Warranty may only cover a portion of repairs
What Companies Offer Home Warranty Coverage?
Now that you have assessed your home situation, you can easily find the right company. The great news is that there are plenty of providers who offer an assortment of different home appliance warranty packages to fit your needs:
- Choice Home Warranty - This provider scored the best rating for a home appliance warranty opposed to its peers. The company lives by their motto, “If we can’t fix it, then we replace it.” They have fast and reliable technicians, and most importantly they have 24/7 claim support. This means if an emergency happens in the middle of the night, then you have someone to call.
- Select Home Warranty - If you are looking for a company who covers more than the average home appliance warranty provider, then look no further. Unlike other companies, Select Home Warranty provides coverage for items that aren’t normally covered such as: ceiling fans, garage doors, washer/dryers, and much more. In addition, new customers are offered $200 off their annual premium and they get to try the warranty free for two months.
- First American Warranty - The old saying, “When it rains, it pours” is nothing to worry about when it comes to First American Warranty. When your house begins to have serious issues; this company offers unlimited service calls to h elp you out. This means there is no stipulation on how many repairs, your house can have in a year. They also have thirty years of reliable experience to assure customers that they have made the right decision.
These companies and others alike can be found by simply searching online. Online, you can get a quote in as little as five minutes with live chat available. Or you can contact your local service technicians who surely know the best home warranty provider for your needs.
What Else Do You Need to Know?
Before you purchase a warranty, beware of age restrictions and obsolete clauses. Age restrictions are provisions that a company places on items that are beyond the companies desired life span. This means that the company may not cover a claim for a stove past nine years old, if nine years is the age restriction in the contract (even if the normal life expectancy is ten to fifteen years). An obsolete clause is when the company has the ability to determine that the part to repair is no longer up to par with normal standards. For example, if your water heater is an older model that is not commonly used; then the warranty providers have the contractual right not to cover the item, because the repairs on the water heater is considered an obsolete part. Also understand that purchasing a warranty means that the company will send out their technician for repairs. Thus, if you have a trusted family technician who is not a contracted service provider, then his labor will not be covered under your warranty. All three are serious things that one must considered before committing to a home appliance warranty.
Whether you’re buying, selling, or maintaining your home, it is important to have a home appliance warranty. It can save you tons of money; while giving you peace of mind that you have the needed coverage. Luckily, there is no time restrictions on when a homeowner can purchase insurance, so take your time to make sure you are purchasing the right plan. Above all, you will be prepared for unexpected repairs!