How Does A Home Warranty Work?

Real Estate

Home Warranties

While there are a near limitless amount of reasons why owning your own home is more convenient than renting, to some, not being responsible for your own upkeep is a Godsend. Not everyone is handy; some people are all thumbs and in this day and age, the fear of getting ripped off from a contractor or repair person can be rather justified. In my opinion and experience however, relying on yourself (and contractors/specialists) works better than depending on a landlord with no real emotional attachment to your home/his property who is just out to save a buck. I find this especially true when armed with a home warranty, a common incentive included when buying a home. As lovely as it would be, there is just no such policy which will fix any and everything that can go wrong with a property. However, a home warranty can fix a lot. Think of it like medical insurance; it won't cover the cost of everything but in the end, you're glad it is there because it covers a whole lot. Don't ever make the mistake of assuming all home warranties are created equal though, as they aren't. You'll have to read the specific details of the individual plan you are being offered or contemplating purchasing to see what would and would not be covered.  

While generally speaking home warranties aren't too different from each other, don't let that stop you from reading the specifics of yours. Usually though, if a home system or major appliance (think h-vac moreso than toaster) stops working, you contact your home warranty company and let them know. From there, your home warrants company calls a repair specialist, usually someone with whom the home warranty company has a contract with. The service provider will then contact you, the home owner, to make an appointment. If the repairman or woman can not fix your system or appliance which is malfunctioning, your home warranty company will then replace the item in question, or tell you that you're out of luck (depending on your specific contract, which is why you need to carefully read yours). You may have to pay a small trade service fee, which is usually less than one hundred dollars. See, it really is health insurance for your house. 

One of the benefits to having an experienced and fearless real estate agent is if you run into problems with your repair specialist or home warranty company with them trying to take advantage of you (this doesn't happen often but hey, it's a dangerous world out there and anything can happen) you will want someone who understands the law having your back. Have I mentioned I have over twenty-one years experience in the realty game?

Most home warranty contracts will cover everything from doorbells, ductwork, dishwashers, air conditioning units, electricial systems, furnace & heating systems, range and oven, telephone wiring, garbage disposal, inside plumbing stoppages and water heaters. Pretty much stuff that your house will be incomplete without.  But what isn't covered? Surprisingly, faucets are on that list, but most everything else which won't be fixed through your home warranty is a non-essential unit. Refrigerators, garage door openers, washers/dryers and things like permit fees or trash hauling will not recieve coverage. Check your home warranty paperwork carefully, as pools and spas aren't typically included, but oftentimes are.  

What can cause a seemingly valid claim to be denied? Make sure you've been preforming only proper maintenance on everything in your home, and that is has been installed properly as well. Unusual wear and tear usually signifies that something abnormal has happened to the appliance/device in question and will cause a denial of claim. I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but really, read through your home warranty carefully, and if it is confusing to you, ask your real estate agent for help deciphering all the paperwork! Even if you are talented at speaking legalese, make sure your real estate agent looks through your home warranty contract anyway, just to make sure the home warranty company isn't trying to take advantage of anyone. An experienced realtor will be able to tell a good contract from a bad one. 

I hope you learned a thing of two from this blog post! And if not, at least the dog picture was really cute.