Each new year brings new choices. Many of these have to do with your home. For instance, you might need to choose new appliances, remodel the kitchen, or choose home maintenance technicians. Another decision that might come up is that of a home warranty. Here, we’ll go over how to choose the best home warranty for your situation.
One of the factors you’ll want to consider is the current status of your home’s appliances. Appliances such as a washer and dryer, refrigerator, stove, etc. are all covered by home warranties. How much that benefits you depends on the following:
- The age of the appliance – Older appliances are more prone to break down
- Current condition – How much wear and tear does the appliance have?
- Manufacturer warranty – If an appliance is currently under warranty, extra coverage may be redundant (for now)
Newer appliances may still be covered by warranty, whereas older, more worn units will have more frequent need of repairs. The best home warranty for your situation will provide the right amount of coverage for your appliances, all while keeping repair and replacement costs down.
Another set of items covered by home warranties encompasses the systems in your home, such as heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, and so forth.
As with appliances, the age of your system comes into account since older systems tend to break down more often. In addition, current warranties on specific units (like a furnace or air conditioner condenser) may still apply, though those may have limitations on their coverage.
One of the limitations most manufacturer warranties include is that a system needs to have routine maintenance to be covered. This is a common stipulation, and many home warranties include it as well. The absolute best home warranty, however, will not penalize you for neglecting regular maintenance—if your system breaks down from normal use, you’ll be covered.
How Long You’ve Owned Your Home
When considering the best home warranty for you, it can help if you’ve recently purchased your house. Some companies, such as AHS, actually offer special pricing for home buyers and sellers, so if you’ve bought your home within the last month or two, it could be worthwhile to purchase a home warranty.
Additionally, if you’ve just moved into a new home, odds are high that your appliances are still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. As such, it’s a good idea to check the current warranty against a company’s offerings to see which home warranty is right for you.
Once you have a good grasp of what your current situation entails, it’s time to start checking out companies. In addition to checking your current warranty coverage against available plans, there are a few other things to consider with each company:
- Upper limits – Some home warranty companies have maximum limits on the amount of repairs they’ll cover each year. Choose a plan that offers the highest possible limits.
- Wait periods – Home warranty companies have wait periods before they’ll start covering repairs and replacements. Most of these last a month or two, while some are as short as 15 days.
- Exclusions – Some items or repairs may be excluded from specific plans. For instance, minor appliances such as microwaves or built-in refrigerator ice makers may be excluded, so read each plan carefully.
Not all home warranty companies are equal—some offer far better coverage than others, so it’s worth doing some research to get the right company for your home.
Choose the Best Home Warranty Plan
Once you’ve selected a home warranty, you’ll also need to choose a specific plan. Again, this will require some research, but it’s well worth the effort. Some plans will offer less coverage than you actually need, while others may be overkill for some families.
Some companies offer customized home warranty plans to make sure you get exactly as much coverage as you need. That said, the most popular plans tend to cover a larger breadth of items. Ultimately, the best home warranty plan depends on your situation.
When researching home warranties, there are various attractive options, including comprehensive appliance and system plans, high coverage limits, and even custom plans. As the new year approaches, take a look at all the offered options.