Most home warranty plans cover standard lists of items. For example, AHS offers basic plans for either appliances, home systems, or both. What homeowners may not realize is they also have the option to pick and choose coverage with a Build Your Own Plan option.
This option allows you to choose ten or more systems and appliances to cover, making it useful for those who only need to protect certain items.
Custom Home Warranty Plans for Tight Budgets
The option for homeowners to build their own home warranty plans means they can focus on what needs coverage most. For appliances that are unlikely to need frequent repairs, paying for coverage could be less cost-efficient, making a custom option very valuable for those with limited budgets.
When selecting items for your custom plan, determine approximately how many items you can cover, then make selections based on their priority. The following considerations can help you select the appliances and systems you need to cover most.
Current State of Your Appliances
One of the first items to look at is the current state of each appliance and system in your home. Pay attention to qualities such as age or wear. The more worn an item is, the more repairs it will need and the more expensive it will be to maintain. As such, these items will have a higher priority when it comes to coverage.
Some questions you’ll want to ask when prioritizing items to cover include:
- How old is the system/appliance?
- How many repairs has it needed over the past few years?
- Is there anything visibly wrong with it?
- Is the system/appliance noticeably less efficient?
Examining factors such as efficiency can help you determine whether a system is worn out. For example, if your gas bills seem to be getting higher every winter, it could mean your furnace is getting old.
Also note that pre-existing issues could preclude an item from coverage. For instance, if your refrigerator wasn’t cooling properly prior to purchasing a warranty, the repairs might not be covered.
Frequency of Use
Custom home warranty plans allow you to focus on items you use the most. The more you use something, the faster it will wear out, and the more you’ll want to cover resulting costs.
For example, if you use your oven several times per week, but your dishwasher only sees occasional use, your oven will be more likely to need repairs or replacement. As such, you’ll want to prioritize it over your dishwasher to make sure you get the most out of your plan.
Location matters a great deal here. For instance, if you live in a warm climate, your AC will naturally see more use than your furnace. Conversely, people living in colder locations will prioritize their heating systems more.
One caveat, however, is repairs are generally only covered as long as you use the appliance or system as intended. For example, your home warranty should cover an oven that has worn out from constant baking, but not one that has been dismantled for odd household experiments.
Plans to Upgrade
Sometimes a system is so worn out that the most cost-effective thing to do is upgrade. Most home warranty plans cover replacements, but only as long as it’s deemed necessary. For example, if your air conditioner breaks down repeatedly after too many Texas summers, your plan should cover replacement. On the other hand, if you simply want to upgrade a perfectly healthy system to something more efficient, coverage is far less likely.
Also, once you upgrade an appliance, the manufacturer’s warranty will cover it. That warranty usually lasts one year, and your home warranty won’t apply to it during that time. As a result, if you’re planning an upgrade, it may not be necessary to purchase home warranty coverage for that item.
Selecting Appliances and Systems to Match Your Budget
The costs of home warranty plans depends largely on location and the items to be covered. As you prioritize the systems and appliances you need to cover most, contacting your home warranty provider can help you budget accordingly and get the most out of your plan.