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Owning a home is a wonderful experience, but it also comes with a lot of hard work and plenty of maintenance. Getting a home warranty is one of the top ways to protect your investment while making regular maintenance more affordable. A home warranty can be a great source of protection when things go wrong due to normal wear and tear or even improper installation and it could save you quite a bit of money in the long term.
Once you’ve asked what does a home warranty cover, you’ll feel better getting the peace of mind knowing your home is protected. These plans make it easy for homeowners to get home repairs done on the most important home appliances and help soften the cost. To ensure you get a policy that meets your needs, choose a home warranty company with products and services to cover what your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t. Here are some home warranty companies to choose from in 2020.
American Residential Warranty
American Residential Warranty is a relatively new home warranty company with a track record of only ten years. But it offers warranty plans that are simple to understand and priced well for the value.
You’ll find low deductibles and service fees with all warranty plans offered by American Residential Warranty. There are sample contracts available for your review so that you understand what you’re signing up for in advance.
The most popular home warranty plan offered by American Residential Warranty is $59.99. It includes all major appliances, central heating and air, humidifiers, electrical systems, garbage disposals, plumbing, ductwork, garage door, water heaters, and ceiling fans.
You’ll pay an extra $9.99 to include a washer and dryer with your plan. Also, countertop microwaves are not included in the plan.
Home warranty plans decrease in monthly cost if you eliminate the number of appliances and systems covered. The least expensive policy available includes the refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, a built-in microwave, garbage disposal, kitchen exhaust fan, and water heater for $34.99 per month.
If you have a septic tank, consider combining all plan options to get a 4-in-1 bundle that includes all major appliances, household systems, and sewer/water lines coverage.
Your sewer and water lines would be covered for repairs, which means unblocking lines, excavation, re-seeding grass where damage occurs, or re-paving driveway as needed. The 4-in-1 package also includes your new and used electronics. The cost for this package is $124.99 per month.
The company allows you to choose your service technician before the repair gets approved, so you’re comfortable with the quality of work received.
American Home Shield
One of the best-known home warranty companies is American Home Shield. The company was founded more than 45 years ago with plans available in every state except Alaska.
One difference between American Home Shield and some of the newer home warranty companies is choosing your service technician. American Home Shield assigns you to a contractor when you make a claim. If you want to use your repairman, it’ll have to be approved in advance, and that process can delay repairs unnecessarily.
American Home Shield allows you to assemble your plan according to your needs. Home warranty plan pricing ranges from $75 to $125 per month. The prepackaged plans include a Combo Plan, Appliances Plan, Systems Plan, and a la carte services. The Combo Plan includes just about every appliance in your home, including refrigerators, washer and dryer, ovens and range, dishwashers, built-in microwave ovens, trash compactors, and garage door opener.
If you have a free-standing ice maker or food center, it’s also included in this plan. You’ll also be covered if there are any issues with your systems, including heating and air conditioning, ductwork, electrical, water heaters, water dispensers, doorbells, smoke detectors, plumbing, smoke detectors, and ceiling fans.
The Appliances Plan covers mainly kitchen appliances and your washer and dryer while the Systems Plan only includes major systems like heating/air and electrical. If you opt to create your own plan, you’ll choose from up to 21 systems and appliances to add in your pool and spa equipment.
You can also add well pumps and septic system plumbing if needed. Sample contracts are available to help you understand how the service works before signing up.
Like most home warranties, the policy takes effect after 30 days and with a contract duration of 12 months.
Cinch Home Services
Cinch Home Services has a new name but operated for 40 years as Cross Country Home Services. You can choose from three service fee options as opposed to other companies who just offer one or two. The service covers the technician’s cost to diagnose or assess the total cost of the repairs.
Unlike the fee you pay each month to your home warranty company. Cinch Home Services gives you the option of paying $150, $125, or $100 deductible.
The plan costs vary based on the service fee you choose. For example, if you select a higher service fee of $150, a complete home plan is only $39.99 per month. But if you want a lower deductible, you’ll pay more for your monthly plan.
The Complete Home plan is the most extensive plan available, including both appliances and built-in systems. The tools covered must be integrated or major household appliances to be included.
You can also sign-up for a plan that only covers appliances or built-in systems like air conditioning, electrical, and plumbing. External sewer systems can also be included along with a built-in whirlpool tub.
There is no option to include a swimming pool or septic tank. You can opt to have homeowners’ insurance deductibles reimbursed under the systems plan, however.
You can sign up for Cinch Home Services if you live in any state except Hawaii and Alaska. Coverage starts 30 days after you purchase a new plan. All repairs performed under a Cinch home warranty comes with a 6-month guarantee.
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
The 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is a unique plan that covers home sellers, builders, and real estate agents. This home warranty provider has been in business for more than 30 years. You can choose your service contractor as long as you get written authorization from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty before work is performed.
Home warranty coverage is available in all 50 states. One downside of exploring plans with 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is the lack of transparency in pricing. There are no package prices on the company website, which means having to call a sales rep to get information on pricing. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers two main types of coverage: structural and seller’s coverage.
With structural warranties, you get a 10-year insurance plan on new construction that includes systems and appliances. The coverage is backed by an insurance company called New Home Warranty and reinsured by SwissRE. SwissRE is currently the world’s largest reinsurer. The policy gives the homeowner protection against defects that aren’t covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy.
The seller’s coverage plan also covers major systems and appliances, but the program is complimentary for a set period. The premium payment is due when you close on the home.
You can also add air conditioning and heat pump coverage to the complimentary coverage. Keep in mind that seller coverage is only complimentary in some places. Local laws can’t prohibit this type of plan.
Builders are obligated to purchase a home warranty service agreement for the buyer under a seller’s plan. The buyer would then receive air conditioning, furnace, plumbing, water heater, and electrical wiring protection.
The inclusion of systems like a home furnace is an excellent option for new homeowners who don’t want to foot the bill for major system replacements right after buying a new house.
Unlike most home warranty companies, 2-10 Home Buyer Warranty includes a washer and dryer under its protected appliances. Other protected devices include refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and garbage disposal.
A la carte services include a seasonal HVAC tune-up, stand-alone freezer coverage, pipe leaks, limited roof repairs, septic systems, and pool and spa equipment. You can also add on a household water softening system or well pump
AFC Home Club
AFC Home Club is a 10 year veteran in the home warranty business. You can get a warranty plan anywhere in the United States except California, South Carolina, Nevada, and Hawaii.
Like most home warranty plans, coverage starts 30 days after the start of your contract. Choose between contract lengths ranging from one to three years.
You can use your own repair technician as long as they are licensed, insured, and bonded. A great feature of AFC Home Club plans is its guarantee on parts and labor to the entire lifespan of your membership. Pricing does vary, and the easiest way to get an accurate quote is to call for pricing.
Plan options include Platinum, Gold, and Silver, depending on the number of systems and appliances you want to be covered.
Under the Platinum Plan, you get all major systems and appliances included even the washer and dryer. With the Gold Plan, most systems and appliances are included, but you won’t get coverage on plumbing or built-in microwaves.
The Silver Plan is only for essential appliances like washer and dryer, refrigerator, oven and range, dishwasher, garbage disposals, and garage door opener. You can opt to have only your systems covered get protection against HVAC repairs, water heaters, electrical, plumbing, and any ductwork needed.
Outside plumbing like sump pumps, swimming pool, and septic systems are available a la carte. Tankless water heaters are considered an add-on and are not included with any of the standard plans.
AFC Home Club gives you the freedom to choose your repairman without hassle. There’s no need for approval as long as you can provide the proper licensing and certification for the work performed.
The Best Home Warranty Plan
Choosing the best home warranty is easy when you work with a company that offers flexibility. Avoid making commitments to long term contracts that only provide a part of what you need.
Before getting started with your research, make a list of the systems and appliances in your home that are most likely to need replacement or repair in the next few years. These are the coverage areas you want to focus on when choosing a home warranty.
Otherwise, you’ll be taking on a new monthly bill that won’t give you enough protection against unexpected repair costs. Remember to look out for the service fees. If you don’t have savings set aside for emergency home repairs, a high service fee can mean as much financial headache as having to replace an appliance on your own.
Review the home warranty contract in detail to learn the cost of service fees and how often you’ll have to pay them. Choosing your own contractor is helpful, but ensuring the warranty company guarantees the work of its contractors is also important.
For more information on choosing the right warranty for your home, check our blog for updates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn home warranty basics
What is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty is a supplemental coverage plan that gives you lots of peace of mind. When you purchase a home, some sellers will provide a home warranty for a period of one year from the time of purchase.
For new home buyers, it’s a good idea to talk to your real estate agent and find out if the seller is offering a home warranty plan. This is a good incentive that sellers can offer so that the buyer is covered for specific components of the home in case of any pre-existing conditions.
Most home warranties will help to cover the cost of repair or replacement for various elements of the home like major appliances, and the HVAC system, and any additional coverage that can be added to a home warranty plan.
Once a claim is made, all that is needed is a service fee to have a professional come and assess the problem, make repairs, or recommend the next steps on replacing items.
What Does a Home Warranty Cover?
The home warranty company you choose will offer you several different coverage options from appliances such as faucets all the way to septic systems. Make sure you read your service contract carefully to make sure that you’re getting the coverage level you need for your specific home.
Most home warranty plans will include the main components and systems in your home such as the water heater, the air conditioning system, and appliances like your dishwasher and refrigerator. In most cases, the home warranty coverage applies to breakdowns or emergencies, and may not cover things like normal wear and tear.
A basic home warranty plan should cover all of your kitchen appliances as well as your heating and cooling system and all ductwork. More advanced plans should also encompass things like plumbing systems and electrical systems, which could save you thousands of dollars over the life of your home.
Home warranty coverage should also include things as small as your garbage disposal, garage door opener, or even your ice maker. All of these covered items are part of most home systems, so it’s crucial to have the right coverage in case something goes awry.
How Does a Home Warranty Work?
If something in your home breaks down like a system or an appliance, you’ll contact your home warranty company to schedule a service call. The warranty company will directly contact one of their authorized service providers and send them to your home to assess the issue.
They’ll contact you to confirm an appointment time for the repair person to come to your home. Once the provider agrees that a repair or replacement is covered under your plan, the professional service provider will complete the work.
Once the work is done, you’ll pay a service fee or a deductible. This is in addition to the cost of your warranty plan, but most fees are small and can range anywhere from $50 to $100 per incident.
How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?
The cost of a home warranty can vary depending on several factors such as the age and size of your home, your location, and your preferred coverage level. Most home warranty plans are very affordable and range from around $300 to $600 per year.
You can pay for your home warranty in one lump sum, but some providers may allow monthly payments or you can pay in two separate payments during the year. You may be eligible for a discount if you are renewing your plan or you’re a member of the military. Shop around to find the best home warranty plan and pricing that will work best for you and your family.
Is a Home Warranty Worth it?
When you ask what does a home warranty contract cover, it’s important to note that it is not a replacement for a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. The home warranty will cover kitchen appliances when they break down or if your water heater has a problem. Home insurance, on the other hand, covers the structure of the home, or any damage to the house that the covered item may have caused. Both are needed for any home buyer to ensure peace of mind.
When things break down, a home warranty is certainly worth the investment. You’ll pay a fraction of the cost that it would normally be to hire a professional plumber, electrician, or HVAC technician. Your home warranty contract should explain the service fee you’ll pay whenever you need to use your warranty.
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