Buying a new home can be stressful. Not only do you have to make a huge investment, but you also have to take care of legal procedures and unprecedented repairs. Homeowners end up spending a hefty amount every year for repairing appliances, which is why getting a home warranty is a wise idea.
But what’s a home warranty?
It’s a one-year residential contract that covers any repairs or replacements of home appliances. The option should be provided to you by the seller during the purchase. “For an affordable monthly fee, appliance warranty coverage can help keep your home running strong, even when you need repairs or replacements.” says home warranty service provider Cinch Home Services.
Below, we have listed things you should understand about your appliances as a new homeowner.
Understanding the Difference Between Home Warranty and Home Insurance
Even though a home warranty and home insurance sound similar, there are significant differences between the two. Home insurance covers damages to the structure of your home and personal belongings and liability for injuries, whereas home warranty covers repairs and replacements of appliances and systems due to normal wear and tear. Home insurance has fixed deductibles, while service fees for home warranties are paid per service request. Claims for home insurance are typically more complex and time-consuming. But the process for home warranty claims is much simpler. They also have differing costs, with home insurance bordering on $1,784 per annum and home warranty falling between $600 and $800 per annum. Moreover, home insurance is often required by lenders to obtain a mortgage, while a home warranty is optional.
Understanding the Maintenance Need for Common Home Appliances
Common home appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and air conditioners need regular maintenance to function optimally. You must clean the accessible filters and vents of all appliances to avoid clogging which can lead to inefficient functioning and costly repairs. The condenser coils and door gaskets control proper cooling, so you must clean them periodically.
Dishwasher filters, racks, and spray arms can become clogged over time. Washing machine drums and dispensers can have mold growth and unpleasant odors. You must clean these appliances regularly to prevent any malfunctions and costly repairs or replacements. Make a seasonal checklist for overall home maintenance – not just for home appliances. Create a schedule with appropriate intervals for cleaning these appliances and stick to it to keep them running for years.
Choosing the Right Home Warranty Provider
You must consider a few important factors before choosing a home warranty provider or contractor. First, check if the company has the required licenses and capable technicians. Discuss your requirements with them and ask them to check their license, if needed. You can also check their reviews online or go through their testimonials for proven track records.
Next, understand the limitations or exclusions set by the provider company. Even after signing a contract, the company isn’t obliged to cover some appliances or specific parts. If they don’t agree to cover all the items on your list, simply look for a more compatible one. Understand whether the company will repair or replace your appliances because it might cost you a fortune if they refuse to cover an expensive item.
Utilizing the Home Warranty Contract to the Fullest
In order to best utilize the home warranty contract, you have to understand it thoroughly. Read through the contract and understand every section. If you’re unsure of a clause or a term or need further clarification, communicate with the company without hesitation.
Understand what items they’ll cover and all monetary limitations, as you might have to pay for any gaps. When you need a repair or replacement service, call the company immediately. Most companies have 24/7 customer service options and getting instant help shouldn’t be a big problem. The more you delay, the more chances of further damage or complications.
Avoiding DIY Repair Attempts
No matter how adept you are at repairing things, don’t try to repair broken appliances if they’re covered by a home warranty. The service providers have expert technicians with years of experience, and they can repair the items better than you. Also, if you end up damaging the items further, your home warranty contract might get revoked. On top of that, the company won’t cover any damage arising from your DIY attempts. The company might not even want to work on that item in the worst cases. So, contact your home warranty company immediately when you discover a need for repair or replacement.
Appliances are vital parts of your home, and repair costs can create a dent in your budget. Plan what appliances you need for your home and prepare a list of items you want to be covered by the warranty company. Communicate your requirements well before signing with a company. If you’re choosing a smart home system, don’t forget to cross-check with the company to ensure coverage – otherwise, the repair cost can be significant.