Home warranty companies promise to help you save thousands of dollars when your household systems and appliances break down. They run ads promising to protect you from costly repairs and replacements of your furnace, electricity, plumbing, and other appliances and systems. The assurance of peace of mind is what makes home warranties useful. However, not all home warranties are the same.
Before you sign that contract, make sure you understand what constitutes your Arizona home warranty. Many homeowners don’t understand the basics of home warranty plans. First, a home warranty plan works differently from home insurance. Second, it takes effect only after 30 days. And last, you can transfer it to a new homeowner or property if you decide to sell your home.
These warranty companies receive thousands of complaints every year because of unsatisfied customers. Many of these complaints are valid, but some are products of misunderstandings and general assumptions. Before you sign that contract, remember these three things first:
- Home Warranties Don’t Cover All Appliances
A lot of misunderstandings arise because the consumers didn’t take time to read what is and what is not covered by the warranty. Regular home warranties may not cover the refrigerator, dryer, and washer. They also don’t cover the heating and air conditioning system. This is not always the case because some standard home warranties provide coverage to newer models of these appliances.
If you want these appliances to be included, you need to buy a warranty plan with enhanced coverage. That will still depend on the home warranty provider, but newer models should not have difficulty getting coverage.
Also, garage doors, roof leaks, sprinkler systems, and pools are not usually covered by standard home warranties. If you have a problem with the sprinkler system, you can call a plumber for that. Home warranties also exclude appliances and systems that do not threaten the home’s integrity.
- Home Warranties Exclude Preexisting Conditions
You need to have a recent home inspection report before purchasing a home warranty policy. The warranty company will ask for a copy of that report, or it may order a professional inspection of your home. The report will tell the company if there are preexisting conditions they need to be aware of. The home warranty will not cover these preexisting conditions.
For example, if you already have plumbing problems before purchasing the warranty, the plumbing system will not be included in the coverage. You also cannot try to hoodwink the warrant company into covering an issue that happened before you signed the contract. The agreement with a home warranty company takes effect only after 30 days. You cannot make claims for anything that happens within those 30 days.
Likewise, if the company determined that the problem was caused by improper maintenance, it can deny the claim. Any sign of intentionally breaking an appliance will render the agreement null, so don’t try asking the company to cover a claim when you know it’s not included in the contract.
- Home Warranties May Not Accredit Your Preferred Service Provider
If you have a favorite contractor or plumber, you may need to check if they are accredited by the home warranty company. Just because they are your preferred service provider doesn’t mean the warranty company will pay them. A warranty company usually works with a pre-determined list of service providers in your area.
However, there is a way to control who you can choose as a service provider. Talk with your agent about selecting your own service provider. You may have to pay a bit more than the regular annual premium, but if that gives you peace of mind, it’s worth the additional expense.
If you are not willing to shell out more money than necessary, you can check your area’s list of accredited service providers. You can read reviews and recommendations about each of the service providers. Make sure to ask your family and friends since they may have previous experiences with these contractors.
Know What You’re Getting Into
It’s vital to understand what you are getting into before you sign any contract. Don’t rely on secondhand information, least of all things you read on the internet. Verify everything you read and hear with the agent. By doing so, you can make sure you’re trusting a reliable warranty company and that you’ll be getting your money’s worth.