If you are a handyman, chances are you know your way around your home. You might even be on the lookout for ways to up your homes resale value. If you own multiple houses, you might want to look at home warranties as a way to make house sales even more valuable. Home warranty type services got a pretty bad reputation over the time. In this article, we will take a look at what kind of service they offer, potential pitfall and a review of popular companies who provide this kind of warranty.
What is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty is a minimum year long agreement, generally made through a contract of some kind, that will allow for certain appliances or mechanical systems to be repaired if they fail due to normal wear and tear. Those items that are covered would either be repaired or replaced.In order to have an item repaired, a homeowner must usually submit a “claim” – this form explains what the breakage is, when it occurred, why it occurred, and more. Once a claim is submitted and accepted by the home warranty company, they will promptly send out a repairman to fix or replace the broken item or fixture. Commonly, a deductible will then be applied for that service.
The price of a home warranty varies widely from company to company, and from contract to contract. Generally, a contract can go anywhere from a premium of $200 to anywhere around $500 or more, and the deductibles vary from $40 to $70, depending on the area of service and the inclusiveness of your contract.
Who Should Get a Home Warranty?
A home owner who is purchasing a new house will often get excited by the prospect of signing up for a home warranty, especially if they are new to the area. If you are investing in your first home, it might be best to consider signing up for a warranty of your own. A home warranty becomes extremely useful to those who cannot manage their own repairs, and want to make the repair process simple and quick.
Long-time home owners who are used to regularly repairing and maintaining their home on their own terms will not be as drawn to a home warranty, and might not benefit as much as a new home owner.
The Positive Aspects
The positive aspects to a home warranty are fairly self explanatory – whenever a repair is needed in your home, be it for an appliance or fixture, you can call your home warranty company to have it repaired. Depending on your plan and the company’s policy, the company will generally send out a repairman promptly.
This means that, in nearly any home repair emergency, you have someone to call. Due to your regular payments, your won’t need to worry about locating a repairman on your own, validating their reputation, and scheduling a repair. This gives most homeowners great peace of mind.
Selling a home that is already covered by a home warranty is a real plus in a already swamped market – you can put yourself ahead in the home market race by having a home warranty plan already set in place.
Before signing up with any home warranty company, be sure to be completely informed about their services and contract details. Falling for a bad contract is something that many new home owners have experienced, and it has made their repair experiences a poor one. Here are a few things to beware of and notice prior to signing anything.
The difficulty comes with the price and the overall reliability of your chosen home warranty company. Some companies can be rather unreliable – they often deny claims, have poor customer service, an enlist repairmen that are not skilled or reliable. These companies are the ones you need to steer clear from, as they will make your experience having a home warranty a terrible one.
Of course, everything in your home is not covered by most home warranties. Each home warranty also varies from company to company as to what is covered, so be sure you read your contract thoroughly before signing. Pre-existing repair issues are generally also uncovered – what this means, however, is defined by the company. Something that was broken prior to your coverage period can often be hard to define, and some companies will define it in such a way as to benefit them. Find a company that is reputable, and that caters to it’s customers carefully, quickly, and reliably.
What are the best Home Warranty Companies? Read these Reviews!
Colonial Home Warranty
Colonial Home Warranty offers their services in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, and Idaho. Their premium is anywhere between $350 to $450, with a deductible of roughly $60. The coverage of Colonial Home Warranty is nationwide, so you won’t need to worry about whether your area is covered.
Their service covers ceiling fans, garage door openers, toilet, plumbing, receptacle wiring, electrical panels, outlets and switches, cooktops, clothes washers, clothes dryers, built-in pools, and more. Their plans are customizable, so you can decide what to include and what to leave out of the coverage. For example – if you don’t own a built-in pool, there’s no reason to have a plan that covers it. Colonial Home’s warranty is not effective immediately – it only comes into effect after 30 days of signing up, so remember this if you’re going into an agreement with them.
Colonial Home Warranty has average reviews, but boast the best nationwide coverage and claims response time. Colonial Home offers unlimited uses for the span of their coverage – that means there is no cap on the amount of times you can call them for home repairs during your coverage period.
Colonial Home’s website has a wealth of information for home owners, so anyone interested in signing up with them should chance a glance at it. They hold seasonal contests, offering discounts and and free months on their plan. Their website even offers explanatory articles about home warranties, in order to educate homeowners to how the program works. Contractors can work through the website in order to sign up as repairmen who work with the company, making it easier to get qualified professionals on board. You can head to the Colonial Home Warranty website for more information on what they offer, and to get a quote on their services.
Sensible Home Warranty
Sensible Home Warranty covers most of the United States – this list specifically includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Dist of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The company’s prices are decently affordable, with a premium of roughly $300 and a deducible of $50 on average for the basic plan. Price can vary between different service areas, but the company strives to offer a flat rate that customers can rely upon. Sensible Home Warranty prides themselves upon offering every sort of plan that a homeowners could need, including a more comprehensive contract. They have four basic plans – the Basic Appliance plan, the General System plan, the Essential System plan, and the Complete System plan. They also offer optional additional coverage on pools, well pumps, septic tank plumbing, limited roof leaks, and more.
Sensible Home Warranty has had mixed reviews, some good and some negative – this is due to their huge coverage range, and the reliability of repairmen varying from region to region. In order to properly assess their offerings in your area, talk to other local homeowners with the service, or real estate agents that have heard of Sensible Home Warranty.
The Sensible Home Warranty website offers a number of additional services to homeowners. The offer a section that answers frequently asked questions, pages that outline benefits and coverage, and more. They even offer seasonal giveaways and discounts for new and existing customers, so it’s worthwhile to check back at their website regularly.
ABC Home Warranty
ABC Home Warranty offers their services in Ohio region. They offer specific and separate plans for home, gas, and water services, and each has a separate price, and they do not charge a deductible. Each plan also varies in areas of the home that it covers – the general home plan, however, covers plumbing, heating, electrical, ductwork, air conditioners, dishwashers, and more. They offer the gas and water plans in order to provide extra repair options to homeowners, including gas pipeline and water meter repair.
ABC Home Warranty has been in business since 1952, and has offered local homeowners a reliable warranty program with average reviews all around. ABC Home Warranty provides help information for homeowners on their website, including how to replace batteries in common fixtures in your home (fire alarm, thermostat, ect.), how to light a gas furnace, and more. Unlike most companies, they prefer to cover pre-existing conditions, but only if they were undetectable prior to your discovery of the issue.
BGE Home Warranty
BGE Home Warranty offers their services in central Maryland, though they’ve recently expanded to include the Montgomery and Price George counties. The company requires a request for an estimate in order to see pricing information. Their services focus primarily on kitchen and laundry appliances – from refrigerators and ovens/cooktops to clothing washers and dryers – but will also repair heating, air conditioning, and water heaters.
BGE Home Warranty has a above-average reputation, and their customers are pleased overall with the service they’ve received from the company. Based out of Maryland, this company really puts repair and maintenance at the forefront of their business model. They empower homeowners to take repairs into their own hands, and provide helpful step-by-step do-it-yourself repair guides on their website. Of course, they always supply repair help when needed! They also urge homeowners to assess their energy usage and consider renewable energy options for their homes, as well as supplying them with information on how to obtain it.
Ram Home Warranty
Ram Home Warranty offers their services in the California area only, so it’s great for home owners wanting a local warranty company. Their premium is anywhere between $245 to $325, with a deductible of roughly $40 – this makes it one of the least expensive contracts on our list. They cover furnaces, ductwork, electrical systems, ovens and cooktops, drains, and more. They even include pest control in their coverage, where many warranty programs do not.
Ram Home Warranty has a great reputation with their customers, and deliver quality repairs in a timely manner. The company has been working since 1964, they pride themselves on their small-time dealings, getting to know the reliability and reputation of their enlisted repairmen. They also outline how key it is that the money you spend stays in the local economy, bolstering it. Ram Home Warranty has a real devotion to homeowners, and it really shows in their great customer service and reliable claim dealings.
KB Home Warranty
KB Home Warranty offers their services in Atlanta, Nevada, and the California area. KB Homes focuses primarily on building of homes, and then providing the new owners of their homes with much-needed home warranties. Their premium is anywhere between $350 to $500, with a deductible of roughly $60. The services are not listed on their website, and are negotiated on a case-by-case basis with homeowners. Their home office is located in California, and they’ve been in business since 1957.
KB Home Warranty has had some bad press is recent years, especially in the Atlanta region. This is due to a local homeowner in the region getting newscasters to report on the lack safety in their home, and the hidden issues that they discovered once KB had moved out of the area. The lack of good customer support made the news, and KB’s reputation took a big hit.
Alliance Home Warranty
Alliance Home Warranty offers their services in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, and Idaho. The service recently merged with the First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation. The services vary depending on the area covered, due to their recent merger with First American – however, most basic home appliances, plumbing, and more are frequently covered. Their premium is anywhere between $350 to $500, with a deductible of roughly $55.
While Alliance Home Warranty was in business for many years (with many happy customers), their recent merger has made ground unsteady for old customer. Alliance’s reputation has been slowly declining, due to a number of slow answers to repair requests and unsuitable customer service. Customer service seems to be the company’s biggest issue, but the repair crews sent out don’t do much to help bolster the company’s name. While the business was doing well, the merger seemed to bring it’s credibility and popularity spiraling downward.
Picture credits: #1 by cletch (edited by me), #2 by images_of_money. Both are under CC-BY-2.0 – Thanks!