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It's never a convenient time for the furnace to break, the dishwasher to start leaking, or a pipe to burst. Home repairs are costly. It can be difficult to foresee such unexpected expenses.
Home warranties provide peace of mind that when something breaks, the cost of repairs will be covered. They're essentially service contracts to repair or replace the systems and appliances in your home that are most prone to breakdowns.
For just a few hundred dollars a year home warranties protect what is not covered by your homeowner's insurance policy. They're ideal for homeowners on a tight budget and they're also a popular selling feature.
About Home Warranties
Home warranty plans vary from one company to another. But, most cover the essential systems and appliances in your home including:
- Garbage disposals
- Ceiling fans
- Built-in microwaves
Some, but not all, home warranty plans also cover systems like central air conditioning and appliances (like garage door openers). Washers, dryers, pools, and spas are generally not covered under basic plans. But, you can purchase coverage for them for an additional expense.
Most home warranties are good for one year. If something in your home breaks down you contact the company through a 24-hour hotline to make a service request. The home warranty company then contacts a local service or repair company to do the job.
Home Warranty Average Costs
Basic home warranties cost between $200 and $600 per year. However, most fall in the $300 to $500 range. The age of your home and the condition of its systems and appliances play the biggest role in determining price.
If you add coverage for a pool or spa or appliances like the washer or dryer, plan on spending closer to $700 per year.
With home warranties, you'll also have to pay a small fee for each service call. Most of the time the fee ranges from $30 to $100 - a small fraction of what you would spend if you had to pay out of pocket for the repair or replacement.
When you're shopping for a home warranty be sure to read the fine print to find out exactly what is covered. Most home warranties cover specific types of breakdowns - those that occur most often. They don't necessarily cover every type of repair. If you're unclear about what is covered under the plan then do not be hesitate to ask questions.