The debates and dilemmas involved with owning a home are nearly endless. From deciding on where to buy and what decor to feature to how to maintain the home’s appliances and assets, these are the types of decisions that come with the territory of homeownership. In response, many homeowners will lean on others for help, either scouring the internet for reviews or consulting with a professional like a real estate agent or an interior decorator for guidance. When it comes to home service contracts, also known as home warranties, many homeowners have common questions about what a home warranty actually is, what a typical home warranty covers and what the average cost of a home warranty plan looks like.
When the topic turns to major home systems and appliances, it’s not uncommon for a homeowner to wonder if receiving peace of mind makes a home warranty worth it. If you’ve been asking yourself, “Are home warranty plans worth it?” you’ll want to read on as we explore everything you need to know about home warranty plans, including the pros and cons.
The easiest way to think of a home warranty is like insurance for the major systems and appliances found in your home. But unlike homeowners insurance, which is required for all homes with a mortgage, home warranty insurance is purely optional coverage. Also known as a home service contract, a home warranty covers normal wear-and-tear that inevitably happens with electronic or mechanical components. What makes these plans convenient for the homeowner is that there’s only one company to call in the event something breaks down—whether it’s your refrigerator, air conditioner, washer and dryer, or any other appliance or major home system.
The simplicity of home warranty coverage is part of what makes obtaining a plan so enticing for homeowners, particularly those who may not feel comfortable handling their own repairs. If something ever breaks down, the homeowner simply contacts their home warranty company to submit a request.
Notifying the company of a needed repair can usually be done either by phone or online, making it convenient for the homeowner. Your home warranty’s provider will then schedule a repair technician it is in contract with to visit the home for a service call and to analyze the problem. If the problem is repairable, the technician takes care of the issue on the spot. If it requires further attention or parts, arrangements are made to complete the repair in the near future.
The answer to this question will vary based on the home warranty company you choose. However, there are some standards that the majority of providers include in their typical home warranty coverage. The systems you’ll find in most home warranty plans are electrical, ductwork, heating, and plumbing. You’re more likely to find variation in the appliances that are covered when you compare different vendors and their plans, but each will generally include appliances like the air conditioner, oven or range, refrigerator, and dishwasher.
However, because home warranty coverage is dictated by each individual company, that means you’ll need to verify with each respective home warranty company about what is included. Failing to receive that clarity could leave you in trouble if an appliance you believed to be covered—but actually isn’t—does break down. Also, if a home system or appliance has not been properly installed or maintained, it’s likely that the home warranty company will not cover the item.
If you came here asking, “Are home warranties worth the money?” it stands to reason that you’re interested in learning more about costs. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy because of the way home warranty coverage is structured. Remember how we said home warranty plans were a lot like insurance for your home’s major systems and appliances? In the same way health insurance and car insurance can vary based on provider and the plan you select, the same is true for home warranty coverage.
Also, like with other forms of insurance, home warranty coverage usually requires both a premium and deductible payment. The premium is what you pay to secure the home warranty insurance, while the deductible is the cost of the service fee for when a technician visits your home to repair what has gone wrong. The lower the premium, the higher the deductible, so you’ll need to put some thought into how often you predict service calls will be needed. Guess the wrong way, and you could be spending more than you planned.
While answers to these home warranty questions are personal decisions that you’ll have to make, we hope the information we included here can help you make up your mind. If you do elect to move forward with coverage, our recommendation for a home warranty company is Cinch Home Services.
Cinch is one of the most credible providers in the business, with over 40 years of experience in delivering peace of mind to homeowners. What we like most about Cinch is the variety and simplicity of their home warranty plan packages. There’s an appliances-only warranty plan, a built-in systems warranty plan, and a complete home warranty plan that combines both for comprehensive home protection coverage.
Cinch does extensive screening and has a thorough selection process in place to identify its repair technicians. That process includes verifying that the technician is actively licensed and carrying proper liability insurance. Additionally, the company routinely reviews customer feedback to ensure the technicians making service calls are capable of doing the job. Unlike other home warranty providers, Cinch offers a 180-day workmanship guarantee that says if the problem persists, they continue working on it at no added cost to the homeowner.
The specific costs of home warranty coverage with Cinch will differ based on where your home is located, but its website lists monthly pricing for its three tiers at $27.99, $32.99, and $39.99, respectively. Cinch’s service calls of $100 to $150 are more than others in the industry, but the workmanship guarantee should alleviate that concern because quality is their focus.
If you’re interested in learning more about Cinch or receiving a free instant quote with personalized coverage for your home, visit CinchHomeServices.com.
Our top pick for home warranties