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More About Mobile Home Warranties

By: House Method | Affiliate Disclosure

Manufactured and mobile homes are back on everyone’s radar. Prefabricated homes—like tiny houses—have taken the world of contemporary design—and Instagram and Airbnb—by storm, making manufactured and mobile homes ultra trendy today, and for good reason. There are some serious benefits to mobile home living. Manufactured houses cost less than the amount to build and maintain a conventional house, homeowners enjoy the simplified lifestyle that many of us crave, mobile homes are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, and they’re built on a metal chassis that could outlast a traditional foundation.

However, even if a house is built to last forever, the appliances and systems in it are not. Household components like heating and cooling, toilets, and washers and dryers will eventually wear down and break. While your house may be covered under a short-term manufacturer’s warranty, a mobile home warranty will cover these major appliances and systems year after year.

House Method created this guide to mobile home warranties to save our readers time, money, and confusion. There are different types of home protection plans, which you’ll learn about below, and more than 180 home warranty companies to choose from. We’ve narrowed this overwhelming selection down to seven of the best home warranties for your manufactured or mobile home.

"Mobile home” refers to homes built before 1976; “manufactured homes” are homes built after '76.”

What is a mobile home warranty?

A mobile home warranty is a service agreement between homeowners and a home warranty company of their choice. It covers the repairs and/or replacements of systems and appliances that are specifically written into the contract. Depending on the level of coverage you choose, a home warranty plan can include large appliances—like a refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine—to major systems such as heating and cooling, ductwork, electrical, and plumbing.

It’s stressful when these items break, and repairs and replacements can be exorbitantly expensive. A home warranty picks up these bills when a covered item breaks down from age or normal wear and tear. Instead of the full cost to repair a system or appliance, home warranty customers pay their provider’s pre-approved contractor a fairly small service fee.

Benefits of a mobile home warranty

Financial savings and discounts

Home warranties can save customers thousands of dollars a year. Take a washing machine for example. Whether yours is 10 years old or a brand new front-loader with a touch screen, a home warranty will cover the repair costs ($310 on average) or replace it altogether ($1,250) for a small service fee of $75, which covers the contractor’s labor. Now, the average homeowner files two claims a year, so imagine your washing machine and refrigerator go out in the same year. That’s a bummer, but with a home protection plan, you could save $2,622 on brand new appliances with a bill of only $150. Many home warranty companies also have perk programs, offering discounts at retailers and restaurants and on appliance and filters.

Access to professional services

If you’ve recently moved to a new city or you’ve just had the good fortune of keeping appliances in working order, you might not have had much—if any—experience with the local service providers in your area. Without a home warranty, you’d likely have to ask neighbors for their recommendations on plumbers or read reviews online to find the best electrician. Fortunately, a home warranty can save you a lot of time on research, which is exactly what you need when you have an emergency water leak on your hands. After you submit a claim, they’ll find a local contractor in your area—who they’ve already vetted—and schedule an appointment for you.

Security

As mentioned earlier, a broken appliance or system can be really stressful. If your water heater breaks in the dead of winter, you’ll be stuck taking cold showers and wondering how to bathe your kids. If your refrigerator is on the fritz, your week’s worth of groceries goes to waste. A home warranty will lend peace of mind. Homeowners who know their major appliances and systems are covered don’t have to worry about when something will break, who they’ll call to fix it, or how much it’ll cost.

Higher resale values

If the day comes and you’re ready to sell your mobile home, offering the appliances in the home with the sale will be a great incentive for potential buyers. A home warranty is a great safety net for covering repairs while the home is listed and it’s an even better marketing tool to offer anxious buyers who are worried about future repairs. In fact, the Professional Warranty Service Corporation found that sellers who offered buyers a home warranty sold their homes for an average of $2,300 more and 16% faster than home sales without warranty.

How long does a home warranty last?

Home warranties are usually a one-year contract, but some companies will offer customers discounts for enrolling in three- to five-year home warranty plans. If you’re happy with your service, you can renew your coverage at the end of the year and if you’re not, you can cancel. Home warranties are not insurance policies and are, therefore, optional contracts you can cancel at any time.

Mobile home warranty vs. homeowners insurance

A mobile home warranty is an optional contract that covers repairs and replacements of appliances and systems when they break due to normal wear and tear or age. Instead of the full cost to repair a covered item, home warranty customers will pay their provider’s contractor a service fee. Exclusions and limitations apply though. We’ll define normal wear and tear in the next section.

Homeowners insurance is a policy required by mortgage lenders. It covers the cost to repair or rebuild your property in the event of natural disasters—like hail or fire. If your home is uninhabitable due to one of these disasters, home insurance will cover your living expenses too. It will also replace your personal belongings in the event of disaster or theft. It also covers liability in the event that you, a family member, or a pet injures someone or damages their property.

The bottom line is that we, at House Method, believe it’s a good idea to get a home warranty on top of your homeowners insurance. Appliances and systems will inevitably break over time and your homeowners insurance does not cover normal wear and tear. It’s more likely these items will break due to normal wear and tear than being stolen or damaged by a natural disaster.

Summary of home protection plans

Mobile home warranty Homeowners insurance
Is it required? No Yes
What’s covered? Most major appliances and systems Structural damage, property loss, liability, and temporary housing costs
What’s not covered? Coverage is limited to items that fail or malfunction due to normal wear and tear. They must be correctly installed and properly maintained. Coverage is limited to perils—like natural disasters and theft—named by the insurance policy. Earthquake and flood insurance are sold separately.
How long does coverage last? You can renew annually, pay in monthly installments, or cancel anytime. You’ll have to let your mortgage lender know if you’ve canceled or changed your policy since your loan is likely conditional to insurance holders only.
How much does it cost? Premiums cost $25–$67 per month. Costs range from $600 to $2,000 per year depending on your location, home value, and property size. You should purchase enough insurance to rebuild your home.
How much is the deductible or service fee? A service fee of $75–$125 is charged per occurrence and it’s transferable between seller and buyer at closing. You’ll have to pay a set deductible—$500–$2,500—prior to the insurance company footing the rest of the bill.

What’s included in a mobile home warranty?

Mobile home warranties only cover items that are A) specifically written into the contract, B) have broken from age or normal wear and tear, and C) have been properly installed and maintained. As a mobile homeowner, you will have three levels of home warranty coverage to choose from. Plans vary, but basic plans usually cover everyday appliances and/or systems such as built-in microwaves, exhaust fans, and plumbing. Enhanced plans cover additional items like laundry appliances and air conditioning. You can also customize your plan with optional add-ons for special features like roof leaks or a septic system.

Here are some common items that are covered under a mobile home warranty:

Cost to repair Cost to replace Average limit
Furnace $285 $4,249 $1,500
Air conditioner $347 $5,413 $1,500
Plumbing $305 $1,038 $643
Toilet $216 $370 $656
Electrical system $317 $1,287 $500
Refrigerator $310 $1,925 $1,385
Oven/range/stove/cooktop $150 $1,675 $1,400
Built-in microwave $125 $408 $1,485
Washing machine $310 $1,250 $1,600
Dryer $250 $1,075 $1,600

Exclusions & limitations of a mobile home warranty

Limits
As seen above, mobile home warranties cap coverage at a set dollar amount. For instance, your contract may cover an oven repair up to $1,400, which means you’ll have to pick up the rest of the $275. Although a mobile home warranty may not cover the cost completely, homeowners will still save a substantial amount of money in the long run. Read your sample contract carefully to find out whether your home warranty coverage is also capped at a certain amount per claim or per year.

Pre-existing damages

If you’re currently not covered by a home warranty and your furnace goes out, you can’t just sign up for a home warranty plan to avoid the cost to fix it. This would be considered a pre-existing condition. Mobile home warranty companies have a waiting period—typically 30 days—from when a customer signs up and when coverage actually starts. Although you don’t need a home inspection to get home warranty coverage, an inspection could be useful if you must prove that you were unaware of an issue with a covered item at the time of enrollment.

Incorrect installation or irregular maintenance

If an appliance or system wasn’t installed correctly, it is not covered by your home warranty. Rust, corrosion, and mold are also not covered. This would be considered preventative maintenance that homeowners are responsible for conducting on a regular basis. Keeping service receipts can be helpful documentation in this case.

Make and model

Mobile home warranty providers will only match the standard of the original item when replacing it—not the exact brand, color, or dimensions. This may be a difficult loophole for owners of manufactured or mobile homes since their homes typically require smaller appliances. We recommend asking your agent about this condition before you purchase a plan. Fortunately for mobile homeowners who often value eco-friendliness, some providers will match the energy efficiency of your broken appliance.

Shopping tips for mobile home appliances

  • Measure doorways, hallways, and where the appliance will be installed
  • New appliances will probably last longer than a pre-owned item, but remember your mobile home warranty is not liable to match the brand or color of the original appliance
  • It’s harder to find replacement parts for less popular brands, which could add time to your home warranty repair process
  • If you buy a used appliance, remember a manufacturer’s warranty is non-transferrable between seller and buyer
  • Countertop or portable appliances—like microwaves that are not built into your kitchen—may not be covered by a mobile home warranty
  • Energy-efficient appliances could save homeowners money and most mobile home warranty companies will match the efficiency of a replaced appliance, even if they can’t match the make or model

How much should I pay for a home warranty?

Mobile home warranties cost $25 to $67 per month. For more comprehensive coverage, you’ll probably pay closer to $50. You may be able to get a cheaper home warranty by choosing a custom plan and only paying for coverage on select items. Additionally, You’ll also be charged a service fee per claim that ranges between $75 and $125. Fortunately, most contracts guarantee repairs for at least 30 days, which means you won’t be charged for repeat visits if the problem persists.

Mobile home warranty prices depend on the provider you go with, the amount of home warranty coverage you want—basic or comprehensive with or without optional add-ons—and where you live. Neither the age nor size of your home, systems, and appliances should affect coverage or costs unless you live in a brand new home, which should be covered by a builder’s or manufacturer’s warranty.

How to make a home warranty request

You may be asking—so, how does a home warranty work? The answer is simple. Here are four steps to file a home warranty request:

  1. Call your provider’s 800 number or submit a claim online as soon as a covered item breaks—within three days if possible.
  2. Mobile home warranty providers strive for responsive service, but you should expect wait times of 48 hours on weekdays or up to 4 days on weekends and holidays. Note: it’s up to the provider to determine if your claim is an emergency.
  3. After approving your claim, the home warranty company will send one of their own pre-approved technicians to your home. Do not expect to be reimbursed if you hire your own contractor.
  4. The contractor will repair the problem if possible during the first appointment. If they have to order parts or a replacement, you’ll have to wait until they’re delivered at which time the technician will come back to your house to resolve the issue or install the replacement.

Who needs a mobile home warranty?

Any owner of a manufactured or mobile home should consider a mobile home warranty. Although optional, you’ll save money and gain peace of mind. If your the owner of a brand new manufactured home, congratulations, but you may not need a mobile home warranty quite yet. Newly manufactured homes could be covered under a builder’s or manufacturer’s warranty for one to two years. If your home is older than that, we recommend signing up for a home protection plan.

How to choose a mobile home warranty

We’re a fan of wise investments at House Method, which is why we suggest shopping around for a mobile home warranty before you buy. You should first consider which appliances and systems you really want to protect and how much you have in your budget for a home protection plan. That should narrow your choices a bit.

Next, turn to home warranty reviews and ratings to filter your search for the best home warranty even more. Our team researched home warranty companies and found three providers we feel confident recommending to our readers who are looking for a mobile home warranty. We considered premiums and fees, the claims process and customer service, and reviews from customers and accredited organizations like the Better Business Bureau. Here’s what we found:

Name

Choice Home Warranty

Description

Best home warranty for: Overall coverage
BBB Rating: B-
Availability: All states except CA and WA
Plans: 2 plans + optional add-ons
Premiums: $29–$42 per month
Service fee: $60–$75

Score
10 / 10
Name

The Home Service Club

Description

Best home warranty for: Fast coverage
BBB Rating: C
Availability: Nationwide
Plans: 2 plans + optional add-ons
Premiums: $33+ per month
Service fee: $65–$125

Score
8.5 / 10
Name

Advanced Home Warranty

Description

Best home warranty for: Cheapest home warranty
BBB rating: N/A
Availability: Nationwide
Plans: 2 plans + optional add-ons
Premiums: $31–$38 per month
Service fee: $60

Score
8 / 10

Buyer’s tips for mobile homes

  • Invest in a professional inspection of manufactured homes sold as-is
  • Look for mandatory or binding arbitration clauses and costs in the contract
  • Ask the manufacturer for references from other customers
  • Evaluate manufacturer’s records with the state attorney general or state manufactured housing agency
  • Weigh the value of a package deal against the cost of prepaid park rent, insurance premiums, and other appliances or systems included in the sale

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