- Three plans to choose from
- Professional service
- Minimal service fee
Homeownership, though often considered as a means to build wealth and provide a sense of pride, can be a costly endeavor and its effect varies greatly from state to state.
Illinois is the sixth most populous state in the country, and 66% of its population are homeowners. Following the recession of 2008, the cost of homeownership didn’t decline in Illinois and many current homeowners are faced with evaluating whether the cost of homeownership is worth the value of their home.
Due to the country’s drastic increases in income and property taxes, Illinois is one of only three states where housing hasn’t been worth the investment. For every $100 in home value in Illinois, homeowners are now paying $10.15 in annual costs associated with owning their home—more than in 42 other states.
If you’re looking for a home warranty in Illinois, keep reading to learn about the best home warranty companies in the state, common home maintenance issues faced by Illinois homeowners, and important home warranty buying tips.
Illinois is located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. Its largest city is Chicago, the third most populous city in the country, with over 2.7 million residents. Illinois’ oldest city is Peoria, which dates back to 1680 when it went by the name Fort Crevecoeur.
Nicknamed the “Prairie State,” Illinois is surrounded by Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, and Indiana. Its state bird is the northern cardinal and state tree is the white oak.
Chicago has the largest number of houses in the country built before 1919. Older houses are more likely to need repairs, which can get costly if you haven’t budgeted for them.
Additionally, because of the Great Lakes region where Illinois is located, it has some of the harshest winters in the country—houses located in the area may require extra care to maintain them. For these reasons, home warranties are necessary for Illinois homeowners.
When deciding which warranty plan to go with, consider which part of Illinois that you live in and its corresponding climate. Illinois’ diverse climates range between continental in the north and subtropical in the south. The continental climate can bring severe winters, while the subtropical climate can bring humid summers.
If you live in the southern part of Illinois, in towns like Marion, Vienna, and Golconda, your electrical system may be strained in the summer from the high humidity, so taking advantage of a home warranty to protect yourself and budget may be your best bet.
If you live in the northern part of the state, in towns and cities like Chicago, Freeport, and Rockford, keeping heating systems and your water heater in good condition should be a top priority, especially in the winter.
With these climate variations in mind, along with Illinois’ notoriously harsh winters, staying up-to-date on home maintenance tasks is one of the best ways to prevent problems down the road.
Here are five common problems that can be avoided with proper maintenance.
There are a number of household appliances that may be most likely to break down in Chicago. They are:
If you live in a condominium, townhouse/duplex, mobile, or single-family home in Chicago, you are eligible to purchase a home warranty. Many of the top warranty companies in Illinois will have at least one plan designed for your lifestyle or desired coverage area.
In general, home warranties will cover a variety of major appliances and systems in your home. Here are what a few select providers cover:
Select Home Warranty offers three plans: bronze, gold, and platinum. Under the bronze care plan, your refrigerator, clothes washer, dishwasher, stove, and oven is covered. Gold care covers air conditioning, heating, electrical, and plumbing systems. Platinum care is the most comprehensive plan, basically covering a combination of the two home warranty plans—your air conditioning, heating and plumbing system, water heater, refrigerator, and clothes washer.
Choice Home Warranty offers two plans: basic and total. The basic plan covers 14 common home appliances and systems, while the total plan covers 18 of the biggest household items and systems, including additional ones that aren’t covered by the basic plan.
Total Home Protection coverage offers two plan variations for home warranty coverage. Its gold plan covers 15 items, including dishwashers and your plumbing system. The platinum plan covers additional appliances like refrigerators and heating and air conditioning systems. The provider’s optional coverage includes add-on items like pools, spas, water softeners, septic systems, or second refrigerators and A/C units.
Pride Home Warranty offers transparent coverage and lists every item it covers in its plans. The platinum plan includes heating, electrical, plumbing systems, plumbing stoppages, your water heater, whirlpool bathtub, oven/range/stove, cooktop, dishwashers, built-in microwaves, garbage disposals, ductwork, garage door openers, and ceiling and exhaust fans. The platinum plus plan includes everything from the platinum plan, plus the A/C, refrigerator, clothes washer, and clothes dryer.
Optional coverage items include pool/spa, well pump, water softener, central vacuum, additional spa, sump pump, second refrigerator, refrigerator ice maker, limited roof leak, septic system, and stand alone freezer.
Home warranties can range from $200 to $600 depending on the coverage plan. Home warranty companies will sometimes run promotions to discount policy prices or cover additional items for the same cost. Policies are typically prepaid a year in advance and can be renewed by the homeowner at a slightly higher price when they expire.
How a home warranty works may vary depending on the type of comprehensive coverage, but they all generally follow the same process.
Let’s say your refrigerator has started getting condensation on the outside and inside and it no longer seems to be keeping your food and drinks cold. You would call the home warranty company to alert them of the problem and request service. The home warranty provider would call a service provider to make an appointment.
The provider would then come out to assess and fix the problem. If the refrigerator can’t be repaired, the company would replace the item, depending on your coverage. The homeowner would pay a relatively small fee for the visit, potentially in the neighborhood of $75 to $125, but the amount can be negotiated at the start of the contract.
Illinois’ Department of Insurance protects customers in the state from fraud by providing as much information as possible about the home warranty companies that operate in the state. Find out which authority regulates the home warranty company in Illinois that you’re evaluating before committing to a contract.
One of the main reasons why you should consider purchasing a home warranty in Illinois is that it can save a lot of money in the long run on repairs or replacements and give you peace of mind. Dealing with Illinois’ brutal winters can be hard enough, but having to cough up the cost of a new heater isn’t going to give you that warm and fuzzy feeling.
The above home warranty companies can lighten the load of the cost and prevent you from wondering where the money is going to have to come from.
When purchasing a home warranty in Illinois, first consider who is going to pay for it. If you’re buying a home, it’s possible the seller will pay for it so that they don’t receive future calls from the buyer about items breaking or malfunctioning.
If you already own your home or the seller isn’t willing to pay for it, many first-time homeowners or policyholders will choose to start with a basic home warranty plan and may later upgrade to a more comprehensive plan.
Consider what your priorities are in the home warranty plan, and make sure that what you’re looking for to be covered is included. Consider the different costs and any service fees that may apply.
Homeowners insurance protects you from disaster-related damage like fires and storms, along with theft. Home warranties protect the appliances and systems within your home from breakdowns due to normal wear and tear.
Manufacturer’s warranties typically cover a portion or part of systems or appliances that may break down, but not the whole item. Home warranties can cover multiple appliances and systems and will replace it if it breaks entirely.
You don’t need to have an inspection to purchase a home warranty, but it’s always recommended.
Read reviews about American Home Shield to find out why it offers the best appliance coverage. Compare American Home Shield offers to other home warranty plans.
Select Home Warranty reviews tout its comprehensive coverage at an affordable price. Learn more about Select's plans, low prices, and fast claims process here.
Malea Ritz works in public relations at financial services focused firm BackBay Communications and comes from a journalism background at real estate and finance publication Banker & Tradesman. As a new homeowner, she loves learning and writing about ways to care for your home.