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Important Considerations

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If you are considering buying a home warranty, follow these steps which are intended to help you chose a better service.

The first step is to decide if you need one.  You should get a detailed home inspection report on your existing house from a third party inspector.  This report will help you understand the potential and existing problems with your appliances, and will also help you decide if you need a warranty.  If some appliances are aging and need special attention, be sure to check if the warranty company provides sufficient coverage for those appliances in particular.

Check with your friends and colleagues as to which providers do they use, and how their experiences rate them.  Be sure to ask about their satisfaction levels with service and claims processing. The may some comments about customer service, contractor turnaround, quality of work etc.

It is important to choose a company that has a decent track record, as many consumers are dissatisfied with the services offered by many home warranty companies and it is indeed difficult to deal with some companies when it comes to claims processing.  It is not easy to find a perfect home warranty company, but you can always chose a company with least number of complaints.  There are several ways to research.

  1. Check with several companies via internet.  You can often receive a free quote from an online company with no obligation.
  2. Check the company’s track record using trade organizations such as Better Business Bureau
  3. Research the company over the Internet for any negative reviews.  Insurance discussion boards list complaints against many home warranty companies.
  4. Your real estate agent or broker will also be able to provide the name of few reliable warranty companies in the area.

Next, determine if you need additional coverage.  The coverage can vary from plan to plan with regard to duplicate sets of equipment (second refrigerators) or items such as pools ad spas.

Now, start calling the companies and make notes of their offerings. Be sure to collect information such as –

  • Annual premium
  • The deductible per incident (including any service call fees)
  • Average turnaround time for repairs
  • Additional costs for any extra coverage, if necessary.
  • If you have any aging equipment reported in your Home Inspection report, be sure to confirm that the warranty company provides adequate coverage.
  • Determine the period of time before the police will be in force (especially if you need immediate coverage)
  • Ask for clarifications and contractual obligations.  Take note of how you are treated, which can be a good indicator of how the company treats its customers after the sale.

Lastly, glance over the contract terms when you are ready to buy the coverage.

Now you have completed your due diligence.  Hopefully you have gained knowledge about home warranty coverage in this process. Having a better idea about your coverage will help you when you are dealing with the conflicts with home warranty companies.

One Comment »

  • HomeOwner (author) said:

    Always be sure to get several quotes from different home warranty companies. It is not the best practice to go with the first quote you receive, nor with the lowest priced quote. Careful evaluation of companies now can prevent problems in the future if you need to make a claim.

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