Have you ever heard a “back in the day” story about how well things used to be built, and how long they would last? Well, if you’ve made a major appliance purchase lately, you may have an entirely different opinion, as it seems like not many things are built like they used to be!
Since your home is usually your biggest investment, it makes sense to protect it! And a home warranty can do just that. Whether you purchase a new home, or a previously owned home, a home warranty can provide some peace-of-mind.
But if you already have a homeowners insurance policy in place, why do you need a home warranty? Well, a home warranty is not the same as homeowners insurance. A home warranty complements your homeowners insurance coverage.
How homeowners insurance protects you
Homeowners insurance, or home insurance, covers the structural part of a home from damage, loss or injury caused by things like fire, theft, storms, and natural disasters. It does not protect against costs that arise as your home ages (repairs/replacements caused by normal wear and tear).
How a home warranty protects you
Home warranties cover repair or replacement of a home’s systems and appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear, and sometimes due to defects. Any plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems are usually covered, as well as appliances like an oven, dishwasher and refrigerator. Additional coverage can be added for things like a pool, hot tub or septic tank.
Home warranties also help fill gaps where homeowners insurance doesn’t apply. Let’s say your home has a broken water pipe. Your homeowners insurance may not cover replacement of the broken pipe or line. And depending on where the pipe is located, your utility company may bill you for the repair/replacement. A good home warranty may be able to help cover those expenses.
Helpful tips when shopping for a home warranty
1. Ask for referrals
Ask family, friends and neighbors for referrals, contact the home builder for a reference or search the internet for home warranty companies with positive reviews.
When you find one you’re interested in, check their rating with the “BBB”.
2. Shop around
Home warranties can vary by company, so shop around. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples, and read the fine print!
3. Know what’s covered
Ask for a list of what’s covered and what’s not, including any limitations and exclusions (for example, a home warranty may have no limit on gas furnaces, but may have a $1,000 limit on a specialty heating system like a radiant heater).
4. Understand the claim process
Ask how the claim process works, and if there are any deductibles. Request something in writing that notes the claim response time (you don’t want to wait a month for someone to come out to look at a backed up sewer pipe).
5. Research the professionals
Request a list of contractors the home warranty company uses, then research them to get an idea of what customers think of their service. Better yet, ask if you have the option of using your own contractor.
If you have questions on purchasing a home warranty for your home, or if you’d like to learn more about home warranty options in the Lehigh Valley, please contact us. We’ll make sure you’re properly covered.
Arbor Insurance Group provides home insurance, auto/car insurance, life insurance and other personal insurance products throughout the Lehigh Valley, including Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Emmaus, Macungie and surrounding areas.