So, you decided to get home warranty – good call! Now, “all” you need to do is pick the best home warranty provider or at least one that fits your needs the best. There are a lot of these companies on the market, so picking one might seem easy, but as soon as you start looking into them, you’ll realize it’s not such an easy decision to make after all. There are many great home warranty providers out there, so here are some tips on how to find one that is just right for you.
1. Think about what you want to be covered
Home warranty companies offer different plans, usually at least two of them, with different coverage. Some companies offer one plan for appliances and one for home systems, such as heating or plumbing, and some offer plans that include both the systems and the appliances but to a different extent (cheaper plan = fewer systems and appliances covered). Before committing to a company and a plan, you need to decide which systems and appliances you want to cover. That will help you not only in choosing a coverage plan but also in choosing a home warranty provider.
2. Look for companies covering your area
Home warranty providers come in different shapes and sizes. Some of them cover the entire area of the United States, some only cover the contiguous US (which means no Hawaii or Alaska, no Puerto Rico either) and some are fairly regional, providing services in only a couple of states. So, that’s definitely one factor you need to take into consideration when researching different home warranty providers.
Of course, you will not seek home warranty from a company that does not service your state, but there is another thing you should be thinking about – where the company was founded and where it’s headquartered. These factors are important when determining where they most likely have the most contractors and technicians.
3. Look into the number of coverage plans
As we mentioned above, most companies offer at least two plans – one for appliances and one for systems. We consider it a major plus if a home warranty provider also offers a combined or hybrid plan with the elements of the two previous ones, as well as a customizable plan where you can select a certain number of items you would like to be covered.
4. Opt for companies with around-the-clock customer service
Malfunctions and breakdowns don’t pick the time to strike – your dishwasher can break down in the middle of the night and you want your home warranty provider to be available and ready to help as soon as possible, which means non-stop. Most companies advertise 24/7 support but in many cases, those are just empty promises. What you should do is call the company and ask for a direct answer to the question “Does your customer service work 24/7?”
5. Go for companies that provide free online quotes
Home warranty companies usually don’t include the prices of their plans on their websites, mostly because prices depend on a number of factors. Most of them don’t even offer a price range, so getting a free quote is the only way to find out how much a coverage plan would cost. Plus, a “get free quote” tool often indicates that it’s a serious company with their customers’ best interest in mind.
6. Read sample contracts
It would be nice if all home warranty providers included Terms and Conditions on their websites but that’s not always the case, so if you want to find out more about restrictions, limitations, and exceptions to coverage, you need to read a sample contract, where it’s all written down. Those are usually found in the FAQ section of the website.
7. Look for customizable fees/deductibles
Even though the expenses of the repair are covered by the home warranty provider, you still have to pay a service call fee or a deductible. Some companies have a fixed fee and some offer a fee in several different ranges to choose from. A more expensive fee means a cheaper overall plan, and vice versa. This allows for more flexibility and is certainly a welcome feature.
8. Ask around
One thing about home warranties is that they are common and many people seek them out. You probably have a bunch of people within your circle of friends and relatives that have some experience with home warranties, whether they have purchased them themselves or know some people who have. Don’t be afraid to ask around and see what other people have experienced in the process. Talking to people you know and trust will enable you to get real, unbiased opinions on home warranty providers.