Home warranties are not just for aging homes, they are an essential purchase for all homeowners looking to protect themselves from things breaking down in the home. Insuring against unexpected repairs is a smart way to safeguard your budget, making small monthly payments rather than unpredictable large lump sums.
Home warranty companies have also taken the stress away from owning a home. Renting a home and being a tenant is extremely easy. When things break down, usually all it takes is a text message to the landlord notifying them, and the problem will be sorted out for you. Home warranty companies make it similar for homeowners, too. A (usually) 24/7 phone call and they will do all the organizing for you, usually using their own technicians, saving you the time to go find one.
There is a confusion recently in the home warranty market though. The market has become flooded with home warranty companies selling all kinds of plans, making it very confusing for people to find what is best for them. In some areas like Florida, Texas and Arizona, there are a ton of choices as most companies operate there, and in New York there are less but still significant enough number to get confused. We all have different situations, making some plans good for some yet bad for others. What is universal though, is what makes a good supplier. Here are some ways to choose a home warranty company.
Choosing the right supplier is difficult, and some may seem better than they actually are. Perhaps they claim to have a 24/7 customer service, but when you try and call them up you have an hour waiting time.
So first thing is first, narrow down your options by which companies have the best ongoing reputations. This will mean that all the other criteria, services and claims made by the company are in fact legitimate, and not just false promises.
Reputation therefore proceeds anything else. Finding companies with good reputations can be done in several ways. Firstly, word of mouth is a powerful tool not just for the business but for the customer. Listening to what your trusted friends and family have experienced with a company can be extremely valuable. Also, online ratings are extremely powerful in collecting a large data sample - an aggregate score of thousands of peoples experience with the company.
The next stage is about looking at the technical specs like coverage limits, how long does repair time takes, and the cost of deductible.
For example, often there are different plans such as: basic coverage, HVAC plans, kitchen appliance plans etc. Most basic plans will cover the main systems and appliances in the home, but this is worth reading up on in detail. Furthermore, if you have a unique arrangement of appliances, missing some major ones, or perhaps you have very new appliances with only a few old ones, then a more bespoke plan may be better. Some companies will offer this, meaning you can cover exactly what you own, or exactly what is old.
Finding the repair time is also a crucial part of the service, so this is worth comparing amongst companies. It may be wise to check online reviews to see if the company can back up it’s repair time. For example an ORHP review (not available in New York) states that it has a high chance of claim denial - this is something you couldn’t otherwise find out before it is too late. Perhaps it is worth double checking they actually have their own technicians.
Other specs to consider are: how many repairs you can make (look for unlimited), if it is 24/7 support, if it covers pre-existing issues, if an inspection is required, if items will be replaced in the instance that they cannot be fixed, regardless of age and model, how easy it is to get an online quote.
Pricing is perhaps the last thing to be analyzed when you have narrowed it down to a few companies, but it is equally as important. After all, the point of home warranty isn’t just convenience, but is security against your wallet.
Some companies will provide very easy online quotes, which will just require our information and home address. Others may be a bit more tricky and less transparent - try to avoid these companies.
Many home warranty companies price their services specific to the State. It is worth remembering this, because your quoted price may seem cheap, but it may be very expensive if you live in a State with a low average premium like California or Florida.
Lastly, as mentioned earlier, some companies let you pick individual appliances for as low as $3 per month each, making your plan extremely efficient and cost saving. This means that you only have to cover the older appliances that are at risk of breaking down, and not the low-risk brand new appliances. Finding a company that offers a bespoke service could save you a lot of money. Ultimately, more choice is better, which explains why New York is on the higher end of the scale above when it comes to home warranty costs.
There are many factors that make up the decision of a home warranty company. Ultimately though, you want to make use of the information online to find the ones with a good reputation, good coverage, quick repairs, and a bespoke/cheap plan.
Sometimes though it is best to see for yourself. Some companies may appear great but may not treat you the same. The best way is trial and error! It is important to remember that all companies have renewable policies. Opting for the monthly one is a great way to inspect how the company behaves before you commit long term.