For new and even experienced homeowners, the world of home warranties can be somewhat of a mystery. What’s covered, how do you file a claim, and how can you stay within maintenance recommendations? That’s why we asked Victor Mandalawi, Choice Home Warranty President, to answer some of the most common questions customers have about home warranties.
Homeowner’s Insurance vs. Home Warranty
What’s the difference between homeowner’s insurance and a home warranty? “Home insurance policies cover the framing and home structure itself but does not cover the mechanical systems in the home,” says Mandalawi. “This is where a home warranty comes into play.” With a home warranty, homeowners are able to fill in the gaps in coverage that are not offered by homeowner’s insurance.
What’s Covered, What’s Not?
Home warranties are designed to protect your major interior systems and appliances. Mechanical breakdown due to normal wear and tear on your heating, electrical, and plumbing systems, oven, dishwasher, even your garage door opener are included in Choice Home Warranty’s coverage. But home warranties don’t cover cosmetic or non-mechanical items, or anything that’s situated outside of the home.
Here, you can find a full list of what’s covered under Choice Home Warranty’s total and basic home warranty plans.
Who Benefits from a Home Warranty?
All homeowners and renters are eligible for a home warranty, no matter the age of the home. Mandalawi encourages all homeowners to review warranty coverage and policies to consider whether the service makes sense for them.
“Appliances and system breakdowns are always unforeseen circumstances,” says Mandalawi. “Unfortunately, this may happen in the most inopportune time.”
Warranties Cover Breakdowns, Not Maintenance
While home warranties are designed to protect your home investment by repairing or replacing mechanical breakdowns, it’s important to remember that it’s your responsibility to maintain your systems and appliances.
“Home warranties comes in when there is a failure on a system or appliance,” says Mandalawi. “Some consumers are unclear and may think the service includes preventative maintenance, but generally, it does not.”
Mandalawi recommends that homeowners review and follow manufacturer suggested maintenance processes for systems and appliances. These typically include filter changes, routine cleaning, and knowing what to check in order to fix easy problems quickly. Staying on top of maintenance is necessary for following your service contract, and it’s also a good way to extend the life of your home’s systems and appliances.
For homeowners purchasing a used home, Mandalawi recommends having a home inspection done before purchase, and following the repair suggestions made by the home inspector.
You can learn more about home warranty maintenance with Choice Home Warranty here.
Common Claims and Common Reasons Claims are Denied
Most warranty claim calls are in reference to appliances, says Mandalawi. So items like your water heater, stove, dishwasher, or garbage disposal are the most likely to require attention from Choice Home Warranty’s network of technicians.
Claims are usually denied because they’re outside of the home warranty agreement, like cosmetic problems or items not covered. “We do not cover items that are outside of the property, as well as cosmetic and non mechanical functions, such as handles,” explains Mandalawi.
Saving Time and Money with a Home Warranty
Consider this: home system or appliance repair typically ranges from $65 to $2,000, and replacements average $1,085. Compare that to Choice Home Warranty’s $60 trade service call fee per claim, and it’s easy to see how homeowners can save with a home warranty. Mandalawi suggests that home buyers can save even more by requesting that sellers include a home warranty in the sale of their home.
In addition to saving money, a warranty also allows homeowners to access Choice Home Warranty’s network of pre-screened qualified technicians, so it’s ideal for busy individuals or families who do not have time to research individual service providers. And with a goal to complete service requests between 24-48 hrs from the initial service request, homeowners can also save time getting the job done quickly.
Do you have any questions not covered here? Send us an email. We’d love to answer them on our blog!