If you're looking to purchase a home warranty, you may be wondering if a plan is worth the cost. You may think, "What would I use it for?" If you have an air conditioning, heating, plumbing, or electrical system in your home that isn't brand new, you may already have your answer.
According to data from the six states Landmark serves (Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Utah), out of the tens of thousands of service requests received each year, the top five repairs* homeowners use their home warranty for are:
- ReKeys, and
A service request, in case you were unfamiliar with the term, is kind of like an insurance claim. Homeowners open a service request when a system or appliance in their home fails and they need it to be repaired or replaced. A contractor will go out to their home to diagnose the problem and fix the system or appliance if it's covered in the home warranty contract.
These top five things are what homeowners use their home warranty for most often. Let's look at the specifics for each of these repairs and replacements to see what the repairs are for, and why homeowners use their home warranty to fix them.
- HVAC Repairs and Replacements
A majority (26%) of Landmark's customers use their home warranty to repair or replace their HVAC system.
Now, most homeowners spend a lot of money on home repairs each year. Financial experts say a homeowner should plan to spend 1-4% of their home's value each year on home repairs! HVAC systems make up a larger percentage of repairs and replacements for homeowners overall.
The National Association of Home Builders found that in 2013, homeowners spent $7,270 on repairing and replacing their central heating or cooling system in their homes. This was significantly more expensive than any of the other systems and appliances homeowners repaired or replaced during that year.
In the last eight months over 20,000 service requests for home warranty repairs on HVAC systems have come in to Landmark.
The customers who have received repairs and replacements on their HVAC system pay around $60-$100 for a service call fee. If the failure was caused by wear and tear and is covered by the contract, that's usually the final cost. Imagine - $60-$100 for a repair, rather than $7,000!
Of course, there are some items that aren't covered through that service call fee, and homeowners have to pay a bit extra, but when they work through a home warranty company, they pay for parts and labor at heavily discounted rates. One customer received a $5,000 new HVAC unit for only $900.
So what are the most common repairs that homeowners have with their HVAC units? Here are the top four repairs/replacements made on a HVAC unit:
- Freon Recapture, Recovery, and Recharge
Refrigerant or Freon is what your HVAC unit uses to cool the air going into your home. If your HVAC unit has a leak in the Freon line (a repair which is covered with our starting coverage) you may need to have that Freon line recharged. This can be expensive, depending on the type of Freon you're purchasing. According to Angie's List, most contractors charge between $35 to $175 per pound plus labor, which is usually around $100, for recapturing or recharging Freon lines.
If a homeowner has Landmark's additional home warranty coverage packages, they could pay around $60-$100 in total for this service request. Definitely worth the home warranty!
- Pre Season Tune-Ups
A pre-season tune up checks a number of different things in your HVAC system in the spring and fall, before the unit will be getting a lot of use. These check-ups and minor fixes can range between $60 to $200, depending on the HVAC contractors.
With a home warranty, pre-season tune-ups are just Landmark's flat rate service call fee!
- Run Capacitor
A run capacitor is a part of an HVAC unit's motor and starts the motor running from a standstill. Sometimes this capacitor can make the motor run hotter and burn it out faster than expected. Costs for parts and labor to replace the run capacitor can range between $100-$300. If the capacitor has failed from normal wear and tear, the replacement with a home warranty is just a service call fee!
- Filter Drier
Another item homeowners use their home warranties to repair or replace with a home warranty is a HVAC filter drier. These filters get rid of contaminants within the HVAC system. Depending on size and type, these driers can range between $50 to $100 for parts, plus labor. Once again, if the filter drier failed from normal wear and tear, a homeowner only has to pay a service call fee for replacement with a home warranty contract.
The second most popular system homeowners use their home warranties to repair or replace is their plumbing. 22% of Landmark's service requests over the last eight months are dealing with plumbing problems!
Most plumbing repairs cost on average between $181-$285 for parts and labor. As long as the homeowner has a home warranty, and the repair or replacement is necessary because of normal wear and tear, they'll only pay a service call fee!
Landmark's most requested plumbing repairs are:
- Clearing Drain Lines
Landmark's starting home warranty coverage clears drain line stoppages for a flat rate service call fee if the drain line is covered in the home warranty contract. Angie's List quotes clearing a drain line at much higher than this, around $100-$300.
- Pipe Leak Repairs
Home Wyse says most plumbing leaks cost around $155-$253 to repair. If a homeowner with a Landmark home warranty paid for the enhanced pipe leak repair, and their pipe leak is covered under these conditions, they'll pay much less- only a service call fee!
A Landmark home warranty covers the dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash compactor, range and oven, built-in microwave and exhaust fan in your kitchen for a service call fee as long as they've failed from normal wear and tear. As a whole appliance repairs generally costs $107- $229 according to Home Advisor.com. The actual replacement of these items can be thousands of dollars. 13% of Landmark's service calls are about repairs or replacements of these appliances and it's not tough to see why!
- Re Keying
When moving to a new home, it's likely you don't want to keep the same keys and locks as the last owner. A home warranty is generally given as a closing gift with the sale of a home, and homeowners tend to use it to purchase rekeying on locks "“ especially since it provides an amazing deal!
Generally, rekeying costs around $35-$75 to come out to the home, and then around $10 to $28 per cylinder that needs to be rekeyed. 6.7% of Landmark's service calls within the last eight months have been rekey calls. These individuals had six doors (cylinders) rekeyed for only a service call fee ($60-$100!), which is an incredible deal! No wonder it's one of the top parts Landmark pays for with its home warranties.
The repair rounding out the top five repairs is the electrical system in your home. Homeowners who have a home warranty pay a service call fee for repairs and replacements of the wiring, panels, plugs, switches, fuses junction boxes, circuit breakers, conduits, ceiling fans, exhaust fans, and central vacuums. On average, most homeowners spend around $160 - $517 to pay for an electrician. That's a lot more than $60-$100!
So there's what homeowners use their home warranties for: HVAC, plumbing, electrical and appliances ... and rekeying their doors! If you're interested to find out more about what a home warranty covers go here. You can also compare our home warranty plans and pricing.
*These numbers are from Landmark Home Warranty statistics in 2015-2016.