If you’re in the market for a home warranty to protect your house, you’re probably wondering which home warranty company is the best option for you. No matter if you’ve lived in your home for a number of years or if you’re purchasing a new home, a home warranty can be a great option to help you keep home repair costs down. Although it may seem easier to just pick the first available or the cheapest home warranty company, following a simple strategy will allow you to choose the best home warranty company, coverage, and price for your home. Researching a bit before can pay off in the long run when you use the home warranty to repair or replace broken down systems and appliances in your house.
Find Home Warranty Companies in Your Area
The first step is to find home warranty companies that service your area. There are the national players that provide home warranty service to the entire country, but you should also look at more local companies to see what your options are when it comes to home warranty coverage. Landmark Home Warranty only covers homes in Texas, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Nevada.
Once you find the home warranty companies that provide coverage in your area, request quotes from them or take a look at their plans and pricing. It’s also a good idea to try and get a sample home warranty contract from them so you can better research what kind of contract you would be entering into if you purchased a home warranty from each company.
What Home Warranty Coverage Do You Need?
After you have a list of the home warranty companies in your area and their coverage, take a look around your home (or the home you are purchasing). List what items are the oldest and are likely to fail quickly. If you are purchasing a home, your realtor may be able to get this information from the listing agent and sellers. If you’ve lived in your home for a few years, take out your appliances’ owner’s manuals to determine the age of each system or appliance.
Every system or appliance has an average lifespan, so in order to know what home warranty coverage you need in your home, compare the age of your systems and appliances to each of their potential lifespans. This workbook has the average lifespans for many of the most common systems and appliances that you can easily use to determine what you need coverage on the most.
You will want to get coverage on the systems and appliances in your home that are near (or over) their average lifespans. You’ll want to make sure they’ve been properly maintained and that there aren’t any previous issues, because some home warranty companies may not cover previous conditions or lack of maintenance in their contracts.
Compare Home Warranty Companies’ Coverage
After determining your top systems and appliances that need coverage, take a look at the sample contracts you have received from the various home warranty companies that provide coverage in your area. Make notes on which home warranty companies offer the coverage you and your home need. You should also ensure that you read all of the terms and conditions, as there may be some parts of the system or appliance that are not covered in certain home warranty plans or by certain home warranty companies. For example, some home warranty plans at Landmark cover a system, like your HVAC system, but the higher coverage plans also cover more expensive items like Freon recovery and recharge.
Take notes on what coverage you like and what you do not like on each sample contract.
Pay Attention to the Home Warranty Company’s Exclusions and Limitations
Next, you’ll need to read the exclusions and limitations. Some home warranty companies have overall limits, where they’ll only pay a certain dollar amount out for every repair in the home. Once that limit is hit, all of the repairs and replacements are out of your budget. Other home warranty companies place dollar amount limits on certain items, meaning that the rest comes out of your pocket. For example, Landmark Home Warranty has a $1,500 limit on the diagnosis, repair, and/or replacement of a kitchen fridge. Some home warranty companies will also allow you to receive a cash-in-lieu option, where you simply get what the home warranty company would have paid to replace the system or appliance. You can then put that toward a more expensive model for your appliance that you choose yourself.
Take notes on these limits as well and make sure that there aren’t too many within the contract. When you’re factoring the price into these home warranty plans, you should be sure to pay attention to lower-priced options, as many of these home warranty plans will have significantly less coverage and higher limits than their higher cost counterparts.
Read Home Warranty Reviews
Finally, research what other consumers are saying about the home warranty companies. Take a look at the number of positive reviews compared to negative reviews and glance at a few of each. You should also make sure to see how those home warranty companies are responding to their customers in the review. For negative reviews, if they are actively trying to help the customer with the situation, you can be assured that they will most likely have excellent customer service. If there are no responses, it may be a good choice to go with another home warranty company in your area.
Once you have researched each part of this list, you’ll be able to easily pick the perfect home warranty company and home warranty plan for you and your home. If you’re interested in Landmark’s coverage, limitations, and pricing for your state, you can download a brochure and sample contract here.