Protecting your home seems like a no-brainer. After all, your home is a huge investment; it provides you with one of life’s most basic necessities. Unfortunately, though, you may not be protecting your home as well as you think you are. Even if you have an insurance policy in place, you may not have a warranty, and this loophole of sorts could cause a problem. However, getting an exterior home warranty closes this loophole tightly.
A Home Warranty vs. a Homeowners Insurance Policy
A homeowner’s insurance policy is important to possess. Having one on hand protects you from some of life’s most harrowing threats, such as natural disasters, acts of God, theft, and vandalism.
A home warranty is different. This functions as a service contract that’s meant to cover home systems and appliances inside and outside of your domicile. These systems are subject to the wear and tear that comes with age.
The best way to differentiate the two is that homeowners insurance covers things outside of your control, whereas a home warranty covers things that are in your control as a homeowner. You may not feel that you’re in control of some of the systems covered by a home warranty, but essentially, their functionality is in within your hands, and you are thereby in control.
How Does a Home Warranty Work?
There are three basic elements of every home warranty policy:
- Cost – A home warranty contract typically lasts 12 months. Often, the annual cost will start around $400 at its most basic. The more you pay for a policy, the more expansive your coverage will be. A more expensive warranty will also produce lower out-of-pocket costs if something bad happens.
- Deductible – Home warranties typically don’t require the payment of a deductible – another item that separates it from a homeowner’s insurance policy. If you have to utilize it, you’ll most likely be charged a moderate service call fee. This fee does not include any expenditures you may have to shell out for, depending on what kind of policy you’ve purchased.
- Obligation – Unlike a homeowner’s insurance policy, a home warranty is completely optional. Your mortgage lender or bank cannot require you to purchase one. Just be aware that, again, homeowner’s insurance is not the same as a home warranty.
What Does a Warranty Cover?
It’s important that you know what you’re covering when you purchase a home warranty. The items that are typically covered include:
- Plumbing systems
- Electrical systems
- Heating systems
- Cooling systems
- Kitchen appliances – these can include your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, or garbage disposal
Some home warranty policies give you the option to pick up additional coverage for your hot tub or swimming pool for an additional cost. This is important to note, as these items may not necessarily fall under the protection of your homeowner’s insurance.
Although most policies cover the items above, not all do. Be sure to give your contract a thorough examination so you are completely sure what’s covered. The last thing you want when you have to use your warranty is an unpleasant surprise that something isn’t covered.
What’s Not Covered by your Homeowners Policy
There are a few items to your home that typically aren’t covered by a home warranty policy, including:
- Garage doors and tracks
- HVAC systems
- Roof leaks
- Sprinkler systems
- Septic systems
You should also be aware that any “pre-existing conditions” won’t fall under protection. These are defined as problems that were identified during a home inspection. This may even constitute things that appeared to be minor when the inspection was done several years prior.
Benefits of a Home Warranty
The biggest benefit of a home warranty is that it will grant you peace of mind. Having the policy in place means you won’t have to suddenly worry about scrambling for the money needed to replace a worn-out component. This is especially necessary if you own an older home.
A home warranty policy also eliminates the legwork needed to find a service. The company behind the warranty will handle this for you by utilizing their network of qualified service providers and dispatching the appropriate people to your home.
Finally, having a home warranty means you can potentially save long-term money. The fees involved with renewing a home warranty are slim compared to the thousands of dollars it may cost you to handle a large-scale plumbing or electrical problem.
Purchasing a home warranty policy may turn out to be one of the most important decisions you can make as a homeowner. DryHome is here to make that decision one that’s completely efficient and pain-free. Give us a call for more details on how we can help protect your most important investment.