Do I Need a Home Warranty?

There is a lot of uncertainty among homeowners as to what a home warranty is, and whether they need one for their home. As a homeowner, you should be aware of home warranties, what they can do for you and whether it makes financial sense to make this investment.

So, what is a home warranty?
A home warranty is essentially a repair contract between you and the warranty provider. You pay an annual fee that varies in price depending upon the provider and the level of coverage that you want, and in return, the provider takes on the risk that one of the covered appliances or systems will break down.

If you already own a home, a warranty is there to provide peace of mind. Most of the time, your appliances will probably stay in good running order – especially if you follow the repair and maintenance advice contained in this blog.

However, in the event that, say, your refrigerator breaks down and has to be replaced, you could be looking at purchasing a new appliance for well over $1,000. If you had an active TotalProtect® Plan, you would have peace of mind since TotalProtect would likely cover the cost of replacing the refrigerator.1

How does the claims process work?
Making a claim with a home warranty company should be quick and easy. If one of your covered appliances or home systems breaks down, you simply call your warranty provider. The provider will arrange for a technician to come to your home to either fix the problem or verify that the appliance is broken beyond repair.

Most companies have a service call fee, or "deductible," though some offer home warranty products with no deductible. The cost of this deductible is usually significantly less than the cost of repairing or replacing the appliance.

Homeowners should be aware that there are a number of home warranty companies that cut costs on repairs, leading to shoddy work and unsatisfied customers. For this reason, TotalProtect Home Warranty offers a 180-day repairs guarantee. If your appliance or home system is repaired by a TotalProtect technician and you experience problems with it at any time within the next 180 days, we will repair it again at no cost.

Should I purchase a home warranty?
Virtually any homeowner can benefit from the peace of mind that comes with a home warranty. That being said, there are some homeowners for whom buying a home warranty should be a top priority. You should definitely consider purchasing a home warranty if:

  • You are purchasing a home – It can be difficult to assess the condition of all of the appliances in a home, even with a home inspection. In the period immediately after purchasing a home and moving in, many homeowners have fragile budgets. The last thing you want to be faced with is a large expense for a broken home system.
  • You don't have a large cash cushion – One of the advantages of a home warranty is that it acts like an automatic budget. Even for a homeowner whose appliances stay in working order for a long time, the annual cost of a home warranty can be justified by helping him or her to avoid a large expense all at once.
  • You don't have a trusted contractor – If you don't have a contractor who you trust, it can be very easy to get ripped off. TotalProtect maintains a list of trustworthy contractors with whom we do business exclusively in order to protect our customers and keep our rates competitive.
  • Your home or appliances are over five years old – For the first few years, chances are good that appliances will stay in working order barring a manufacturer error, and many come with manufacturer warranties. After the first five years, however, these warranties expire and things start to wear down. At this point, it is a good idea to get the coverage offered by a home warranty.

How much does it cost?
Home warranties vary in price based on a wide variety of factors, much like insurance. One of the most important factors is the level of coverage that you want as a homeowner. Check out our list of home warranty plans to get an idea of what product would best fit your needs. When you're ready to talk to a representative, get a quote by phone or email.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.