Did you know homeowners should anticipate an annual expense of up to 4% of their homes value for annual maintenance expense? Unfortunately, with the current state of the market, many homeowners are left with little or no savings in the bank after their purchase. Experts average that 7 out of 10 homes will experience a “major system or appliance failure” within a year of purchase. This means refrigerator, water heater or HVAC systems will need servicing and/or replacement and that could be very expensive if not detrimental to a new owner. That is exactly why a home warranty is a great purchase in order to offset some of the cost for homeowners. To help explain any misconceptions of what a home warranty really is, how it works and what it covers, we’ve asked Trish Spivey, Account Executive of 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty Real Estate Division covering Northeast Florida, to answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding home warranties.
WHAT IS A HOME WARRANTY?
A home warranty covers the repair and/or replacement of kitchen appliances HVAC systems, electrical and plumbing items in your home. It is an annual service agreement homeowners purchase for major repairs in their home. Purchasing a home warranty will significantly help save money on the items that can be quite costly to replace.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOME WARRANTY AND HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE?
A home warranty covers the repair and/or replacement of systems and appliances that malfunction or breakdown due to normal wear and tear. Homeowners insurance covers loss from incidents like fire, storms or vandalism. Homeowners can not overlap the coverages of these two plans, however, both coverages complement each other to provide comprehensive protection.
WHEN CAN YOU PURCHASE A HOME WARRANTY?
During a real estate transaction many home warranties are purchased by the buyer or seller, however, a home warranty can be purchased by any homeowner at any time to help protect their home. One of the benefits of working with a real estate professional is that through an agent referral an existing homeowner can take advantage of receiving the Realtor/Resale product. This is the most comprehensive coverage at the best price.
WHEN CAN I START USING MY HOME WARRANTY?
If your home warranty purchase was completed while purchasing your home, it can be used immediately. Home warranties purchased after 30 days from closing on your home are subject to a 30 day waiting period before repair/replacement requests can be made.
DO YOU COVER OLDER SYTEMS AND APPLIANCES?
Yes. A home warranty should provide coverage for appliances or systems no matter the age. The covered appliances or systems must be operating properly when the home warranty is purchased.
HOW MUCH DO SYSTEM AND APPLIANCE REPAIRS OR REPLACEMENTS TYPICALLY COST WITHOUT A WARRANTY?
You can expect to pay an average of $400 to repair a washing machine, $420 to repair a refrigerator, $1800 to replace a water heater and $5,500 to replace an HVAC system.
WHAT IS A SERVICE FEE?
A service fee, similar to a deductible, is in essence is a trip charge for the service provider to come to your home to diagnose the repair needed. It is an initial out-of-pocket cost on an eligible claim paid to the contractor at time of initial service. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty pays the contractor directly for the balance of the covered repair and/or replacement costs.
MAY I CHOOSE MY OWN SERVICE CONTRACTOR?
Unfortunately not. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty works with a contractor network. If an authorized service contractor is not available in your area, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty will ask that you call a licensed and insured service contractor and request that they evaluate the issue. Approval from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is required to use a service provider outside of the network. Since 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has negotiated rates within the contractor network, reimbursement for an out of network vendor is based on those rates.
HOW DO I REQUEST SERVICE OR FILE A CLAIM?
Requesting service is easy! Homeowners can log in to their homeowner portal account and select the system or appliance that is causing trouble and answer a few questions. The dispatcher will make the appointment for you and send the service contractor to your home. Homeowners can also call to request service at (720) 531-6717.