Occasional appliance repairs are a fact of life for most consumers today. As a result of recent economic conditions, many homeowners have elected to keep their old appliances rather than replace them with expensive new models. Consequently, the popularity of home warranty programs has increased. Although many benefits can be derived from these programs, so too can drawbacks. When it comes to your home appliances, the value may not justify the cost.
The Benefits of a Home Warranty
The cost of a home warranty today is typically between $500 and $800, depending on the options you choose. When an appliance in your home breaks, you simply contact the warranty company and they send out a contractor to do the repairs. You then pay a trade call fee to the contractor, typically between $75 and $125. Think of this much like your auto insurance deductible or health coverage co-pay. As long as the repair is covered, that’s your maximum out-of-pocket expense — theoretically. Unfortunately, these programs aren’t what they used to be even a few years ago.
Common Criticisms of Home Warranty Programs
Although the cost of a home warranty hasn’t gone up all that much, trade call fees were $35 only a few years ago. The maximum coverage limits have been scaled back as well, so many plans won’t pay out more than a set amount for any given repair. But what many home repair warranty customers are most bothered by are excluded items.
For example, most plans forbid appliance repair contractors from working on an appliance if you have changed out any factory-supplied parts. So if you have had to switch out your washer’s hoses because the factory hoses wore out, the repair tech may refuse to work on your machine. Even so, you’re probably still responsible for the trade call fee. Now you’re $100 lighter and you still have to call (and pay for) your own repair company.
Should You Purchase a Home Warranty?
New homes come with a builder warranty, so purchasing additional coverage won’t provide any value for you. If your home is historic or if you purchased it through a distress sale such as foreclosure, a warranty may be beneficial for covering unexpected system failures (assuming those are covered items under your plan). If the seller paid for your warranty when you purchased your home, you will likely derive benefit from it during the first year.
When it comes time to renew, however, experts advise careful consideration of the program’s value. Warranty companies, like any insurer, are in business to turn a profit. If you save money one year, the law of averages indicates that you may lose money on it the next. Read the fine print and be sure you understand all the details before shelling out the money to renew your plan.
Complete Appliance Repair, serving Salt Lake City and the surrounding communities, specializes in providing exceptional value for its customers. In many cases, their experienced repair technicians can complete the repairs on your appliances for less than a trade call might cost under a home warranty. Call on them for all of your heating and air conditioning repair needs, as well as for home appliance repairs, sales and service.