Home warranties are wonderful backup plans to have if you don't want to deal with huge repair bills for your existing air conditioning, heating, appliances, and plumbing. As your home and systems all become older, the chances of something breaking down become greater, and a home warranty helps you find a qualified repair company to fix whatever happened. Many people focus on the ability to customize a coverage plan when choosing a home warranty company, while others want to know just how much the company covers, such as basic bathroom plumbing versus the hot tub. But there are additional factors that you must ask about to ensure the company's plans will work for you.
Customer Service Availability
Does the company have a customer service department that is easy to reach around the clock? Or are they constantly busy, shuttling your call off to the voicemail system? Try contacting the customer service department just to see how easy it is to get through. You're better off with a department that is open 24 hours a day because home problems aren't going to wait until the next morning when the customer service people arrive. Of course, if the rest of the company's information is what you want, then the 24-hour nature of the department might not be that important to you. However, you should go with a company whose customer service department is responsive.
Home Age Exclusions
Older homes are sometimes no longer eligible for home warranties. It's not unusual for home warranty plans to exclude pre-existing problems. But some plans take it further and simply don't cover homes built before a certain year, or they don't cover appliances or systems installed before a certain year. Always verify all of the systems and appliances you want covered. Don't assume all will be covered unless you know for a fact that everything is within the company's age range.
Lack of Maintenance Exclusions
Another thing to watch out for is an exclusion for lack of maintenance. If you simply didn't take care of your air conditioner over the years, and now it's malfunctioning because of obvious neglect, the home warranty company might not cover it. Some do, though, so when checking out each company, ask specifically what they'd do if the repair tech determined the problem was due to neglect.
There are several nationwide home warranty companies, each offering different plans. Write down your requirements and questions, and start calling. You will find a company that fits your needs. Talk with companies like High Tech Home Warranties to explore your options.