Factors in Choosing a Home Warranty Provider

For many homeowners, protecting a home's value goes beyond buying homeowner's insurance that covers major damage and accidents. It also means choosing a home warranty that provides for repair or replacement if your home's major systems or appliances break down or fail. When it comes time to choose a home warranty, though, many homeowners are overwhelmed by all the options available on today's market.

Choosing the right home warranty means taking the time to think through your needs and carefully review your options. While no one home warranty fits every need, you can use the following tips to make the best home-warranty purchasing decision possible. Remember that these are just the most common factors in choosing a warranty. If you live in a historic home or specialty property, you may need to weigh other factors as well.

The reputation of your warranty provider.

It's important to make sure that you're working with a reputable company that provides satisfactory service to most of its customers. You can investigate a company's reputation by reading reviews on consumer websites. It's also a good idea to check with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the provider is BBB accredited or if they have received many complaints about the provider. Avoid working with a warranty company that can't satisfactorily handle most of its customer complaints.

The warranty company's state licensing.

It's absolutely essential to choose a home warranty provider that is fully licensed in the state where your property is located. In most states, you can check business licenses online. Contact your state's consumer bureau if you need help determining if a warranty provider is licensed.

The specific policy coverage.

Every homeowner has different needs when it comes to a warranty. List what you need covered, then make sure that the policy you plan to buy will cover those items and systems. It might not be possible to find a warranty that covers every appliance and system in your home, but you should be able to find a policy that cover at least 90 percent of your needs.

The policy's conditions, caps and exemptions.

Before you buy a home warranty, read the fine print. Make sure you know what the policy's monetary cap is and what exemptions might apply to your home.

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