What to know about buying a home warranty in Florida
In the Sunshine State, there are many home warranty coverage options available to homeowners. But before you choose a home warranty company, you should ask yourself: What does that particular home warranty cover?
A home warranty is a type of protection plan that works as an extended warranty for your home's major systems and appliances. This extended warranty goes well beyond the manufacturers warranties and can be added at any time — no matter the age of the home.
After you sign an annual service agreement, you can put in a warranty claim anytime after the initial 30-day wait period. At that time, you'll be asked to pay a service fee of $100–$150 for a visit from your service provider.
To help you better understand the warranty options available to you, we have put together some of the most common questions about buying a home warranty in Florida.
What types of properties should have a home warranty in Florida?
Many types of properties in Florida can benefit from a home warranty. Single-family homes and multi-family units, such as townhomes, can get home warranty coverage. A new home can also benefit greatly from a home warranty since a manufacturer's warranty is often limited and can be complicated.
Modular and manufactured homes should have a home warranty in Florida. Unfortunately, a mobile home with wheels cannot be covered by any home warranty company.
How much, on average, is a home warranty in Florida, and why?
The average cost for a home warranty in Florida is $420–$745 a year. While you can opt for a cheaper basic plan, most homeowners choose a home warranty plan that covers air conditioning along with the heating system and the plumbing system.
Optional coverage for pools, spas and septic may also be added to your Florida home warranty plan.
No matter what type of protection plan you choose, you will need to pay a deductible, or service fee, for every repair visit. These deductibles are $100–$150 depending on the monthly plan cost you choose. If you anticipate using the warranty coverage more than twice annually, you should select a lower deductible to achieve the lowest annual cost.
Who will benefit most from having a home warranty in Florida?
Any homeowner who cannot afford to self-insure can benefit from having a Florida home warranty. The repair and replacement cost for a major appliance or system, such as an air conditioner, can be expensive. Even the replacement cost for a water heater can run you$1,000–$3,000.
While many people who purchase a new home may believe they do not have any risk, they don't always understand the limitations of manufacturers warranties or homeowners insurance. Home insurance generally covers loss related to theft, fire or extreme weather, but it doesn't cover normal wear and tear for an appliance or system. And, while a manufacturer's warranty may provide great coverage, that coverage is usually limited to one year.
A home warranty agreement can complement home insurance by providing supplemental coverage for everyday use of items like your garbage disposal, air conditioner or oven.
How comprehensive should a home warranty in Florida be?
Your Florida home warranty should be as comprehensive as you see fit. If your budget is limited, a basic plan will help you get warranty coverage that gives you some peace of mind. But, if your house is more than 20 years old, with older appliances and systems, the price of a protection plan can pay for itself. The last thing you want is a $3,000 surprise HVAC replacement when you could have mitigated your risk for $15 per month.
How can you determine the best home warranty provider for your Florida home?
The best home warranty provider for your Florida home is the one that helps match your needs to their service. As always, reviewing your homeowners insurance policy is prudent as is understanding your structural warranty on a new home, if applicable.
Home insurance can supplement a home warranty plan by covering events related to fire, theft or extreme weather. A home warranty plan differs in that it is protecting you against unknown risks related to normal daily use.
A structural warranty covers the load-bearing structures within your home for a period of 10 years. Repairs and replacements due to normal wear and tear would not be covered under your structural warranty.
The best home protection plan for you will be with a company that offers exceptional customer service along with the home warranty coverage you need. Your service agreement will outline the service fee, coverage details and any exclusions and coverage caps.