How to find the best home warranty plan for you
When it comes to finding the right home warranty for you and your home, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Different home ownership situations, such as whether the home is newly purchased or you live in an older home, will all impact the type of plan you need. Therefore, finding the best home warranty plan requires you to carefully consider what you want to see in your plan and what it needs to protect.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what home warranty coverage options are available and how to make the most informed decision when it comes to home repairs and home protection.
How home warranty plans work
In short, a home warranty helps homeowners be proactive when it comes to replacement costs or repairs if a major appliance or major system breaks down. With many home warranty plans, homeowners can select from a few different coverage options. You’ll often see three plan options available: coverage for major appliances, coverage for built-in systems and a comprehensive plan that covers both.
You can typically pay for your warranty on a monthly or annual basis. When it comes to needing an actual repair or replacement, your plan will include a deductible due at the time of the service request.
The availability of different plan options allows customers to focus on the coverage they need. For example, someone who has major appliances still covered under a manufacturer’s warranty may not need appliance coverage right away.
What to look for in a home warranty plan
When reviewing the different home warranty plans available, there are certain features you want to see that indicate a quality plan. As you review your plan options, use the following guidelines to make the best decision for your home.
Research the home warranty company
To find the best home warranty plan for you, you’ll want to research home warranty companies. If you’re in the process of buying a home, consider asking your real estate agent for recommendations. If you already own a home, start with a simple Google search.
From there, take a look at the company’s “About Us” page. You’ll typically see how many years the company has been in business, what areas they serve, how many plans they offer, and any customer reviews or company awards.
Cinch Home Services, for instance, is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with an excellent rating, and offers a variety of leading home warranty plans in America. With a dedication to providing homeowners with the coverage they require, customers have the comfort and convenience of knowing their home is protected and a plan to match their unique needs.
Clear coverage options
The best home warranty companies should offer clear coverage options. The different plans should be easy to follow regarding covered items and exclusions.
It should also be simple to compare coverage options. For instance, Cinch offers three levels of coverage, which you can easily compare on our site. Comparing plans offered by one company can help clarify how the different plans are structured, making it easier to select the right coverage option.
Below is a quick look at some of the items covered with an Appliances Plan by Cinch:
- Clothes dryers
- Clothes washers
- Food centers (Built-in)
- Freestanding ice makers
- Microwaves (Built-in)
- Range exhaust hoods
- Trash compactors (Built-in)
- Wall ovens
And these are the items covered with Cinch’s Built-in Systems Plan:
- Air conditioning, including ductwork
- Attic fans
- Ceiling fans
- Central vacuums
- Garage door openers
- Garbage disposals
- Heating system, including ductwork
- Instant hot/cold water dispenser
- Plumbing system
- Smoke detectors
- Sump pump
- Water heater
- Whirlpool/jetted tub (Built-in)
It should also be clear what isn’t covered. For instance, you may need to rely on a separate home insurance policy or homeowners insurance for larger issues, such as roof leaks or property damage.
You also want to look for a home warranty that offers clear, honest and upfront pricing. Everything from service call fees to deductibles should be straightforward in your home warranty contract.
You’ll want to review your policy carefully before purchasing and make sure you fully understand the pricing. Some questions you should be able to answer easily include:
- How much will this plan cost you monthly or annually?
- How much will your deductible be? Do you have options for having a higher deductible versus a lower monthly payment?
- What, if any, additional service fees apply to making a service request?
Pre-existing conditions coverage
This is particularly true for home buyers considering an older home or homeowners who already live in their own fixer-upper. A “pre-existing condition” refers to any major appliance or system that has already failed or experienced some sort of damage before coverage officially starts. You’ll typically find this sort of damage on a home inspection report.
Without a pre-existing policy, a company may refuse to pay out on a claim for a home with a problem that started before the plan. Particularly for older homes — where normal wear and tear can cause a major appliance or home system to deteriorate — knowing if you may have obstacles like this remains essential.
At Cinch, all of our plans offer the protection of unknown pre-existing conditions coverage, which means a failure couldn’t be detected by a mechanical or visual inspection prior to the plan going into effect.
A workmanship guarantee
If you’re not a pro when it comes to home repairs, you’ll also want to look for a plan that has a workmanship guarantee included in the service contract. For example, Cinch offers a 180-day workmanship guarantee. This means that if a problem persists even after being looked at and repaired by a service provider, we’ll continue to work with you in getting the problem fixed.
Optional coverage and add-ons
Some home warranty providers offer additional coverage options even beyond their most comprehensive coverage plans. Some optional coverage options include:
- Swimming pools
- Septic system
- Well pump
Add-on coverage can help make what your plan covers more personalized based on your unique needs. The priorities of someone in California, for instance, might differ from those of someone in Florida or New York, which means they might want to make sure their home warranty has the right coverage. Whether you’re looking at a more basic plan or a combo plan, be sure to review which optional coverage and add-ons are available to ensure your home warranty covers what you need.
Discounts on appliances
Your home warranty provides you with peace of mind and protects a range of important appliances and critical house systems. No one wants their HVAC system, for instance, to fail in the middle of summer! However, what if you ultimately need a new air conditioner?
Some home warranty companies make it easier for the homeowner by offering discounts on the purchase of new appliances. Cinch, for instance, offers Appliance Buyline that provides access to discounts on brand-name appliances when it’s time to upgrade.
Discover the Cinch home warranty plan that’s perfect for you
Carefully evaluating your choices based on the coverage you need will help you pick the best overall home warranty plan for you. A close look at your systems plan can help you determine the home warranty offers that fit your needs.
Cinch is here to provide customers with the home services warranty they seek to protect their home. No one wants to worry about their heating system going out in the middle of winter, and we’re here to help as a top home warranty option.
Those interested in learning more about the different plans offered by Cinch — and finding the one that will work best for them — can visit our home protection plans page. See what the different plans include and how easy it can be to get coverage for your home.