home warranty vs home insurance

About Home Warranties

Home warranties are service contracts that cover the cost of repairing or replacing household appliances or systems. Often, they’re included in the sale of a home to offer the buyer peace of mind. But they can also be purchased independently.

Appliances and systems that are covered generally include air conditioners, furnaces, water heaters, electrical systems, ductwork, plumbing and kitchen appliances. However, every plan is different, so it is crucial to get a list of what’s covered in writing prior to purchasing a home warranty.

How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?

Home warranties cost usually about $250 to $500 per year. Then you pay a small fee each time you need a service call – usually about $50 to $100.

Most home warranty providers offer tiered plans with varying levels of coverage. For $250 a year, you’ll get coverage for basic home systems and appliances. If you’re willing to spend $1,000 a year, you can find a warranty that will cover expensive and problematic systems such as pools and spas.

Home Warranty Pros

  • Cheap service calls – With a home warranty, you’ll never pay more than the agreed upon flat fee for service calls (usually $50 or $100). Service calls will cost far less than they would without a home warranty.
  • Covers most common repairs – Home warranties cover the cost of replacing or repairing the appliances and systems that are most likely to fail.
  • Tiered plans – You have the option to choose the amount of coverage you want. Opt for a plan that covers only the basics or one that covers nearly every appliance or system that could fail.
Average Home Warranty Prices

Home Warranty Cons

  • The fine print – Warranties may not cover appliances and systems that were damaged by certain circumstances, such as acts of nature. The assumption is that your home insurance will cover those. They also might not cover items that were damaged or defective prior to you moving in.
  • Lack of control – You won’t have a say in whether an appliance or system is repaired or replaced. That decision lies with the warranty company. And warranty companies almost always prefer to repair your appliances because repairs are usually less expensive than replacement.
  • Lack of choice – You won’t be able to choose the repair company or service provider. That decision, too, lies with the warranty company.

Home Insurance Overview

Homeowners insurance is property insurance for residences. The insurance covers damage and losses to the home and its contents. Home insurance also covers living expenses if the occupants are displaced from the home, and it provides liability coverage for any accidents that occur on the property.

Home insurance covers theft, fire and natural disasters, but the policies generally exclude damage from floods, war or termites. If you take out a mortgage, the bank or lending institution will require you to purchase homeowners insurance.

How Much Does a Home Insurance Policy Cost?

The price of a homeowners insurance policy depends on many factors, including the age, size and condition of the home, where it is located, how the home was constructed and neighborhood crime rates. Insurance companies also consider factors like distance to the fire department or fire hydrants, distance to the coast, your credit score and whether you’ve previously filed claims.

Homeowners policies in the United States tend to average $700 to $1,000 per year, but plan on spending significantly more if you live in a disaster-prone area. Most policies have a deductible of around $500, but you can lower the monthly premium by increasing that deductible to $1,000.

Home Insurance Pros

  • Disaster protection – Homeowners insurance protects your investment in the event of a disaster or accident. You’ll get the funding you need to repair or rebuild and replace your belongings.
  • Higher value – Unlike home warranties, homeowners insurance covers major damage. In the event of a major fire or natural disaster, you could get hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation.

Home Insurance Cons

  • Limited coverage – Standard policies cover the contents of your home only up to 50 or 70 percent of the policy’s value. If your possessions are worth more than that, you may need buy additional insurance. If you have lots of valuable items such as jewelry, art and furs, you definitely want to buy additional insurance.
  • Exclusions – Many homeowners insurance policies don’t cover the cost of rebuilding to current building code standards. And in some circumstances, repairs that exceed the value of the policy won’t be covered. To ensure that all repairs are covered, you’ll need to purchase a guaranteed replacement value policy.

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Author: Ashley Smith

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