Are Home Warranties Worth the Money?
Home ownership is a great thing, but even this great American dream comes with a downside every once in a while – home repairs. From minor inconveniences like a clogged drain or leaky faucet to major repairs like the air conditioning going out in the middle of a heat wave, there’s one thing most repairs have in common. They cost money to fix.
Have you considered a home warranty service? We’re not talking about the ones that come with the home when you build it or appliances when you purchase them. We’re talking about renewable home service plans that provide discounted repair and replacement services for covered household appliances and other home repairs. Contract terms and the type of coverage available vary. Are they worth the money?
The monthly cost for home warranty services averages between $30 and $90 a month or $360 to $1,080 a year. That cost usually depends on how much coverage you want. You’re looking at the higher end of the scale if you want to cover all of your appliance, heating, a/c and electrical systems. There’s also a service every time a repairman comes out which ranges from ranges from $25 to $175, plus anything not covered by the home warranty. Every plan is different.
HomeAdvisor reports lists these as the average cost of repairs these days:
- Central air conditioner: $3,803 – $7,604
- Furnace: $2,801 – $6,762
- Water heater: $831 – $1651
- Appliance repair: $106 – $243
If you need major work done in your home, the home warranty could actually pay for itself, and then some. The older your home is, the better your chances of getting your money’s worth. That doesn’t mean newer homes can’t benefit from a service like this, but often those homes and appliances are covered by manufacturer warranties.
In some ways it’s a gamble. You don’t know when your appliances are going to quit functioning properly, but you can be sure they will eventually. If you don’t have an emergency fund set aside for this, a home warranty could be a wise choice.
Whatever you decide, read all the fine print and read reviews on the companies you are considering before signing anything or paying your contract.