The average home warranty policy can cost anywhere from $30 to $80 per month. For most homeowners, this investment is worth it; after all, a home warranty can save you $1,000s of dollars if a covered appliance or system breaks down. But how can you stretch those dollars even further?
Keep the following tips in mind to get the most value out of your home warranty.
Compare Policies and Providers
To get the most value out of your home warranty, you’re going to want to do your homework before you buy.
Coverage is the most important feature to look at when researching any home warranty company. It’s the backbone of your contract, identifying which appliances, systems, parts, and components your home warranty will cover. This difference between what is or isn’t covered by a home warranty could translate into you saving (or losing) $1,000s in repair or replacement costs.
When shopping around for a home warranty company, keep these policy details in mind:
- What appliances are covered?
- What systems are covered?
- What components/parts are covered?
- Is there anything not covered that I wish could be covered?
At the end of the day, your goal should be to maximize your coverage options while lowering your premium pricing as much as possible. The only way to find that perfect policy is to window shop for various home warranty companies.
For a head start on your research process, check out our list of the top-rated home warranty companies in the US.
Keep DIY Work to a Minimum
Once you’ve settled on the right home warranty policy, it’s time to squeeze your contract for all that it’s worth. Our first recommendation: leave the repairs to the professionals.
If one of the covered systems or appliances in your home begins to malfunction, now’s the time to use your home warranty contract by calling in a technician via your home warranty company. Some folks are accustomed to troubleshooting issues on their own, but remember: you’re paying for a technical safety net, so you might as well use it.
Some home warranty contracts might void coverage if a non-partner technician works on a system or appliance. This means that any significant tinkering you or a third-party tech do on an appliance could cost you a huge chunk of the value of your contract.
We’ll make one exception to this rule. If a covered appliance or system requires a very minor fix—such as a simple cleaning or a screw tightened—you’ll most likely save money by fixing this yourself. This is because you'll pay an out-of-pocket service fee every time you call a technician.
Make Use of the Home Warranty Period Before It Ends
If your home warranty period is about to end (and you don’t foresee yourself re-upping on the contract), put it to good use.
Before your contract’s ending date, do a quick once-over of your home’s systems and appliances. Does anything not look, sound, or work quite right?
If so, this would be your last chance to call in a tech while under the protection of your warranty. In the event that a system or appliance is on the verge of malfunctioning, you could save yourself a lot of money by having it serviced or replaced before the end of your contract.
When in Doubt, Ask for a Cash Payment
You probably know that home warranty companies will typically offer to service or replace a covered system or appliance up to a specific dollar amount. What you may not know is that there’s a semi-secret third option: home warranty companies will pay you up to a specific dollar amount in lieu of a fix or replacement.
Opting out of a repair or replacement in exchange for a cash payment is a situational decision. If you find yourself in one of the following scenarios, consider taking the cash:
Find the Right Home Warranty Policy
Circling back to our first tip, the best way to save money and protect your home’s systems and appliances is to sign up for a home warranty policy that fits your needs.
Get a headstart on your research by checking out our list of the best home warranty companies in the United States: