Friday, May 24, 2024

Buying a Home Warranty in MN: Buying Guide

When it comes to buying a home warranty in Minnesota you need to understand how it differs from your Homeowner’s insurance and a variety of things you should really look for in a policy to not only make sure it’s a good choice overall but a good choice for your unique situation. We also recommend checking out some reviews of top home warranty providers to make sure you find a trusted company to work with.

HOI’s are mostly for disaster’s, they do cover smaller things, damages and breakages, as well as theft depending on your policy, but for the most part they fall short of making sure your living arrangements stay at a certain level. Home warranties are almost entirely concerned with the smaller things, appliances, systems within a house etc, making sure that should anything break as a result of accident or wear over time, that you will be without the time for as short a time as possible. The price difference should not be overlooked either.

So let’s get into the nitty-gritty here.

What are Home Warranties?

Well for a start they aren’t warranties. Warranties these days cover very little, factory faults and the like, and that does not translate well to your household. They are more like service contracts. Some you sign for a few years, but most of the better ones I have found online tend to ask for a 12 month contract. They cover repairs or replacement on your appliances, like the computer you use to work, or your television or your cooker. It also covers internal house systems, like you heating system, regardless of set up, or your electrical system. There are an awful lot of things that can go wrong in a house, and when something does break it is nice to have something to fall back on, so you don’t end up driving yourself to financial ruin over unforeseen expenses.

I am a renter, so the idea of having to pay huge amounts if something in my house breaks is entirely alien to me. If my cooker breaks the landlord has to fix it. If my heating goes down it’s on someone else who pays for the repair guy to come out. Home warranties seem to offer a service that is as worry free as a good renting agreement, with you still owning your property.

Home Warranty Vs Homeowner’s insurance?

Home warranty embedded Homeowner’s insurance is a bit of a must these days. it covers a wide variety of things, but most of them relate to the condition of the home. The best example I can think of is the dishwasher. Say your dishwasher breaks down due to normal wear and tear and you end up with a flooded kitchen. In the vast majority of cases when your HOI surveyor comes out to assess the damage they will only pay for the damage to the house to be repaired, i.e the water damage. The Dish washer can go rot for all they care. And rightly so, it’s not their problem. Getting a decent dishwasher, or getting the old one repaired, can be near as expensive as fixing the damn kitchen floor, so while your HOI is helping, you may still be in a terrible financial situation. A home warranty will cover the dishwasher itself, leaving you without the financial burden. Granted, you tend to have to pay a consultation fee in addition to your monthly premiums in the event of a claim, but that rarely goes higher than $100.

In the end it really isn’t HOI vs Home Warranty, and more one filling the gap left by the other.

What makes a good Home Warranty?

For me, the most important thing about a home warranty is who is providing it. It’s all well and good to land on a fine price, with coverage over everything, only to find the firm in question closing its doors within a year, and running off with the cash. This has happened in the past. So when you are looking into getting your coverage you need to make sure that those you are buying from have longevity. I have found a half-dozen companies that have been in business for several decades, and it really lends credence to their claims. By the same degree I have read a half-dozen articles about Home warranty firms that have closed to their doors without paying out to anyone, so please be very careful out there.

Home Warranty FAQ

Do Home warranties only cover houses?

Not at all. Home warranties cover anything you call a home, so long as it is stationary. That means that if you live in an apartment, or a condo you are able to get coverage. There are different concerns with alternative properties though, so be sure to ask outright if there are any changes from the standard pricing and coverage in this case.

Do HOI’s sell Home Warranties?

Yes and no. Home warranties are increasing in popularity, but the vast majority of HOI’s do not offer them. That said I have read about a number of them doing so, and that number appears to be growing. The coverage is pretty good, but I would still recommend you go with an established Home warrant firm, folk who know that specific side of the business. Remember, you tend to deal with home warranty people a lot more often than HOI firms, and a dedicated Home Warranty company will have better customer service as a result.

What exactly am I buying with a Home Warranty?

Specifically you are buying coverage for the systems and items within your home. As standard you get coverage for your plumbing, HVAC, big appliances like your Fridge/Freezer, Cooker etc, electrical systems, garbage disposal, Internal vacuum system. You can negotiate for more coverage as well, including Spas, Jacuzzi’s and computer equipment.

Are there any Free Home Warranties?

Not really. Occasionally a home warranty will be offered when you buy a house at no additional cost, but then you are spending a couple a hundred thousand dollars, seems like the least they can do.

Are there any questions I should ask my Home warranty provider before going with them?

Oh very much so.

  • You need to ask about the limits of the coverage, as I mentioned there are some things that are considered standard in the business, but you need to be sure.
  • Ask about additional coverage for key items within your household. It is important to make sure that anything you need covered, that is outside the norm, is talked about.
  • Are there limits to the number of call outs your can get? There tend to not be, but it is a nice segue into asking about the cost of such call outs. A number of firms are charging around $100 per visit, on top of your monthly payments, but I do know that they can get as low as $50, so be sure to shop around.
  • Ask about how you will be paid. This is not just you giving them money every month, you are paying them to pay you to replace stuff. In the event of a repair job then you don’t need to worry about the cash, hat goes straight to the fellow doing the repair.
  • Finally, be very clear on what they exclude. There are very few things not included in the coverage, but taking a baseball bat to your own gear tends to be one of them. So long as you are aware of the limitations of your contract you should be golden.

Home Warranty Conclusion

Home Warranties offer peace of mind more than anything else, freeing up your income over the long-term and allowing you to not fret about the small stuff, or even some of the big stuff. So long as you make sure to ask the right questions to the right people you can be assured of good service. Remember, getting both Homeowner’s insurance and a Home Warranty is the best bet, that way you are covered for pretty much everything that could go wrong.

Remember to do your research, look over reviews from current customers, and make sure the policy fits your specific needs!

Barry W Stanton
Barry W Stanton
Irish born writer who drinks too much caffeine and reads too much Terry Pratchett. I enjoy long walks on the server and Korean cuisine.


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