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The Importance (and ROI) of A Home Repair Warranty

Introduction

Homeownership comes with a host of responsibilities and unexpected challenges. Among these, the need for repairs and maintenance can be both time-consuming and costly. While homeowners insurance provides coverage for many potential issues, it does not cover everything. This is where a home repair warranty, also known as a home warranty, becomes invaluable.


The Importance of a Home Repair Warranty


Shortfalls of Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your home and personal property against catastrophic events such as fires, theft, and natural disasters. It typically covers structural damage to your house and detached structures like garages, as well as personal belongings within the home. Additionally, it provides liability coverage in case someone is injured on your property.


However, homeowners insurance has its limits. It does not cover wear and tear or breakdowns due to age and usage of appliances and home systems. This gap can leave homeowners facing significant out-of-pocket expenses when their heating system fails in the dead of winter or when a major appliance like a refrigerator or washing machine breaks down unexpectedly.


What a Home Repair Warranty Covers

A home repair warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of crucial home systems and appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. These systems typically include heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, electrical systems, plumbing, and major appliances such as ovens, dishwashers, and water heaters.


The scope of coverage can vary depending on the warranty provider and the plan chosen. Some plans may also offer optional coverage for items like swimming pools, septic systems, and even roof leaks. Providers like Tend Home and American Home Shield now provide coverage for a relatively modest monthly fee through a fully digital process, which can help homeowners avoid the financial stress of unexpected repairs.


Financial Savings

One of the most significant advantages of having a home repair warranty is the financial peace of mind it provides. Home repairs can be unexpectedly costly, and the expense often comes at the worst possible time. For instance, replacing an HVAC system can cost several thousand dollars, while repairing a plumbing leak might involve high labor and material costs. A home warranty mitigates these costs by covering most or all of the repair expenses, requiring only a nominal service fee from the homeowner.


Convenience

In addition to financial savings, a home repair warranty offers the convenience of having a reliable service provider network. When a covered item breaks down, homeowners simply contact their warranty company, which then dispatches a qualified technician to handle the repair. This eliminates the need for homeowners to search for trustworthy contractors, negotiate prices, or handle repairs themselves, saving valuable time and reducing stress.


Enhancing Home Value and Marketability

For those considering selling their home, a home repair warranty can enhance its marketability. Prospective buyers often view a home warranty as a valuable incentive, as it provides them with protection against unexpected repair costs during the first year of ownership. This assurance can make a home more attractive in a competitive market, potentially leading to a quicker sale at a better price.





The Return on Investment of Home Repair Warranties

The understand the ROI of the warranty, we must first look at the cost of the warranty, the service fees for the repairs, and the cost of the repairs. The we will look at an example estimate.


Costs and Fees

The annual cost of a home repair warranty typically ranges from $300 to $600, depending on the level of coverage and the provider. When a repair is needed, consumers often pay a service call fee, which can range from $50 to $125 per visit, regardless of the repair's complexity or cost. Major home systems and appliances can be expensive to repair or replace. For example: HVAC system repairs can range from $150 to $1,000, while replacement costs can exceed $5,000. Plumbing repairs can cost between $150 and $800, depending on the issue. Appliance repairs can range from $100 to $300, while replacement costs vary widely based on the appliance.


Estimating ROI

To illustrate, let's consider a hypothetical scenario:

Annual Warranty Cost: $500

Service Call Fee: $75 per visit

During the year, the homeowner experiences:

HVAC Repair: $700

Plumbing Repair: $400

Refrigerator Repair: $250


Total Repair Costs without Warranty: $1,350

Total Costs with Warranty: $500 (annual cost) + $225 (3 service calls) = $725

Total Savings: $1,350 - $725 = $625


Conclusion

The average ROI of a home repair warranty can be quite favorable, particularly for homeowners with older systems and appliances or those who experience multiple repairs annually. While individual experiences will vary, the financial savings, combined with the convenience and peace of mind offered by a home warranty, often make it a worthwhile investment. To maximize ROI, homeowners should carefully evaluate their coverage options, understand the terms and limitations of their warranty, and consider the age and condition of their home systems and appliances.

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