Do I Need a Home Warranty in Chicago?
Unless you are buying a newly constructed home with a full warranty on all your systems and appliances, every home buyer should consider purchasing a home warranty.
The last thing you want to do after spending all that cash on the down payment, closing costs and moving expenses, is to take time off to find a repair person and deal with a major repair. Imagine finding out that your home inspection only touched on the actual plumbing problems which couldn’t be seen hiding behind the walls.
Home warranty providers contract with local trades people who specialize in the repairs they cover, so when you call for service, one of their contractors will come provide services to you.
Typical items that home warranties cover are:
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- Heating and cooling systems
- Washer and dryer
- Kitchen appliances such as the oven, range, and garbage disposal
Things To Look Out For When Choosing A Home Warranty
Service Fees for Home Warranties
You can expect to pay a service fee each time you make a request for service. Currently these typically vary from $75 to $125 per request.
Types of Home Warranty Plans
Does your new home have specialized items that you want to have covered? Many home warranties come in different plan levels- from simple standard items to comprehensive plans which provide greater coverage, and some you can pick and choose the additional items you want covered.
Home Warranty Appliance Coverage
Some plans cover systems and not appliances. Most often standard appliances covered will be listed – and extra specialty items such as sub-zero refrigerators will require additional coverage.
Roof Coverage in Home Warranties
Many plans do not cover roofs in their standard plans, or there is an additional fee to cover your roof. They may also limit the type of roof covered.
Home Warranty Claim Restrictions?
Some policies will not allow you to put in a claim during the first 30 days of coverage. Some will limit how many claims, or the maximum dollar amount per claim.
What are the coverage limits?
Some policies have annual coverage limits up to a certain dollar amount. Some have maximum lifetime limits. It’s good to review what is available in your area before you make your decision on which policy to choose.
Exclusions & Pre-Existing Conditions
Read the list of exclusions before you buy, so you understand what isn’t covered. Do they require a home inspection? In some cases, anything listed on the home inspection that is not addressed, could be excluded from coverage. For example, if your home inspector finds the ice dispenser on the refrigerator inoperative, you won’t be able to call your home warranty company out to fix it.
Where are you buying?
Different jurisdictions have impact on services and warranties provided. A home warranty in Arizona may offer different coverage from one offered in Illinois even if it’s with the same company. Both regional laws, and local customs impact coverages offered.
Routine Maintenance Requirement
If you have a home warranty and continue renewing it – remember that regular maintenance will be expected of you. For example, your air conditioning unit or furnace will need regular annual maintenance. Your home warranty may be void if they deem you have failed to maintain your unit properly. However, if you have maintenance records, and it fails, your home warranty can save you thousands of dollars in replacement costs.
Finally, your decision might come down to just how comfortable you are with risk.
If you prefer not to leave things up to chance and like to know that the unexpected is covered, a home warranty can be that extra coverage to help you sleep at night.
If you are currently in the process of buying a home, most home warranty companies offer better rates at the time of purchase – so look around. Ask your real estate agent and your real estate attorney for tips on which companies serve your area.
At The Gunderson Law Firm, LLC in Chicago, Illinois, we think about how today’s legal challenges will affect you and your family’s future. We represent clients dealing with injuries resulting from another party’s negligence, such as slip-and-fall accidents and dog bite incidents, as well as auto accidents and any other type of motor vehicle accident. We also assist clients facing bankruptcy or in need of assistance with real estate transactions and related disputes. Since 2006, we’ve been representing clients with these important legal matters. We can help you, too.
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