A home warranty protects your appliances and home system from unexpected repairs and replacements. Aside from getting home insurance, homeowners invest in a home warranty to protect a much bigger investment—the physical property. However, choosing a home warranty company is easier said than done. There are a lot of considerations to be made, especially when it comes to the period of the contract, coverage, transferability, and claims process.
If you want to get the best Illinois home warranty, you need to negotiate from the start.
Make a List of Several Companies
How can you negotiate if you don’t have any option other than the company you’re dealing with? List down at least three to five home warranty companies operating in your area. You will get a better deal if you can leverage their offers against each other. Schedule a visit to their offices and make sure that you are ready with your requests and inquiries.
Talk to a Real Estate Agent
The real estate agent who sold you that home likely knows a lot about home warranties and the companies that offer them. Most real estate agents get a commission from home insurance and warranty companies. They’re the best source of information about which company has the best deal. If you have a good relationship with your agent, they’ll even advise you on how to get what you want.
Leverage the Age of Your Appliances/Systems
If you have a new home and even new appliances and systems, you can use that as leverage. Ask the home warranty company if you can get more appliances covered since you’ll probably not need to make a claim in the first year. Tell the company that you’re just buying the home warranty as a form of added protection, but your appliances are still new.
In fact, if some of the appliances are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, take them out of the home warranty coverage. Ask the company to replace that appliance or system coverage with coverage for another, preferably something older.
Schedule a Home Inspection
Have a home inspection, especially if you are confident that your appliances and home systems will not need repairs or replacements in a year. A recent inspection report will give a home warranty company an idea that your appliances and home systems are still in good condition. You can use this report to prove to the home warranty company that it might not even have to cover anything for the year. You can then ask for a discount on your annual premium.
Share Your Budget
The best way to pay for only what you need in terms of a home warranty is to tell them your budget. Share with them how much you can spare in a year, as well as how much you are willing to pay for service fees. Ask the home warranty company to customize a policy for you. Most will be glad to do it, especially if your budget is fair enough.
Buy a Home Insurance and Home Warranty Bundle
You can always get more when you buy home insurance and home warranty bundled together. Some companies offer these at a deal when bought together. The insurance will protect the home itself, while the home warranty will cover the systems and appliances, including electricity, plumbing, stove, oven, heating, and air conditioning, among others.
Ask for Formal Quotations
Get formal quotations from the home warranty companies. Bring these quotations when you visit and inquire from others. This way, you can compare and contrast the offers. You can use this technique to negotiate with home warranty companies. Once they realize they’re competing with others, they will think of giving you more of what you want.
Don’t Answer Immediately
You are not required to sign the agreement when you visit the office and receive the quotation. Take it home with you and study the options. Don’t force yourself to decide immediately because the agent gave you a deadline. Make the companies wait for your answer. When you are sure about your choice, that’s when you should call.
Don’t get easily swayed by flowery words. Some home warranty agents are great with words but lacking in offers. Read the fine print of the contract. Make sure you can maximize the terms of the agreement. If you have questions, ask them before you sign the contract. There’s no use arguing with the home warranty company after signing the terms.