A home warranty policy covers the breakdown of the main operating systems and appliances of a pre-owned home. A policy typically lasts for one year. Home warranty policies are a popular incentive in California real estate transactions, according to the Home Warranty Association of California. Buyers often request sellers pay for a home warranty. Sellers or agents often do so to provide the buyer with an added measure of security should any appliances malfunction after the close of escrow.
Key Coverage Items
Some notable coverage items to consider when selecting a home warranty contract in California include: improper installations, permit fees, hauling of old appliances, and hydro-jetting of plumbing, according to the Home Warranty Association of California (HWAC). The average home warranty typically only covers issues of normal wear and tear in plumbing, heating and electrical systems, some built-in appliances, and water heaters. A contract that offers these key, but atypical coverage items as part of their basic plan, or even as an upgrade, provides more value for the money.
The leading home warranty policies offer consumers additional coverage upgrades for swimming pool equipment, washer/dryer and kitchen refrigerators, according to HWAC. These options can save homeowners a lot of money, even if they use the service just once or twice annually.
A service fee of $35 for each repair visit is a relatively competitive rate for home warranty policies in California. The service cost, which is similar to an insurance deductible, is anywhere between $35 and $55, according to HWAC. The yearly policy fees are between $250 and $600, depending on the type of coverage you need: condo, basic or upgraded.
The Best Policy All Around
The best policy for homeowners in California is one they will actually use. Choose a policy from a user-friendly company that offers online and telephone support and fast turn around times. Most plans will replace certain appliances if they can't repair them. Choose a policy which will provide eco-friendly or more up-to date appliances.