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Angie's List: Read The Fine Print On Home Warranties

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - First-time home buyers may wonder if it's necessary to purchase a home warranty.

Today's Angie's List report takes a look at why you should read the fine print before making a decision.

"For the eighth year in a row, the home warranty category has topped the most complained about categories on Angie's List. When looking at the reviews, the most common complaints we hear are in regard to people not understanding exactly what is covered in the warranty and then also the quality of the work when they do use their warranty," Angie Hicks from Angie's List said.

Homeowner Ernest Goss was lucky. He had a good experience and his home warranty worked out for him.

"I had to use my home warranty because it was almost July when it was 100 degrees outside and my air conditioner just completely shut down and stopped working," Goss said.

Because the warranty companies get to pick the service companies they send to their clients' homes, it's important homeowners know beforehand which company the warranty company is sending and do their research to ensure it's someone they want in their home.

"It all comes down to the contract, so read the fine print so you know exactly what is covered, what appliances, what types of service calls will be covered and then also understand the how the payment works. Is there a deductible and also, who makes the decisions about repair or replacing?" Hicks said.

Home warranties can be a good option for home buyers purchasing a previously lived-in home, provided they understand what they're purchasing. Warranties aren't designed to act as insurance to protect homeowners from loss. Rather, they're intended instead to provide service, repair or replacement on a home's appliances and major systems, such as heating and electric.

"There may be limits to your home warranty so it's important to read the contract in its entirety. For example, maybe you have a plumbing issue that is inside the house, the warranty may cover it, but if it's the plumbing outside of your home it may not," Hicks said.

Most home warranty plans cost between $350 and $500 for a one-year contract.


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