Having a home warranty used to be a precaution that was worth having in every home long before 2020, but with the COVID-19 pandemic making people all across the country and the world stay inside for longer than they ever have, the use of home warranties has skyrocketed. In 2021, home warranties are paramount, as it seems that the new normal is here to stay.
Is a Home Warranty the Same as Home Insurance?
No, they are not. Home warranty plans are different from insurance policies, they cover the cost of repair or replacement of a set of covered household items like electric, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or major kitchen appliances, which are in good working condition when the warranty is created.
Should they break down from normal wear and tear, the home warranty covers repair costs or even replacement. However, should these be damaged or lost due to theft, fires, or other perils, then the home insurance policy covers the losses. It is very important to have both precisely because together they cover the full range of causes. What warranties do not cover are structural items like doors and windows.
How Has the Pandemic Affected Home Warranty Use
Before 2020, normal life for most people involved a 9 to 5 workday and at least an hour of commuting. This kept us out of our homes for most of the day, from Monday to Friday. Sometimes, we’d get to sit comfortably in our homes during the weekend, but every once in a while, road trips and city breaks would have us spending Saturday and Sunday away as well.
This all changed when COVID-19 emerged and we were all forced to move our Monday to Sunday lives indoors. For months on end, we’ve worked from home, spent the weekends at home, and even vacationed at home. Among the long list of consequences of this abrupt lifestyle change is the enormous increase in household items usage.
Spending all this time at home has meant using electricity, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and the full range of home appliances all day every day. Naturally, this has made them much more prone to breaking down. Having a home warranty can cover the cost of repairing or replacing these items which are now more important than ever because they support our personal and professional lives.
While having home systems and appliances break down has always been unpleasant, in 2020 it has become the cause of major anxiety because in many cases it meant that people were unable to attend work or school. Staying connected throughout the many months of the pandemic has been paramount and this has been dependent on the systems in our homes.
A major advantage that home warranties offer is quick service. Should any system or appliance in your home break down, all you have to do is contact the warranty provider. Especially during the pandemic, customer service has been available 24/7 to cover the increased need. Warranty providers send out technicians to deal with repairs quickly and efficiently and at no additional cost.
Are Home Warranties Worth It in 2021?
Yes, absolutely. As the return to our former lives is being moved further and further up, it looks like we might be spending most of 2021 at home, in the best-case scenario. This means that we will keep using our home systems and appliances at this increased rate. What is different from 2020 is that now, in 2021, these appliances already have one full year of increased usage, making them even more prone to breaking down.
This makes home warranties more useful than ever. Setting up a plan now can save you a lot of money in the long run. If one or many of the covered items stops functioning properly, then your repair expenses are all covered. Even if they break down entirely and need to be changed, you are covered.
The Limitations of Home Warranties
Before setting up a home warranty plan, you should be aware of its limitations. This will help you decide if the plan is worth it for you and your home. First off, keep in mind that structural items like doors and windows are not covered by home warranties.
Secondly, there is a limit to how much the warranty provider will cover in repairs and/or replacements per year. However, there is a slim chance that you would get to reach that quota. Thirdly, you are expected to provide proper maintenance to your covered items, so if one of your appliances breaks down because you haven’t tended to it correctly, the cost of the repair may not be covered.
Lastly, it might be difficult to determine if certain repairs or replacements are covered by warranties or home insurance. A power surge, for example, which may damage electric appliances, will be covered by insurance, but not by the warranty, so keep in mind that you should have both.
Even with these limitations at hand, having a home warranty is going to save you a lot of money and spare you a lot of anxiety in 2021. So as we leap into the new year, it is best to focus on preventative measures from the very beginning so that we can be carefree to enjoy the adventures coming our way.