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Real Estate

Are your home and your wallet prepared for the inevitable?

(BPT) - Nobody bats an eyelash when it comes to buying homeowner's insurance, but many homeowners don’t apply that same logic to planning for home repairs — not what might happen, but what will happen.

Only a fraction of the 120 million U.S. households today are protected by a home services plan, also known as a home warranty.

That number is growing, as homeowners recognize the value of coverage when appliances go on the fritz, hot water heaters run cold in the middle of winter or a leaky faucet drives up their water bill. Perhaps one reason more homeowners don’t have home service plans is because they think they are covered through their homeowner's insurance policy.

Homeowner's insurance doesn’t protect you from the natural home aging process.

Insurance kicks in when damage occurs from an outside force, like a busted sewer line or roof damage due to a major storm. While insurance covers you when Mother Nature strikes, it doesn’t protect you from the natural wear and tear that your home’s major systems and appliances go through during the aging process. Understanding how home service plans work and how they fit into your financial and risk-planning strategy allows you to be prepared for covered breakdowns, without breaking the bank.

Let’s start at the beginning. What is a home service plan?

Home service plans typically cover the repair or replacement of major home appliances, including refrigerators, washers, dryers, ovens or cooktops, and components of major systems like plumbing, HVAC and electrical.

When your air conditioning system breaks, or your washer or dryer stops spinning, you want the confidence of having a home services plan in place that will help protect your budget.

This is where the true value of a home service plan comes in. Home service providers such as American Home Shield accept service requests and assign professionals to diagnose the problem and offer a solution through its vast network of skilled and trusted contractors, which includes more than 15,000 licensed and qualified pros throughout all 50 states.

What’s the bottom line?

With a home service plan, you won’t pay the full cost of repairing or replacing items covered by your plan. Regardless of age, make or model, your contract helps cover the repair or replacement of items covered in your plan. For example, if your refrigerator malfunctions, your service provider will connect you to a quality contractor to diagnose and repair the problem. This can help reduce the hassle of repairing it yourself and help protect your budget.

Think about your home’s future (and yours).

Service plans can come in handy when selling a home. The appeal speaks for itself: When buyers are making that final decision around one of the biggest investments in their lives, having a home service plan in place gives the new homeowner confidence that the home’s systems and appliances are protected, and they won’t bear the entire financial impact of repairing or replacing it if it breaks down.

The choice seems obvious: Don’t fall victim to the financial risks and mental stresses associated with owning a home. Appliances have set lifespans, breakdowns are inevitable and repairs and replacements are costly. Make sure your home is covered, so you and your wallet can rest assured that your home is taken care of.

 
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