Angie's List: Home Warranties - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Angie's List: Home Warranties

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BILLINGS -

First-time home buyers may wonder if it's necessary to purchase a home warranty. In today's Angie's List report, why you should read the fine print before making a decision.

"I had to use my home warranty because it was almost July when it was 100 degrees outside and my air conditioner just completely and totally shut down and stopped working," says Ernest Goss. He considers himself lucky. He had a good experience with his home warranty. "The air conditioner when I bought the house it was too late for them to inspect and I had worries about that when I bought the house."

Yet, for the past 8 years, home warranties topped Angie's List as the most complained about category.

"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 concerns about the quality of the work when they do use their warranty." says Angie Hicks.

The warranty companies outsource the work, so it's important you check out who a warranty company uses to make sure its someone you want in your home.

"Because 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," says Angie.

You want to make sure you find a company that covers all the mechanicals of your home. Do they cover heating and cooling systems? If so what part? Do they include an inspection? Also, what is the deductible and do they have 24-hour service?

"Then it comes down to will they include an inspection before the warranty so you know exactly the condition of everything in your home. Also, do they have a low deductible and 24 hour customer service because you never know when that water heater will break," says Angie.

Most home warranty plans cost between $350 and $500 for a one-year contract. Homeowners typically pay an additional service fee ranging from $50 to $75 for each repair job.