There has been a rise in Home Warranties sold with the purchase of a home. One useful article that was written on Home Warranties can be found at http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/HomebuyingGuide/AHomeWarrantyIsNoGuarantee.aspx
There are many programs and companies that offer home warranties:
There are many more on the internet. If you are considering a home warranty, please read the article that MSN and by Liz Pulliam Weston.
I have also inserted it into this page for your convenience:
A home warranty is no guarantee
Insurance against breakdowns of appliances, plumbing and the like is increasingly popular. But the rules sometimes don't favor homeowners.
Most homeowners have never used a home warranty. In fact, some have never even heard of these policies, which are designed to cover the kinds of mechanical breakdowns that regular home insurance doesn't: clogged pipes, furnace failures, appliances that go on the blink.
The popularity of these policies, though, seems to be on the rise, especially as home sales have cratered, prompting buyers to seek additional inducements before making an offer.
These home warranties, which are designed to cover existing or "pre-owned" homes, are different from the builder's warranties that typically come with a new house. In California, the policies are ubiquitous: Nine out of 10 existing homes in the Golden State are sold with a one-year warranty, according to the Home Warranty Association of California, compared with estimates of less than one in five nationally. Warranties in California are typically purchased by home sellers or their real estate agents to avoid lawsuits if something breaks in the first year. The policies also can give peace of mind to buyers who otherwise might not be able to handle expensive repairs.
A fee and a charge- Here's how the warranties work:
For an annual fee of $250 to $600, the warranties cover repair or replacement of basic home systems such as plumbing and heating, plus major appliances. Air conditioning, pools, spas, wells and sometimes roofs can typically be added to the basic policy for an extra fee.
The warranty company contracts with local repair companies to provide service. If something breaks, the homeowner calls the warranty company, which arranges with the local company to dispatch a repair technician.
If the repair or replacement is covered by the contract, the homeowner just pays for the service visit -- typically $25 to $75 a pop.
Although most warranties are issued as part of a home sale, providers say a growing number of homeowners -- 55% to 65%, depending on the company -- decide to keep the policies after the initial coverage period expires. Many buyers are hoping to avoid repair or replacement costs on aging household systems; others simply don't want to bother with trying to track down their own repair technicians.
"Some people buy it for convenience," said Steve Burnett, American Home Shield's chief marketing officer, "so they don't have to think about who to contact if something goes wrong."
Do home warranties make sense? But are home warranties a good idea?
Some MSN readers think so. One poster on the Your Money message board said his Fidelity National Home Warranty policy paid for an $800 electrical panel replacement, a $1,200 compressor for his air conditioning unit and then a $3,500 replacement of the A/C system itself -- more than paying for the cost of his policy.
Others report that they struggle even to schedule a service call and find it all but impossible to get aging systems repaired or replaced.
Among the problems:
The contracts come with loopholes. You need to read your service agreement carefully to determine what is and isn't covered. Coverage for plumbing, for example, typically ends at your home's foundation, so leaks or breakages beyond that would be your responsibility. "Pre-existing" problems typically aren't covered, nor are breakdowns that result from poor maintenance or improper installation. The contract also may require that a system be upgraded to current building code standards -- at the homeowner's expense -- before it agrees to repairs.
If you're thinking of buying your first home, it helps to have a game plan. Liz Pulliam Weston offers a practical, one-year plan for making your dream come true..People who have had problems say the more expensive the repair or replacement, the more likely home warranty companies are to invoke these exclusion clauses.
Regulation is spotty. Some states hardly supervise home warranty companies at all. Others, like California, regulate them more closely. Home warranty companies in some states have shut down abruptly, leaving homeowners with nothing to show for their premiums.
I have used warranties on many things, and I have declined warranties on other products. It must be a personal choice for the buyer and seller.